iPad 2 vs Motorola Xoom: 2 Big Tablet Releases for 2011
One of the highlights of CES 2011 was the Android Honeycomb OS and its new, interactive UI. Now the focus will likely shift to tablets that will run the software, and more specifically how they will fare against Apple’s soon to be released juggernaut, the iPad 2. One such device is the Motorola Xoom, a tablet which many feel will rival the iPad 2 in both popularity and functionality.
The biggest announcement concerning both the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 is the addition of Verizon as an optional carrier for its wireless network. There have also been rumors of 4G support for those who wish to go beyond WiFi and UMTS versions of the device. The Motorola Xoom, on the other hand, has officially announced it will be upgradeable to 4G LTE, making it an attractive choice for high volume data consumers. It will be initially offered on the Verizon WiFi and 3G Network.
The Motorola Xoom is powered by NVIDIAÃs Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of DDR2 RAM. Although the iPad 2 has been rumored to sport a dual-core PowerVR SGX543 processor, there is still no official word regarding its technical specs.
The Motorola Xoom will feature a 10.1 inch, multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It will weigh 26 oz. and 12.9 mm thick, roughly the same size as the current generation iPad which is 13 mm thick and 24 oz. in weight. The iPad 2, on the other hand, is said to be only 10 mm thick with a flat backside as opposed to the curved chassis of its predecessor. The size of the display is rumored to remain 9.7 inches, possibly with the same critically acclaimed Retina display as the iPhone 4.
Rumors have speculated that the iPad 2 will come with an impressive 128GB solid state drive, which would significantly outshine the Motorola Xoom’s 32GB Flash Memory. The Xoom, however, will likely come with an expandable memory slot for additional storage.
The iPad 2 is expected to be priced at $499 to $599, depending on the model. This in turn will drop the price of the original iPad as well. In contrast, speculation regarding the cost of The Motorola Xoom has eddied from $299 to over $1000 on some tech blogs. In all likelihood, given its hardware the Xoom will fall somewhere between the $500 to $800 range, making it highly competitive but not superior in price to the iPad 2.
Other Features and Add-Ons
As opposed to its earlier model, the iPad 2 will come with a USB port and a larger speaker on the bottom of the tablet. It will likely have both front and back cameras with Facetime support. The Xoom, meanwhile, is confirmed to have a 5 megapixel rear-facing and 2 megapixel front-facing camera. It also has a 3.5 mm headphones jack and both mini and full USB ports. Other features of the Motorola Xoom include:
- GPS Capability
- EV-DO Rev. A Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- Three-Axis Accelerometer Compass, Gyroscope, Barometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor
- 5.0-megapixel rear-facing with 720p HD video capture and 4x Zoom
- 2.0-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat
At this point it is a little too presumptuous to favor either the iPad 2 or the Motorola Xoom, given that many of the specifications regarding the iPad 2 have yet to be confirmed. What we do know is that the iPad 2 will be at the very least lighter and thinner than the Xoom and sold at a competitive price point. Both will feature dual-core processors and similar RAM and graphics capabilities. However, one area where the Xoom may have an edge is in terms of connectivity.
While there is much uncertainty over the iPad 2’s 4G capability, Motorola has confirmed that the Xoom will be upgradeable to Verizon’s superior 4G LTE Network. Faster bandwidth will mean better video chat, streaming video, and gaming, and the Android Honeycomb 3.0 software also provides a far more open platform than the Apple iOS. Nevertheless, its likely that Apple, which recently released a beta version of iOS 4.3, still has a few surprises for tech enthusiasts, and it will be interesting to see how these two tablets compare once all the details are confirmed.
Image above via Techno Bolt