The first buzz among techies when the Motorola Xoom hit the market was how it compared to the benchmark tablet of the time, the iPad. Reviewers noted the Xoom's improvements over the original iPad, and they looked forward to seeing how it would compare to the iPad 2, scheduled for release a few weeks afterward. Now that both the Xoom and iPad 2 are on the market, let's take a quick look at how they compare:
- The Xoom weighs about 3.5 ounces (100 grams) more than the iPad 2.
- The Xoom has a larger display with a higher resolution than the iPad 2.
- The iPad 2 has a mute switch on the side separate from its volume controls.
- Both devices have 1 GHz processors, 720p video recording and playback, front and back cameras, and similar radios and sensors.
- The Xoom has 1 GB of memory versus the iPad 2's 512 MB.
- The iPad 2 comes in models with 16, 32 and 64 GB of storage space with no options for expansion. The Xoom includes a microSD slot on the side to expand on its built-in 32 GB of storage space.
When making this side-by-side comparison to the iPad 2, Xoom reviewers were impressed with Motorola's superior hardware specs. The Xoom's software received more mixed reviews. Critics praised its speed and attractiveness, but they criticized the interface for being more complicated than necessary, requiring owners to spend way too much time reading the user's manual.
Looking at the Xoom on its own, reviewers' most common concern was its price. Android devices originally earned a reputation for being less expensive than Apple's mobile products. The Xoom seems to be changing that trend. The Wi-Fi-only Xoom is priced the same as the 32 GB iPad 2 at $599. When buying the same 32 GB models with 3G hardware built in, the price for the iPad 2 goes up to $729 while the Xoom jumps to $799.99. As mentioned earlier, though, you can get a discount back to $599 on the Xoom by entering into a 2-year contract with Verizon. In contrast, Apple doesn't include discounts for contract services with either of its providers, AT&T or Verizon.
Will the Xoom supplant Apple's iPad and become the dominant force in the tablet market? Only time will tell. Whether you're ready to purchase a tablet, or just to keep tabs on the market, move on to the next page for more information about the Motorola Xoom.