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Tablet tumble: iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom

Brad Reed | March 2, 2011
A breakdown of the Apple iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom tablets' hardware, software, pricing, connectivity and more.

The iPad also has the clear advantage for the time being as far as available applications are concerned. While the Android Market is an impressive rival to the Apple App Store as far as smartphone applications go, it still has quite a bit of catching up to do in the tablet space. So while iPad users have an estimated 65,000 iPad-specific applications to choose from, Xoom users will have to wait until app developers become more accustomed to Honeycomb to get similar options.

Edge: iPad 2


The iPad will be available on both Verizon (VZ) and AT&T immediately when it ships on March 11, while the Motorola Xoom will be available exclusively for Verizon. While this may seem like a clear-cut advantage for the iPad 2, there is one wild card that Xoom has up its sleeve: LTE connectivity. Although the Xoom can only hook onto Verizon's 3G EV-DO Rev. A network for the time being, the device does have the hardware for LTE connectivity and will receive a software upgrade that lets it latch onto Verizon's 4G network sometime over the next few months. Apple, meanwhile, has not yet given any indication of when it will release LTE-capable tablets or smartphones, and the iPad will have to run either on Verizon's 3G network or AT&T's 3G HSPA+ network.

Edge: iPad 2


Here's where things get rocky for the Xoom. The Xoom's unsubsidized price for its 32GB model is $799, or more than the $729 Apple is suggesting for its unsubsidized 32GB model. Motorola is also offering a Wi-Fi-only model for $599, which is the same as what Apple charges for its Wi-Fi-only iPad. The trouble is, Apple is also offering a wider variety of iPad 2s that will appeal to users with varying data needs: you can get a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 for a mere $499, while the 32GB and 64GB models go for $599 and $699, respectively. In the end, the iPad's more varied models and pricing schemes are what could give it the ultimate edge over the Xoom.

Edge: iPad 2


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