Apple iPad2 vs Motorola Xoom - In Detail

We did a comparison between the iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and The Motorola Xoom.  We found that both Android tablets came out on top in the tech specs stakes and our final decision was that the new iPad wasn't up there with the new Android powered tablets.  The problem is, we just can't believe the hype, so many tech sites, reporters and reviewers are saying the new iPad is the tablet to beat and to quote some phrases: 'a tablet to beat the iPad hasn't been invented yet', 'the iPad 2 is the new tablet to beat'.  Yet, we considered the new iPad 3rd on our tech spec comparison list.  So here we are again, feeling like we missed something, about to trawl through the finite detail to get to the bottom of this.  Is it hype and spin or is the iPad 2 really that good?

First off, the sizes.  I wouldn't call size and weight a winnable spec.  I'm not going to put a tablet in my pocket so I don't really care how much it weights nor would I compromise screen for a smaller device, regardless, the dimensions of the two tablets are below:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Height 241.2mm 249.1mm
Width 185.7mm 167.8mm
Depth 8.8mm 12.9mm
Weight 601g 730g
You can clearly see the iPad 2 weights 129g less and is 4.1mm thinner so if size and weight is important to you then iPad 2 is a winnner, which leads me on to the next spec. The display. For me, this is one of the most important specs on a device if not, the most important spec:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Size 9.7 Inch 10.1 Inch
Resolution 1024x768 1280x800
Pixels Per Inch 132 150
So, a clear winner for me here.  The Xoom has the bigger screen and produces the better resolution.  Perhaps the .4 of an inch is finite but it is bigger and 1280x800 is clearly a better resolution than 1024x768 with the Xoom display encasing 150 pixels per inch against the iPad 2's 132 pixels per inch.  Xoom 1, iPad 0. 
Next up, it's the important hardware: The processor and RAM - the 2 most important specs of any device, after the screen.
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Speed 1GHz 1GHz
Cores Dual Core Dual Core
Model Apple A5 Nvidia Tegra 2
RAM Unknown 1GB
I'm gonna go for a Xoom win on this spec.  Apple have not provide any details on the iPad 2 RAM so this is unknown until the device is released later this month although the general consensus is the iPad 2 will have less than 512MB RAM where as the Xoom features 1GB - confirmed as well as the Nvidia Tegra 2 Dual core chip.  Xoom 2, iPad 0.
Next up, connectivity.  Fairly important specs if you want to connect your device to the PC, phone or home cinema or even if you want to stream over the WiFi hub at home:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR v2.1 + EDR + HID
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n
USB 30-Pin Connector Micro
3.5mm Audio Jack Yes Yes
Once again, I've got to go for Xoom.  It's has the  micro-USB rather than the clunky over-sized iPad/iPod/iPhone cable.  Win for Xoom but marginally.  Xoom 3, iPad 0.
Another important feature of any mobile device is storage - the more the better right?  Right!  This is a fairly straight forward spec so no fancy tables here.  The iPad comes with a maximum storage of 64GB vs the Xoom at 32GB so it's a loss for the Xoom here.  For those who are counting it's Xoom 3, iPad 1.
Now on to multimedia.  Good for videos, music, pics and all that stuff:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
H.264 Support Yes Yes
AAC Yes Yes
M4V Yes No
MP4 Yes No
MOV Yes No
MPEG-4 Yes Yes
H.263 No Yes
MP3 Yes Yes
AAC+ No Yes
OGG No Yes
WAV Yes No
Taking the released specs, this is another win for the iPad, more format support although more restriction if purchases are made through the iTunes store but the iPad can have this one.  Xoom 3, iPad 2.
Depending on how much you use your device, this could be another important spec for you.  Power:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Watt hour 25Wh 24.5Wh
Web Surfing 3G 9 Hours 9 Hours
Web Surfing WiFi 10 Hours 10 Hours
Well I'd call this a dead heat - 10 hours surfing from both tablets.  Now let's check out the cameras.  This is a difficult spec to get down as Apple don't provide specs for the iPads stills but I'll give it a go:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Front Camera Stills 0.3MPx (VGA) 2MPx
Rear Camera Stills Unknown 5MPx
Video Capture 720p 720p
Flash Unknown Dual LED
Digital Zoom Yes Yes
Well, this is another win for the Xoom for me.  For starters, the Xoom's 2MPx front camera trounces the iPad's VGA stills camera, also, Apple don't give a spec for the rear camera stills neither do they give a spec for flash.  Xoom 4, iPad 2.  Now on to features.  What sensors and tools come with the devices, this could make all the difference to you:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
A-GPS Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes
Proximity No Yes
Barometer No Yes
Ambient Light Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
Well, it's yet another win for the Motorola Xoom.  Motorola have managed to pack in more sensors whether they are useful or not.  Xoom 5, iPad 2.  There's one last piece of information we want to take a look at but it's not a spec.  Price:  Once again there's no need for a table here.  The Apple iPad comes in at £699 for the top of the range 64GB model where the Xoom comes in at £600 for the top of the range WiFi + 3G model so I would consider this a win for the iPad although there's not much in it.
So we have a clear winner - The Motorola Xoom has come out the winner 5 to 3.  It packs more features, has the better cameras, better connectivity, better screen resolution and size and better hardware.  The facts clearly speak for themselves, this data has been collected the the manufacturers own websites - I have not been biased in any way - So maybe someone can explain to me why the iPad 2 is 'the new tablet to beat in 2011' because as far as I can see, it's got a long way to go to catch the Android tablets and we haven't even compared it to the Playbook and the HP Touchpad hasn't even been finished yet.
My final thought is that, if you are an Apple fan, you will no doubt buy the iPad - if it's all about features and what you get for your money in terms of hardware you'll most likely go for the Xoom - But don't believe the hype, the facts speak for themselves!!!

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