Home' LAPTOP Magazine : June 2011 Contents TABLETSHOWDOWN
Laptop | June 2011
Both the iPad 2 and the Xoom can pull e-mail from a variety of services,
including POP mail accounts. The iPad 2 has just one native e-mail client,
but Android 3.0 segregates Gmail from other e-mail. Both the iPad and the
Xoom offer two-column mail views in landscape mode, but the Xoom’s is
more robust and versatile.
Xoom’s built-in Google Talk instant-messaging client really does give
this tablet a boost in the productivity department. There’s nothing similar
baked into iOS.
Faster search, a
built-in IM client,
and the ability to
drag and drop mes-
sages into folders
makes the Xoom the
clear winner in this
The Xoom’s default browser comes out ahead in user experience with
features cribbed from Chrome, including built-in tabbed browsing and
incognito mode. Unfortunately, we miss the setting that tells websites to
either consider the Xoom a mobile or desktop browser.
The Xoom supports Flash 10.2, whereas the iPad 2 doesn’t. The experi-
ence isn’t always smooth, but at least Motorola’s tablet has access to Flash-
performance in the browser and is much faster at loading websites over a
The iPad 2’s speed
is a big bonus,
but the Xoom wins
this round because
of its support for
The rear-facing camera on the iPad 2 is capable of recording 720p video
(1280 × 780) at 30 frames per second. The front-facing camera can record
VGA video and stills.
The Xoom has a 5-megapixel (2592 x 1944) rear-facing camera and a
2-megapixel (1600 x 1200) front-facing camera. Motorola also included
an LED flash for the back camera, which records video at 720p (30 frames
The Xoom’s images have richer color, whereas the iPad 2’s stills have
a lot of noise and aren’t as distinct. Neither camera really captures a fine
level of detail, but the Xoom’s photos are sharper. The difference in video
quality is just as noticeable.
The Xoom’s superior
you’ll be able to leave
the point and shoot
and the camcorder
at home—if you're
willing to hold 1.6
pounds of tablet.
FaceTime works across iOS devices and Macs, but not other devices. Xoom
users can use Google Talk with PCs and Macs. Want to make video calls outside
of Wi-Fi range? The iPad 2 doesn’t let you do it, while the Xoom supports video
chat over 3G and (soon) 4G.
Though the Xoom’s front-facing camera is 2 MP to the iPad 2’s 0.7 MP,
video from the front camera on the iPad 2 was brighter, more vibrant, and
exhibited less noise.
The ability to call a
lot more people and
3G support help the
Xoom in this round,
but the iPad 2 ties it
up with better video
MuLTiMEdiA The iPad 2 has an advantage thanks to iTunes for downloading movies, TV
shows, movies, and books. Android’s lack of a one-stop shop for music and
video means Xoom owners have to cobble solutions together on their own.
On the music side, the iPad 2 makes it easy to sync, acquire, and manage
music with the iTunes and iPod apps. However, the Xoom’s music app defi-
nitely has a sweet UI and nice features. And users can download Amazon
MP3s. When you compare audio quality, the Xoom has the iPad 2 beat.
While iPad 2 owners can easily buy or rent thousands of movies and TV
episodes right from the tablet, getting video on the Xoom may require conver-
sion via a computer. The iPad 2 also has a leg up with premium streaming
video apps—ex: Hulu Plus and Netflix—for the moment. But Flash 10.2 on
the Xoom lets users watch streaming video from Amazon Instant Video.
With iOS 4.3, you can now stream videos from the Photos app to an Apple
TV. Apple also says certain websites and apps will work seamlessly with Apple
TV. You also get the ability to share music and video from your Mac or PC’s
library over your home network.
Even though the
Apple’s tablet in the
it’s much easier to
find and purchase
on the iPad 2.
WinnEr: iPad 2
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