Earlier today, Apple waved its magic wand and revealed the iPad 2. So how does the successor to the phenomenally successful iPad compare on paper against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola Xoom?
Apple revealed the hotly-anticipated iPad 2 today, with CEO Steve Jobs returning from medical leave to officially announce the product. As expected, the iPad 2 is a gentle evolution of the original iPad, sporting a faster processor, front and rear cameras, an HDMI port, 720p video capture and a lighter, thinner design. It also now comes in a choice of black or white. (You can read our in-depth coverage of the announcment here.)
The Apple iPad 2 comes in a choice of two colours.
In his opening speech, Steve Jobs claimed that the iPad 2 would move the bar “far ahead” of the competition. “[The iPad 2] will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again," he boasted. Bold words to be sure, but we think the reality is quite different.
While the iPad 2 is certainly an improvement over its predecessor, the majority of new features are already being mirrored by rival tablets. Two recent contenders for Apple’s tablet throne are the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola Xoom. Both products come with most of the iPad 2’s all-new features, along with a host of unique improvements of their own – including a USB port and memory card slots.
If you're unfamiliar with these tablets, here's a quick overview of each product:
Last week, Motorola released the Xoom in the US, a 10.1in tablet that runs on the Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform.
Boasting Full HD video playback with 3D graphics acceleration, two cameras (a front-facing 2.0-megapixel webcam and a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera), 720p video recording and a bevy of hi-tech sensors, the Motorola Xoom is as feature-packed as they come. Support for Adobe Flash and MicroSD memory cards will also be rolled out in the future.
Motorola Xoom is pretty hefty compared to the iPad 2. While we haven't physically seen each tablet side-by-side, the dimensions speak for themselves: 250x170x13mm vs. 238x186x8.8mm.
With US pricing starting at $599, the Xoom is also more expensive. The iPad 2 is expected to ship at around the same price as the current iPad.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Some time in the next few months, Samsung will unleash a new challenger to the Apple iPad 2 – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Equipped with a 10.1in WXGA touch screen, a 1GHz Dual-Core application processor and an 8-megapixel AF camera, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with all the trimmings you’d expect from a high-end tablet.
Like the Motorola Xoom, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 uses Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS; an operating system built specifically for tablet devices and smartphones.
Some of the key features new to Android 3.0 include tabbed browsing, a Windows-esque taskbar, improved multi-tasking and up to five customisable home screens. Honeycomb should help to make the Galaxy Tab 10.1's interface more intuitive and user-friendly.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 measures 246.2x170.4x10.9mm, which is slightly thicker and longer than the iPad 2. Pricing has yet to be announced.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is thicker than the iPad 2 - but there really isn't much in it.
Here's a table showing how each tablet's key specifications compare. (We've also included the original Apple iPad.)
|Apple iPad||Apple iPad 2||Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1||Motorola Xoom|
|Display resolution||1024x768 pixels||1024x768 pixels||1280x800 pixels||1280×800 pixels
|Display technology||WXGA touch screen LCD||WXGA touch screen LCD||LED-backlit TFT active matrix||WXGA touch screen LCD|
|OS||Apple IOS 4||Apple iOS 4.
||Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)||Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)|
|CPU||1 GHz Apple A4 system
||1GHz Dual-Core Apple A5 system
||NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core processor (1GHz)
||1GHz Dual Core application processor|
|Supported media files||H.264, MOV, MPEG-4, TIFF, PPT, JPEG, GIF, PPTX, AAC, WAV, AIFF, MP3, ePub||H.264, MOV, MPEG-4, MP5, TIFF, PPT, JPEG, GIF, PPTX, AAC, WAV, AIFF, MP3, ePub
||H.264, H.263, MPEG4, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, MP3, AAC, eAAC+, OGG, MIDI, AMR-NB/WB||H.263, H.264, MPEG4, VP8, AAC, AAC+, AMR NB, AMR WB, MP3, XFM|
|Internal memory||Up to 64GB||Up to 64GB||Up to 32GB||32GB|
|Memory card slot||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Keyboard||Touch screen||Touch screen
||Touch screen||Touch screen
|Price||From $499||TBA||TBA||From US$599|
|Wi-Fi||Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11a/b/g/n||Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11a/b/g/n||Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11a/b/g/n||Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11b/g/n|
|3G HSDPA network support||Yes (select models)||Yes (select models)||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life||Up to 10 hours||Up to 10 hours
||Unknown||Up to 10 hours|