The tablet industry has risen to 10.3 million units sold last year in the United States alone. Some might say that the tablets are taking over the traditional desktop computer sales because of their limitless capabilities. You can email, listen to music, use it for navigation, edit and print documents, and even make every day purchases off these devices, including printer supplies. With that in mind there have been a lot more players in the tablet industry stepping up to the plate to get a piece of the market share. The overpowering Apple tablet, iPad, has released its newest rendition the iPad 2, while Google Android based tablets have reached a new peak of performance with the Motorola Xoom. While both possess the newest technologies including dual-core 1GHz processors, there are quite a few differences between the two that can make one the better choice.
The Motorola Xoom boasts a 10.1 inch screen with Nvidia’s Tegra 2’s 1GHz dual-core processor, and runs on Android’s latest operating system (OS), Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). The dual-core processor enables the Motorola Xoom to be more responsive for its users and increases its ability to multitask, which is an ever growing necessity for all tablet users. The Xoom is equipped with front and rear cameras to enable “Google Talk” an equivalent to Apple’s “FaceTime,” a way to video chat on a portable device, while connected to WiFi. While flash support on the Xoom is not currently working to its fullest potential, Android and Motorola are working towards a solution in which will be sent out as a free update for all Xoom owners. The SD card slot is included on the Xoom and is not functional currently, but there will be an update sent out to unlock the SD card slot so people can use SD cards with their device. One of the newest features to be added to an Android device is the ability to wirelessly print to your network printer. The Xoom has had some shortcomings with this addition and still has to fix its bugs, but for now whether you have an HP printer, Xerox Printer, or any other networkable printer, you are able to send documents directly from your Xoom.
The Android operating system is an open more customizable system than Apple’s iOS 4, but lends itself to having more glitches and tends to be not as reliable as Apple’s iOS. But when in the right hands, and if customized to your liking and usage, Honeycomb can become a more powerful and easier to user OS. The Android Market has over 100,000 Apps, but is not nearly as mature as the App store that Apple hosts. The Apps themselves are not quality tested as much as the App store that Apple has as well, and therefore some Apps are just not functional. Android’s long list of different operating systems for all of the different devices they are in creates difficulty to develop apps that are cross-functional through all their devices, some apps that display well and work smoothly on an Android phone will not necessarily work well for the new Android tablet. The Motorola Xoom only comes with the 32GB hard drive space, but is offered in both a WiFi only and a 3G plus WiFi edition. The WiFi only is being sold at $599 as the 3G plus WiFi edition is at $799 and is only being released to Verizon’s network for 3G service.
Apple iPad 2
Apple iPad 2’s 9.7 inch screen is crystal clear and is powered by Apple’s A5 dual-core processor. The iPad 2 runs on Apple’s iOS 4 and includes Apple’s standard applications out of the box. iTunes is the core of Apple’s operating system, where all downloads and updates come through this app, along with it being the iPad’s primary music player. The technology initiated in the iPhone 4 “FaceTime” has now been implemented in the iPad 2 with its front and rear cameras. The front camera is VGA quality as the rear can shoot 720p HD video. Although the iPad has added a lot of new features including the dual-core processor and thinner profile, it still stands at its 10 hour battery life, which is ideal for most iPad 2 users. Similarly to the Xoom, the iPad 2 is able to print documents directly from the device. Contrary to the Xoom though, Apple has had this technology already implemented in its previous iterations of the iOS which was implemented on the iPhone 4. So if you own a Xerox Phaser 8560MFP/N printer you will be able to sync your iPad 2 to the network and print directly to the printer with no flaws.
The App store in which the iPad 2 uses is more robust than the Android Market due to its maturity in the industry. There are over 300,000 apps in which people can search through, which enables users to find an App for just about anything, proving Apple’s slogan “There’s an app for that” to be true. The thinner profile than the original iPad makes the iPad 2 more portable and a little more convenient to hold. The iPad 2 is available in the US on the two major networks, At&t and Verizon, and is offered in three different hard drive capacities, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Each iPad is also offered as a WiFi only, WiFi plus 3G on the At&t network or WiFi plus 3G on the Verizon network. The iPad starts at $499 for the 16GB WiFi only and peaks at $829 for the WiFi plus 3G on either the Verizon or At&t network.
Winner: iPad 2
Although the Motorola Xoom has some features that the iPad 2 does not include, supporting flash and the use of an SD card slot, the iPad 2 is still the leader in the tablet industry. The Motorola Xoom is definitely no slouch, but still the iPad 2 shows its superiority and maturity when actually navigating through its features. The clarity of the App store helps the iPad 2 outperform the Motorola Xoom due to the fact that the Apps are tested thoroughly and therefore run seamlessly on the iPad 2.