War of the tablets: The iPad versus the Xoom
by Valeen Kalimootoo
Mar 10, 2011 | 21194 views | 0 0 comments | 1340 1340 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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By Valeen Kalimootoo

It’s official! Apple has announced the much anticipated iPad 2 to be released on March 11, giving its competitors a run for their money.

Apple paved the way for tablet technology when it released the iPad in April 2010.

Since then, competitors have been trying to match up to the smart phone/ computer device. It was just a matter of months before other companies started catching on. Now that the iPad 2 is on its way, the competition is at an all time high.

The iPad 2’s sleek new design “makes surfing the web, checking e-mail, watching movies, and reading books so natural, you might forget there’s incredible technology under your fingers,” notes Apple.

The most significant and apparent addition of the iPad 2 is the dual front and back camera which makes FaceTime video calls on the 9.7 inch screen feel like a face to face conversation - not only that, it is 33 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than the original.

The iPad 2’s hardware is based on a dual core processor, making multi-tasking a whole lot easier. Originally running on an iOS 4.0 operating system, the iPad 2 has been upgraded to iOS 4.3 which means faster performance.

Apple has over 60,000 apps that are available for the iTouch, iPhone, and iPad devices, many of which are created specifically to work with the iPad’s oversized screen.

Apps like AirVideo and iMovie will be offered in an improved version for a small charge. Another advanced feature with the iPad 2 is the ability to stream music, photos, and videos wirelessly from a Mac or PC through the same network.

One thing that hasn’t changed with the iPad 2 is the price. The basic 16GB Wi-Fi version goes for $499 and it goes up to $829 for the 64GB, 3G model.

And while Apple has paved the way, they have competition. Verizon has teamed up with Motorola and they’ve kicked off their big release of the Android 3.0 powered Motorola Xoom on Feb. 24. With a partnership with Google and a Honeycomb operating system, the Xoom is the biggest opponent to Apple’s iPad 2. Android products are the closest runner to iPhone/iPhone devices because of their similar operating designs.

“It was only a matter of time before the Android army delivered a proper iPad competitor,” said Joshua Topolsky, a Motorola Xoom reviewer.

The Xoom comes equipped with 32GB internal memory, 3G network with a free 4G upgrade, dual front and back camera’s, HD video capability, various wireless options, and much more.

One down side to the Xoom is the limited number of apps that are available for this specific device. All this comes with a hefty price tag.

“Rumors of the Xoom’s pricing, though, suggest that the tablet could face an uphill climb to compete with the Apple tablet,” Tony Bradley of PC World, said in a review of the Xoom’s $799 pricing.

With a $300 difference from the iPad 2’s cheapest model, and $30 over the most expensive version, it is the consumers’ choice that really matters and what is favorable to the individual.

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