"see summary"3.5 starson by AB2112
Pros: see summary
Cons: see summary
Summary: True unbiased review of the iPad 2 Vs. Xoom.
Ok, Cnet editors you have had time with both the iPad 2 and Xoom as have I. Here is the true bottom line on which your readers should buy.
I am not going to touch on everything just what stands out to the buying public.
While Cent continues to complain that the cost of the Xoom is too much so they lower the rating to benefit other Android tablets which I think is wrong because the Xoom Wi-Fi cost the same as the iPad 2 Wi-Fi yet they don't seem to be bothered by that even though the Xoom offers more features than the iPad 2. As, to the other Android I have yet to pick one up but from what I know they are made with more plastic parts which reduces cost and durability.
First off let's get some of the needless arguments out of the way.
Cameras: these are tablets not cameras so who really cares if the camera is good or not I really don't see someone going on vacation and pulling out their tablet to take a picture of the Eiffel Tower these two tablets are not made for that.
3G vs. 4G: The idea of paying more for a wireless connection these days is just a waste of money. It cost a $100 plus on both machines then there is monthly fee on top of that. Let's be real here the majority of consumers buying tablets have a smartphone that can tether and be a personal Wi-Fi hotspot. Most of the time this service is free with a high of $15.99 added to your mobile bill still cheaper than what ATT and Verizon are charging. Wi-Fi only is the way to go and with that iPad 2 Wi-Fi and Xoom Wi-Fi are dead even at $599.99 for the 32GB models.
Size and weight:
Yes, the iPad 2 is thinner and lighter the Xoom but not by much, another let's get real moment, you just threw down $600+ on a portable device it is highly unlikely that you are going to hold with one hand at arm's length to use it. Like, me you will probably cradle it like a baby in your arm, place it on your lap, or hold it with two hands in this case the weight does not matter. Also, most will wind up having a case that will stand the tablet up on a desk.
IPad 2 .34in and 1.33lb
Xoom .5in and 1.61lb
A difference between .16in and .28lb not matter how you want to spin it there is not much difference to make this one of the be all end all arguments on why the iPad is better than the Xoom so, stop it.
Prediction for the iPad 3: it will be announced in March of 2012 it will be as thick as a piece of cardboard and weigh as much, it will come with a smart cover that will protect it blowing away on windy days (sold separately of course).
Now, let's get down and dirty on which is a better bang for your buck. I own both the 32GB models of the iPad and the Xoom.
The iPad 2 did not even offer Apples retina display guess you will have to wait until the 3rd to throw more money Apples way. The iPad 2 native resolution is 1024x768 that is a max of 720p HD and the Xoom is 1280x800 also 720p HD. There is not much difference between the two to call a clear winner. The iPad has an odd screen size, 9.7in that works great in portrait but landscape is not true widescreen and when watching widescreen movies you get those annoying black bars. While the Xoom is true 16x9 widescreen and is made to be used that way (just look at where the front facing camera is located iPad top/portrait, Xoom top/landscape) however, when in portrait with the Xoom it very awkward to hold and I really don't like that.
Screen Size bigger is better: Winner the Xoom 10.1in
Rotation: The black bars aside the iPad is more functional in portrait and offers decent landscape function, winner iPad 2
Tiebreaker: Winner iPad 2, there coating causes less fingerprint smudging.
Screen Winner: iPad 2
Tablets are made for one thing and really one thing only full portable web browsing even Apple was advertising that with the original iPad. However, Apple does not support Flash a key element in full web browsing. Even though, companies like Hulu are cutting support to tablets unless you pay Flash is still a big player. Apple states that there is no need for Flash because of their App store you can find whatever you need in an app. Well, searching the App Store just to find an app that will play the video I want to watch seems very unproductive when if iPad had flash I could just push play. Hey, Brain Tong, how can an iPad user view your wonderful and witty Apple Byte segments from there iPad when the video is Flash supported. Well let's see they will most likely have to get the Cnet app or search through the YouTube app to find it and play. Wouldn't it be easier to play from your website? On the other hand the Xoom now has full Flash support where one can experience the web as it was intended to be and also the Xoom has tabbed browsing a gigantic plus for people who love to surf the web. Another big key element is speed in browsing and as Cnet pointed out the Xoom is faster than the iPad 2 (sorry iPad users you did not see the video on Cnet because it was a Flash video however, you can find it on YouTube or through their App).
Speed: Winner Xoom
Full browsing support: Xoom
While both tablets offer more than what I have listed below most users only really care about how fast there systems are and how they can connect them.
Chip: 1GHz duel core A5
Storage: 32GB not expandable
Connection: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
Connectivity: 30pin dock connector (all items sold separately besides the USB cable) 3.5mm headphone jack.
Chip: 1GHz duel core Tegra 2
Storage: 32GB (expandable to 64GB)
Connection: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
Connectivity: HDMI, USB, 3.5mm headphone jack and SD slot
Take out the Chip and wireless connections and the Xoom is the clear cut winner.
Components: Winner Xoom
Android 3.0 vs. iOS 4
The most annoying thing about Honeycomb is the obvious fact that even with a duel core chip the UI is still sluggish. However, the fact that you can make it fit you personality in more ways than just changing the wallpaper is another huge plus. Unlike, the iPad in which the only thing you can change is the wallpaper and move the tiles around. Personally I am quite tired and board with the same old tiles Apple is on its fourth version of iOS and nothing has really changed in the UI which had become mundane and is not productive. Android has constantly changed the user experience each time they have updated their OS. As, someone who likes to make things their own the Honeycomb OS allows you and me to create a completely personal experience, be more productive with their widgets. With Honeycomb you can see your calendar, e-mail, books, weather, popular videos, and much more on your home screens without opening the app. Also, Xoom and Android have a wonderful notifications system so you don't miss out on important events. The force close is single most annoying thing about Android all versions and both OS's freeze from time to time which is also quite annoying.
Clear cut winner: Xoom:
App store Vs. Android Market:
This one is simple (sort of) the App Store has thousands of apps way more than the Android Market, however, not all of them are good or even worth downloading. The majority great apps are available on both stores and as Android continues so will their apps. I will still have to hand this one to the iPad because they have (at this time) more productive apps to make the tablet more useful than just an entertainment device. Since Double Twist for Android came out so one can use their iTunes playlist on Android OS it kind of nullifies the whole which is the better Mp3 player.
For now: Winner iPad.
I am sure there have been a lot of test out there on battery life on both machines but we only here praises for the iPad when both tablets have about the same battery life. In my normal everyday used of the tablets I had to charge my iPad before I did my Xoom.
I am going to call this one a tie.
I am not a portable gamer I have Xbox 360 and PS3 for gaming, however, I do play Angry Birds when I am on the move and I know it is not the ultimate test on frame rates and graphics but it looks good on both tablets.
Both tablets are very good but not yet excellent both have their drawbacks but overall the Xoom has a better feature set for the same price as the iPad 2. It also has a ton of features that are more notebook/netbook like. The Xoom is also faster in the areas where you want it to be and the iPad is .28lb lighter so you can carry it longer. Anyway, the best buy would be the Xoom because it will have a longer life span giving you more bang for your buck because we all know that the iPad 3 will be out next year with a retina display and better camera and everyone will flock to it but be saddened that not enough changed to drop another $600+. On the other hand I am sure that Google and Android continue their advancements with their OS and developers will add more apps and you will more change unlike Apple where they keep on giving you the same Kool-Aid to drink just in a lighter thinner glass.
I am going to give to the Xoom 3.75 stars to 3.25.