Apple Unveils iPad 2; How Does It Stack Up to the Motorola XOOM?

It’s a great day for Apple fans. Steve Jobs just unveiled the refreshed iPad, or iPad 2 as it’s known. The device, which will be available on March 11th, brings many hardware improvements like a faster dual-core 1Ghz processor, 9x better graphics, rear and front-facing cameras, and a thinner (from 13.4mm to 8.8mm), slightly lighter body (from 1.5lbs to 1.3lbs). It also now comes in white. So, how does it stack up to the competition? When compared to Android’s current flagship device, the Motorola XOOM, the iPad 2 and XOOM are pretty much neck and neck — even on the price point, which XOOM got derided for.

A quick glance at the 3G / 32GB model from both manufactures puts the iPad 2 at a $70 discount to XOOM’s $799 price tag ($100 less if you compare the Wi-Fi only models with the same 32GB storage capacity). However, when you compare Apples to Apples (pun intended), hardware spec-wise XOOM is actually a better deal. It really comes down to which OS you prefer. There’s no way Apple fans will be jumping the iPad ship for the XOOM. But on the other side of the coin, there’s nothing in the iPad 2 that would make any Android lover regret buying a XOOM, which, by the way, one can pick up for $599 at Verizon with a 2-year contract.

Aside: It doesn’t appear iPad 2 on AT&T or Verizon will have subsidized pricing – see here. In fact, the 1st generation iPad was never subsidized by AT&T (3G / 32GB listed today for $729) . This is a BIG DEAL, if you’re comparing Apples to Apples. However, I don’t expect the other gadget blogs to bring this up — just pound you with iPad’s $499 starting price point.

[Apple iPad 2 specs, Motorola XOOM specs]

Below is a quick comparison break down:

CPU & Memory Display Built-in HDMI, USB, SD Wireless Camera Battery
iPad 2 (3G / 32GB) $729 Dual-core 1Ghz A5, 512MB RAM (not verified) – looks like it’s 502MB 9.7″ 1024×768 NO 3G,Wi-Fi 0.69MP (VGA) Front & 1MP Rear (720p) 10 hour claim
XOOM (3G / 32GB) $799 Dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2, 1GB RAM 10.1″ 1280×800 YES 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 2MP Front, 5MP Rear (720p) w/ dual flash 10 hour claim

* FYI, Apple announced the $39 Apple Digital AV Adapter today for 1080p output. It’s compatible with iPhone 4, iPod touch, and iPad 1 & 2. The SD card / USB adapter is $29. So, in total $68. There goes the $70 discount from the XOOM price tag.

* Great camera test article at Macworld comparing the front and rear cameras of the iPad 2, XOOM, and GALAXY Tab 7

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Filed in: Portable Media Players

4 Reactions to “Apple Unveils iPad 2; How Does It Stack Up to the Motorola XOOM?”

  1. Joe Johnson says:

    I don’t understand where you get 512mb ram. No official announcement of the memory has been made yet. As a matter of fact Gizmodo reports from Europe their saying it only has 256mb ram. (the same as Ipad 1)

    • I’m giving Apple the benefit of the doubt at this point, from the earlier spec upgrade rumors, that it has 512MB RAM to go along with its new dual-core processor. I’d be happy to change it if it’s not. I’ve added a “not verified” message next to the RAM size.

  2. Anonymous says:

    U should mention the 300000 iOS app count, enough to beat XOOM and any Android kinda thing :P