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Tablet Face-Off: Apple iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom

Published
By Louis Ramirez, dealnews senior feature writer

Apple schooled its competition this afternoon with the release of the iPad 2. Or did it? We compare the new iPad with the most acclaimed Android tablet, the Motorola Xoom, to find out which tablet offers the better value.

Apple iPad 2 vs Motorola Xoom


Motorola Xoom

Apple iPad 2
OS
Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb
iOS 4.2.1
Processor
Dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2
Dual-core 1GHz Apple A5
Display / Resolution
10.1"
(1280x800)
9.7"
(1024x768)
RAM / Storage
1GB DDR2 RAM
32GB
Not specified yet
16GB¹
Cameras
2MP front
5MP rear
640x480 front
Rear not specified yet
Wi-Fi
802.11n
802.11n
Mobile Broadband
3G and 4G²
None³
Battery
10 hours over Wi-Fi
10 hours over Wi-Fi
Ports
Micro USB, HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card slot
30-pin Apple dock, 3.5mm headphone jack
Features
Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR, gyroscope, accelerometer, microSD card slot, 720p video capture
Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR, 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, 720p video capture
Weight
1.6 lbs.
1.3 lbs.
Price
$599 w/ 2-year Verizon contract
$799 w/o contract
$499
1 For basic model
2 4G service is available via software update
3 3G iPads will also be available from AT&T and Verizon Wireless

Comparison
As with most Apple revisions, the iPad 2 is now thinner and leaner than its predecessor, not to mention the competition. It also has an edge on apps, by far, especially the iMovie and Garage Band updates announced today. And there is a nifty new magnetic cover for the iPad 2. The two are even, though, when it comes to hardware. Like the Xoom, the iPad 2 has a dual-core processor, which Apple says will deliver graphics up to nine times faster than the original iPad. It also has rear- and front-facing cameras, along with a built-in gyroscope. (Features all found in the Xoom.)

Where the Xoom takes a slight lead to the iPad 2 is in connectivity. The Xoom features a mini USB port and an HDMI port, whereas the iPad only features Apple's 30-pin connector. (Additional connections can be made using optional Apple adapters.) The Xoom also features a miniSD port that can be used to expand its memory. (An option Apple stubbornly refuses to include.) For travelers, the Xoom will support Verizon's 4G network via a software update. However, take note, a 2-year data plan is required for this feature.

Conclusion
Whether you choose the Verizon-branded Xoom (with 2-year contract) or the non-subsidized Xoom, Motorola's tablet will cost you at least $100 more than the entry-level iPad 2. For budget-minded shoppers, that in itself makes the tablet-buying decision an easy one. However, if $499 seems a lot of money to spend on any gadget, we recommend the recently-discounted refurbished original iPad, which is now between $80 to $120 off.

What do you think?



An avid gadget lover, Louis Ramirez has covered technology for Gizmodo, CNET, Laptop, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter — @LouisRamirez. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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