Welcome to the main event. This is the war everyone’s been waiting for, ever since the idea of an Android tablet first came into fruition. Now we’ve got a Honeycomb optimized tablet, the first of its kind, and the second generation of Apple’s main gun, the iPad, the tablet that got this wild ball rolling. Will iPad 2’s lower price (still 499) be enough to knock the Tegra 2-toting XOOM out of the park? Or will it be the XOOM’s open-source access and heavy-metal attitude that punches the iPad 2’s white-or-black front-having face into the dirt? Let’s have a lovely look!
First, lets start with the lady we’ve been working with for the past few days and weeks – the Motorola XOOM. This is the tablet that Google has worked on officially to optimize the Android Honeycomb experience. Inside this device, Android 3.0 Honeycomb thrives in a WXGA 10.1-inch display that’s got 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The dimensions of the device are 9.80 x 6.61 x 0.51 inches (249 x 167.8 x 12.9 mm) and the weight is right around 25.75 oz (730 g). Also inside you’ll find a dual-core Tegra 2 processor by NVIDIA and a list of additional items a mile long: accelerometer, CDMA800 /1900 LTE 700, Rx diversity in all bands connection, GPS, headphone jack, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n, microUSB, HDMI out, Bluetooth 2.1, and over 8 hours of heavy-use battery time, with 24 hours of standby (with supposedly a max at 14 days.) As far as cameras go, the XOOM has a 2 megapixel webcam on front and a 5 megapixel 720p-capturing photo and video camera on the back with dual-LED flash.
Then there’s the iPad 2. This devices is running Apple’s new iOS 4.3, comes with a dual-core A5 processor by Cortex, has one camera on the front and other on back, the front being a VGA 30 frames per second webcam with audio and VGA-quality still shots. The back camera is capable of 720p HD 30-fps video again with audio and a still camera with unknown capabilities. The screen is the same 9.7-inch LED backlit LCD as the original iPad, but with a 33% thinner and 15% lighter frame and a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.. Battery will last you up to 10 hours of heavy play, there’s a built in gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, HUSPA support, HDMI out, and a button that allows you to choose between insta-mute and screen orientation lock. Video support for the following: H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format. You can choose between Wifi and Wifi with 3G, The device is 9.5 x 7.31 x .34 inches and weighs in at 1.33 pounds.
+ for those of you who like a slightly different vision of the same info:
OS Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Display 10.1-inch WXGA 1280 x 800 Pixel Resolution Touchscreen
Weight 730 g
Dimensions 9.80 x 6.61 x 0.51 inches
Color Black [USA], Silver [EURO], Gold [SE] – all variations in back panel
Cameras – front, -back
Processor Dual-Core NVIDIA Tegra 2
Battery 8 hours heavy use (so says we), up to 14 days standby
Price $799 Verizon, $600 Verizon Wifi-Only, £499.99 Euro Wifi-Only
Connections accelerometer, CDMA800 /1900 LTE 700 (4G), Rx diversity in all bands connection, GPS, headphone jack, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n, microUSB, HDMI out, Bluetooth 2.1, mic, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, miniUSB
OS iOS 4.3
Display 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD 1024 x 768 Resolution Touchscreen
Weight 613g [AT&T], 607g [VERIZON], 601g [WIFI]
Dimensions 9.5 x 7.31 x .34 inches
Color Black or White – both variations in front bezel
Cameras VGA Webcam (unknown quality) – front, 720p Video (additional qualities unknown) -back
Processor Dual-Core Apple A5
Battery 10 hours heavy use (says Apple), up to 1 month standby
Price $499 16GB, $599 32GB, $699 64GB, $629 16GB+3G, $729 32GB+3G, $829 64GB+3G – all models include Wifi
Connections gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, HUSPA support, HDMI out, Wifi 802.11a/b/g/n, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology, mic, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, 30-pin dock connector port, GPS and Cellular location on 3G models
What are you primary concerns when looking into a possible tablet? Is it cost? Is it branding? Is it availability of certain apps? How about weight? How about the look of the actual device? Are you in to the new iPad 2 white? Would you like a XOOM silver Euro edition?
If you had to choose between the two right now, which one would come out on top?
We’ve got a slight bias in I think you know which direction, but at the risk of sounding like a betrayer to the cause, we wouldn’t mind having an iPad 2 lying around the house too.