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Motorola Xoom vs. iPad2

Apple’s iPad has had a relatively easy run up to now, having pretty much invented the smart tablet market. Just over 12 months ago, Apple left its competitors in its digital wake. However with the release of Motorola’s Xoom in March things were shaken up a bit for Apple and its iPad 1. So can the release of the latest version of the ‘tablet wonder’ retain the crown of undisputed tablet champ for Apple?

motorola xoom vs ipad2Design

Well first things first – so let’s be vain and look at the aesthetics. Motorola’s Xoom has a 10.1 inch screen which makes it slightly bigger than that of Apple’s iPad 2. Though, the iPad is an amazing 8.8mm thick in comparison to the Xoom’s still not gargantuan 12.9mm deep body –  both are incredibly solid and incorporate top quality design, but such amazing build quality for something a paltry 8.8mm thick creates a kind of awe in the hand.

Display

Both tablets have impressive picture quality, the Ipad uses a 9.7” display with a 1024×768 resolution and as I’ve mentioned the Motorola has a larger 10.1 inch offering running a full 720p screen with a 1280×800 resolution. Though the Xoom is technically more impressive and has a sharper picture, the IPad’s colours are more vivid and better light.

Performance

Performance wise Apple has introduced its new Dual Core 1GHz Apple A5 processor which has twice the power of its predecessor, amazing when opening up apps that are heavier on performance. The Xoom is no shrinking violet though and is the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb offering on the tablet market with an impressive interface that’s hugely improved on previous Android operating systems, it’s excellent for multitasking. The Xoom though is perhaps just not as intuitive as the Apple which gives the IPad a boost. Graphics on the new 4.3 iOS are even said to rival that of the PS3 in some cases which is an astonishing feat.

Battery

Does such power come at a price, as far as batteryis concerned? Well no it seems. IPad’s battery will last up to nine hours on heavy usage and the Xoom has an impressive eight in this stake. Both have 32GB of memory though the Xoom has a micro SD slot to add another 32GB if wanted, it’s also 4g ready and runs flash player which gives it a leg up on the IPad in these areas.

Camera

Camera wise Apple and Steve Jobs have listened to the man on the street and the IPad 2 comes with a frontal camera, so you can capture yourself in full pouting glory. The Xoom has a 2MP camera at the front and an impressive 5MP on the back capable of capturing 720p video at 30fps. Apple’s camera is a VGA at the front and the back is like the Motorola and capable of recording 720p footage.

The FaceTime and Google Talk options are impressive features and welcome additions to both tablets.

Applications

The biggest victory for the iPad comes in the app area. The IPad had 16,000 dedicated apps compared to a miniscule amount for the Android system. Other issues lie in the reliability of the Google apps with many continuously crashing. So as tablets are so apps orientated this puts the IPad at a huge advantage.

So though the Motorola Xoom is a very impressive machine and probably the best so far outside of the Apple Empire it falls a bit short of the new iPad’s capabilities. The iPad 2 is more of an evolution than a complete overhaul. It’s better built and smaller than the iPad 1 and though the Xoom has many features the iPad doesn’t; Apple has and iTunes and even more importantly a huge app presence with thousands more apps than the Xoom. Though, there is no doubt that Apple’s competitors are going in the right direction and with plenty more tablets to be released this year we’re sure to see some competition for the crown of best tablet.

iPad 2 Xoom
Processor DualCore 1GHz Apple A5 Processor NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core Processor
Platform 4.3iOS Android 3.0
Screen 9.7inch LED Back Light 10.1inch
Width 8.8mm 12.7mm
Weight 607g 725g
Camera 720p 30fps 5MP
Price £599 (Wi-Fi only / 32GB) $599 (Wi-Fi only / 32GB)

Written By

I write about gadgets and especially android tablets. My web site examines some of the best android tablet in the market today.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Ava

    April 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I was reading earlier that despite the quality of the Xoom and its performance, it’s not selling off the shelves like it was intended to. Could this be a marketing flaw? It just seems that it’s not getting the recognition it deserves as far as a quality piece goes.

  2. Gianni from iPad Sim Card

    April 7, 2011 at 12:03 am

    It is going to be hard for any brand to compete with the iPad because of the brand name “Apple”. However, It will be interesting to see how the 2nd generation Samsung Galaxy stacks up.

  3. Ava

    April 7, 2011 at 1:06 am

    I was having a conversation with someone about this yesterday, actually. With Apple seeming to release new versions quicker and quicker, it makes you wonder if it’s worth the money. As this is an honest review, of which you don’t come across often, how is the formatting? Is it compatible with most programs?

    • Admin

      April 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Ava. Hopefully, Alex or someone will answer your question about formatting soon. However, I do agree with your point about releasing new versions too soon – it can be very confusing at times although on the other hand, it is probably good business too.

    • Alex Chris

      April 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Ava Hi,

      What exactly do you mean about formatting? If you mean about the existing applications and their ability to play in xoom, then in the majority of them they are compatible but not optimizes for the tablet screen. This is changing fast though since developers are gradually optimizing their apps for android 3.0

  4. Patel

    April 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I like iPad for how is look but if i will buy a tablet I will definitely choose one with Android Honeycomb. I don’t know why do you disregard Android but i think this is how os should look like.

