iPad 2 Vs. Motorola Xoom Vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

March 4, 2011
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With the iPad 2 having been formally announced yesterday, the blogosphere is hard at work comparing the latest and greatest Android Tablets, and Apples latest iteration of the iPad.

While the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 are certainly the more technically superior devices, and initial reviews of Android 3.0 Honeycomb have been quite positive, it will ultimately come down to which one sells more. Currently, Apple has dominated the tablet market, but this is without any competition. Things are about to heat up.

Already, competition is doing wonderful things for consumers. When the Motorola Xoom was introduced, we were led to believe that the price would be in the $599 range for the Wi-Fi only model, and $799 for the 3G(4G) model. Within 24 hours of the iPad 2 being announced, Motorola has changed its tune, and there are now reports that the Wi-Fi-only model will be selling for $539.99 at Sam’s Club.

Certainly, a lot of the Xooms’ and Galaxy Tabs’ specs are superior to the iPad 2’s. The screens are larger, have more pixels, are both 10.1 inches, and enjoy a resolution of 1280×800 resolution. The iPad 2’s is a lower 1024×768, which is a mild point of contention for some, but not all. Text will definitely be crisper on the Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Additionally, The Xoom’s cameras are better too. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a 3 megapixel rear camera, which was changed from the previous iteration which featured a 8 megapixel one. Of course, if you have ever actually had the privilege (or misfortune) of taking a picture with a tablet, then you absolutely know it feels completely ridiculous. Nonetheless, both Android tablets feature superior hardware. The iPad 2’s rear camera shoots 720p video like the Xoom, but the stills are of a lower resolution.

The real differentiators:

  • iPad 2 Wifi has no GPS, whereas the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 do
  • The iPad has no SD Card Slot, but the the Motorola Xoom does, while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 does not
  • The Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 have double the RAM of the iPad 2
  • The Motorola Xoom has USB, and HDMI, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a proprietary 30 pin port, with accessories that allow you to connect to HDTV’s, USB, and a keyboard dock

iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1:

Now, depending on your personal point of view, you may or may not care about hardware specs. There are always intangible elements that contribute to the overall appeal of any product, like the appeal of the brand, or how it feels in the hand, etc. With this in mind, it’s important to note that the iPad 2 is substantially lighter in the hand than the Motorola Xoom. Certainly the iPad 2 is an improvement over the original, and it is most certainly an appealing device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes much closer to matching the iPad 2 in weight and thickness (thinness?) however, and is much better suited for those who value having the lightest tablet possible.

We rate the Motorola Xoom as the most technically superior device, with greater hardware and more expandability in the future. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes in a close second, with its lighter build, and thinner body. We most certainly love the iPad 2, and would be happy to give it to our Mom. Of course, we are ardent Android fans, but we don’t love everything Android just for the sake of it being Android. We do believe Honeycomb is the future of tablet interfacing. We love multitasking, we love choice, we love openness, and we love having the ability to customize our devices to our hearts’ content. It handles multitasking marvelously, and sure, the performance hasn’t been entirely perfected, but it’s almost there. Even Anandtech had this to say:

Am I more likely to use the Xoom than the iPad? Yes. The hardware is faster but more importantly, the software is better suited for multitasking. I’m a bigger fan of Honeycomb’s multitasking UI & notification system compared to the double-tap-home and passive notifications you get with the iPad and iOS. I can be more productive with the Xoom than I can be with the iPad as a result. I don’t believe Honeycomb’s UI is perfect by any means, it’s just more multitasking oriented than iOS is at this point.

What are your thoughts? How do the Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 stack up next to the iPad 2?

Check out our comparison of the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 here

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