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
Apple iPad 2
Rear not specified yet
$799 w/o contract
2 4G service is available via software update
3 3G iPads will also be available from AT&T and Verizon Wireless
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.
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?