Ipad2 or Motorola Xoom?

I’m wondering what readers think about ipad2 vs Android tablet.

Lets assume for the sake of argument that one wants a tablet now, rather than waiting for another year to see how the market shakes out. And assume that the choice is between the iPad2 and the Motorola Xoom

Lets also assume that the intended use is a combination of work and personal.

While this is not an exhaustive list, some things to consider are:

ipad2 pros: 

existing user base of 15,000,000 units for ipad1.

huge number of apps

thinner and lighter

ipad2 cons:

no flash support

must use itunes to get content

Motorola Xoom pros:

flash support

direct usb connection instead of itunes

potential sd card slot for additional memory

widescreen format

Motorola Xoom cons:

fewer apps

possibly higher price

Android phones are holding their own against iPhones in the marketplace, so will the same happen with Android tablets? 

Will the app advantage close over time? Is the app advantage overblown given the proportion of apps that are mere novelties or variations?

Will apps that matter always be developed first and perhaps only for the ipad given its cachet in the market?

In the long run are the relative advantages / disadvantages distinctions without a difference?


  1. Hello David, I was about to purchase the Ipad2 and had not even considered a Motoral Xoom. Glad to run across this post and will do some more research before making my buying decision. Thanks for the good info.

  2. Price may be a consideration for some – I hear that the iPad2 is not going to be any more pricey than the current offering. The Xoom comes in at $799 – a considerable jump from the base model iPad. I guess that the decision about value will come from how you intend to use it. Are you buying a work tool or a gadget?

    I’m on the gadget side, so my tax refund will be going into an iPad2.

  3. The Motorola Xoom is definitely the option for me – I like to tweak and experiment with a device and the Android operating system allows that. Apple absolutely does not. If you like playing, freedom and choices, the Android is the way to go. If you just want things to work and not think about it much, then the Apple will be the better choice.

    As far as price goes, they’re almost identical for a 32 GB, 3G version – they’re within about $50 of each other. Posts always seem to compare the most expensive Xoom to the cheapest iPad (16 GB wi-fi only)…that’s not a real comparison.

    The Xoom wi-fi only version rumours are starting to leak out and it may sell for as little as $539. That also makes it comparable to the iPad 2. I also think prices will drop after availability catches up to demand with the Android devices. We’ll start seeing lower-spec devices for $300 by the Fall.

    None of these devices are a work tool…don’t kid yourself! They’re a great toy and a very useful browser/e-reader but they’re never going to soon be a productivity tool…you can try to sell that to your boss anyway though! ;)

  4. I’m on the iPad 1

    I love the iPad because it integrates seamlessly with everything in my house – the laptop, home network, printer, apple TV.

    The Xoom might be a better standalone device, but for a device that plays nice with everything else I own and doesn’t force me to be an IT technician, its the iPad.

  5. Marc-André Morissette

    In my opinion, the Android tablets may be very interesting in 6 months to a year but right now, they’re a no go.

    The Android Marketplace has too few apps, the software is glitchy and incomplete and the XOOM feels rushed to market. In addition to that, the XOOM is not available in Canada, a release date has yet to be announced and the US XOOM can only be used on Verizon’s network so they can’t easily be imported.

    In essence, if you want to buy a usable tablet within the next few months and not just a developer platform, I’d say the iPad 2 is your only realistic option.

    If you can, I suggest you wait until summer. By then, Honeycomb will be more mature, iOS 5 will be out, RIM’s Playbook and HP’s Touchpad may also be out and it will be much easier to make an informed decision.

  6. I’m going for the Xoom Wifi. As I see it before long the androids will outnumber ipads and that means software will be developed there first even though they are short right now. Lets face it, it will be apple vs everyone else – Motoraola, Asus, Toshiba, Dell, etc. and the developers don’t have to deal with Apple suddenly announcing that they are going to take a bigger cut or what they can or cannot do. Kind of like PCs VS Macs. As a programmer I’m not going to write stuff for macs, I write for PCs and port it later if at all.

    I might make a few sacrifices now but a year from now the picture will be very different as other tablets come on to the market. Even with the ipad 2 Apple are up against it just with the Xoom and that does not take into account the slew of new androids on the way.

    Compare the cost of apps on Android vs the iPhone, no reason that will not carry through with the pads.