  5. Jane Cooper

    April 8, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I would like to test both and compare them because i’m going to buy some tablet but i can’t decide which will be better for me, i know that iPad has great interface and a lot of Applications but Motorola with Android is somehow more open for users who like to mod their Os.

  6. Karen Arbutine

    April 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    It has always been Apple for me so iPad 2 appeals me more and with 1GHz dual core A5 chip and cameras both on the front and rear the product is going to be a blast! Also imagining the CPU working twice faster and graphics nine times better than on the original iPad is so mind boggling. Motorola Zoom is also looking good but Apple will be a very tough competitor. The iPad 2 is going to be a revolution with its fantastic features.

  7. Luqman

    April 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Both tablet are great with lots of wonderful features, but I think iPad will sell better that Motorola, because of the price and brand name.

  8. new

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    We absolutely love your blog and find almost all your post’s to be precisely what im

    looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I

    wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write in

    relation to here. Again awesome blog!

  9. Travis

    April 22, 2011 at 4:23 am

    The HTC tablet and Blackberry tablet also look interesting. It looks like all these tablets are here to stay. I thought it would just be a fad but everyone seems to be hopping on board.

  10. FA

    May 21, 2011 at 6:00 am

    I prefer motorola over ipad for my own reasons 🙂

  11. AndrewN

    October 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    People ask why I bought a Xoom and not an Ipad2…well here are 10 reasons:

    10. Because it has a much better graphics processor.
    09. Because it allows you to download apps that were not “approved” by Apple’s app police.
    08. Because I can customize the look of it to your desire instead of being stuck with brand mandated look.
    07. Because I believe in individual freedom and are not a clone.
    06. Because I support open source environments.
    05. Because I dont’ want to look like all of your friends.
    04. Because I enjoy having real navigation instead of one button that takes back to the previous screen.
    03. Because there are way more free android apps out there.
    02. Because it would be really nice to see the adobe flash app on the page you are visiting.
    01. Because Apple sucks and has way too many people hypnotized with their cult of brand identity.

    • Admin

      October 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Wow Andrew. You definitely are not an Apple enthusiast.

  12. AndrewN

    October 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Enthusiest? No…I used to be a huge Apple advocate…but over the past 10 years they have done nothing innovative other than extreme marketing campaigns. Sorry, but I buy a product for my own uses not for what “they” want me to use it for. 🙂 Just rooted my Xoom and I have both cores running stable at 1.7ghz. Blows Ipad2 out of the water! There is nothing that an Ipad can do that my xoom cannot. On the other hand there are tons of things I can do on my Xoom that an Ipad cannot.
    There is my experience if anyone cares. This is not an opinion at this point just facts. sorry apple users…

  13. ドリーマー

    October 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    AndrewN, so much hate… I hope you realise that when one’s own strong personal convictions grow to the point of fanaticism, fanboy or hater alike, it can equally result in one being shortsighted or even blind when it comes to facts.

    I shall start distinguishing some of the flames, while trying to keep things accurate and civilised.

    10: Really? Tegra2 compared to A5/PowerVR SGX543MP2 ? … Really?? See for yourself:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4216/apple-ipad-2-gpu-performance-explored-powervr-sgx543mp2-benchmarked

    09. I see you rooted your Xoom, therefore you don’t seem to mind modifying and tweaking stuff to better match your personal preferences. Therefore, if you went for the iPad2 you’d have the option to ‘jailbreak’ it and practically ‘free’ yourself from the store controlled by apple’s ‘app police’.

    08. See no 09. Jailbreak.

    07. Good for you, I believe most of us are in the same boat on that 🙂

    06. A valid point. You also use linux for everything I suppose?

    05. Not too sure if rejecting a superior piece of hardware for differentiation reasons is the most economically wise option. Then again, it’s your own money and it’s a free market so why not 😀

    04. Not too sure what to make of that. I believe navigation in iPad2 is pretty real. for a tablet. 🙂

    03. Really? *tablet optimised* apps? I suppose you count the ‘phone’ apps stretched/maximised to run on tablet. Anyways.. I’d be more concerned about how many *useful* free apps are there in android store compared to apple’s appstore and not just plain numbers. For example, apple’s ‘app police’ started blocking apps of the ‘fart player’ type quite some time ago and surely that would have affected the numbers. Also, are all of those free apps optimised and/or guaranteed to run with your device?

    02. I would have thought, based on your 09. statement, you would prefer if people pushed for html5. Flash requires adobe’s compiler to do stuff, that’s not open source at all. It also took Adobe quite some time to make flash less of a resource hog and also add hardware acceleration capability (is it even hardware accelerated on tablets nowadays?).

    01. Ignore the clueless fanboys.. Us more sensible users hate them more than the apple haters; they make a bad name for the rest of us non-wackos that still use apple’s technology.

    µ-

  14. ドリーマー

    October 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Also, just came across this:

    http://theunderstatement.com/post/11982112928/android-orphans-visualizing-a-sad-history-of-support

    I believe it’s a good reason for someone to avoid the Android ecosystem, at least for now, until it matures.

    µ-

  15. Heather Protz

    May 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Is the iPad 2’s screen resolution even comparable to the Motorola? Thanks for the article! great reviews!

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