Tablet Computers: Apple iPad 2 versus Motorola Xoom

A tablet computer is a magical device for browsing the web, reading and sending e-mails, enjoying quality photos, watching high-definition videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books, and much more. If you are in the marketplace for a tablet pc, research no further. Here is a comparison of Motorola Xoom versus Apple iPad 2 that would help you to decide on your new tablet pc. In fact, Apple iPad is dominating the tablets market since April 2010. The second generation of iPads, the iPad 2, released on 03/11/2011 is becoming popular in the United States as it works on both AT&T and Verizon Wireless networks, the two largest wireless carriers with more than 180 million customers. However, some of the new tablets including Motorola Xoom, which is a powerful Android tablet that features better screen, true multitasking, LED flash, Micro USB port and MicroSD slot, which the iPad 2 is still missing.

Performance and Speed: The iPad 2 features a 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor, and the Xoom has a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. Such dual-core processors enhance the overall performance of both tablets due to the faster CPU as well as the faster and improved graphics capabilities, which means that they are better suited for the apps and games of the near future, especially that the battery life of each tablet is up to 10 hours. However, tablet pc experts say that the Xoom has true multitasking capability while the iPad 2 allows some multitasking in the background. Apple sells iPad 2 units with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB of storage included. Xoom owners will have to accept up to 32GB of storage out of the box utilizing the MicroSD slot. Both iPad 2 and Xoom are released as 3G tablets, but Motorola offers free 4G LTE upgrade on Verizon Wireless’ new 4G network if you mail in your device. With this free upgrade, you can take advantage of the unprecedented speeds of Verizon’s 4G LTE network to stream HD video and play online games.

Display: The iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch screen of 1024 by 768 pixel resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio, while Xoom features a 10.1-inch screen of 1200 by 800 pixel resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio which is the customary for HD widescreens now.

Cameras: Apple iPad 2 includes two cameras for shooting pictures, recording videos, or video chatting. The rear camera can record videos in 720p HD and take pictures at 1280 by 720 pixel resolution with a 5x digital zoom but no flash. The front camera can record videos and take pictures in VGA 640 by 480 pixel resolution. Motorola Xoom has an improved 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and a dual-LED flash, and a 2-megapixel front camera with digital zoom.

Operating System and Apps: The operating system of iPad 2 is Apple’s iOS 4.3 while the Xoom utilizes the new version of Google’s Android software, Honeycomb 3.0, which was specifically designed for faster browsing with a tablet pc. Android OS is in second place ahead of Apple iOS in platform market share, but in the apps market, there are roughly 65,000 apps currently available for iPad 2, while Google has less than 100 tablet-specific apps in its Android Market. However, the Android Market will catch up fast, as it did on smartphones.

Prices: iPads cost $499 to $829 based on storage and internet connection(s). The 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB ‘Wi-Fi only’ models cost $499, $599, and $699; while the ‘Wi-Fi + 3G’ models cost $629, $729, and $829 for the same capacities, respectively. Motorola Xoom is only available from Verizon Wireless with a two-year contract; and priced at $599 for the ‘Wi-Fi only’ 32GB model and $799 for the ‘Wi-Fi + 3G’ 32GB model which can be upgraded to 4G for free.

Sales: Apple sold 300,000 iPad 2 devices in the first weekend of its release. Experts predict that approximately 20 million iPad 2 has been sold worldwide so far, which outsold the Xoom, the closest competitor in the tablet market, that sold about 100,000 tablets since debuted on February 24, an estimate by Deutsche Bank. Similar to the MP3 player market, it seems that Apple is in front of the entire tablet market, and nobody else anywhere to be seen.