iPad 2 was a decent upgrade for the iOS lovers giving them more power and camera. On the Android side of things Motorola XOOM and Samsung Galaxy TAB 8.9, 10.1 Samsung’s 8.9-inch Android tablet based on Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Samsung has done some brilliant job making the Galaxy TABs 8.9, 10.1 slimmer and lighter than any of the tablets. Also what it comes with is a custom UI called TouchWiz 4.
Let’s look at how these Tablets stack up:
Samsung Galaxy TAB 8.9 10.1 vs Motorola Xoom vs iPad 2
Needless to mention, the most vital part is the screen quality.
Motorola Xoom: A 10.1-inch widescreen panel at 1280×800 with sharp and well produced colors.
iPad 2: With 9.7-inches and 4:3 ration screen at 1024×768, makes video a little more awkward to watch, but the tablet can be comfortable to use in portrait or landscape orientation when compared to widescreen tablets like XOOM.
Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy TAB 10.1 8.9-inch model has brilliant pixel density endorsing 1280×800 on a smaller screen. Tab 10.1 has exactly same pixel density as XOOM, and obviously better than iPad 2.
Design: Size and weight
You will be holding your Tablet in your hand most of the time, and if its not designed for comfort, you would lose the interest. The biggest trouble I had with iPad 1 was the bulkiness which actually made me like the Galaxy Tab 7.
Xoom: Xoom weighs 1.6lbs (730g), nearly a third of a pound heavier than iPad 2 (601g). And since its widescreen, it would actually feel alot heavier than iPad 2.
The Xoom is 12.9mm thick, whereas the iPad 2 is much thinner at only 8.8mm. Xoom did well against the progonal iPad, but against iPad 2, it really gave us set back.
Galaxy Tab 8.9, 10.1 beats both of these tablets by significant margins. Galaxy Tab 8.9 weighs just 470gwith thickness of only 8.6mm (same as Galaxy S2 smartphone), making it the thinnest Tablet you would find out there.
Software: The OS & apps
Xoom is running stock Honeycomb, its great with its nitty gritty new graphics and ease of Multitasking. Honeycomb lacks variety for apps, but it would get better over next few months.
iPad 2 runs Apple’s iOS 4.3. UI, just like any other apple’s interface, has the appeal of ease but its is less powerful. Unlike Android, there’s a little users can tinker with look and feel but the focus is on ease. There are plenty of apps already out there from music creation to pro gaming.
Galaxy Tab 8.9, 10.1 also runs Honeycomb, but with custom re-skining on top of Honeycomb. The UI is called Touch Wiz 4, which endorses so-called Live View interface with its own set of widgets designed to take advantage of the extra space on tablets. Samsung has also tinkered with the multitasking UI, making it more like the BlackBerry Playbook app switcher. But if you are a power user, you shouldn’t really bother about the custom UI, you can always get a custom ROM running to get the look and feel you want.
Hardware & Specs
Xoom is powered by atop Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 SoC running at 1GHz per core. This enables high-end games on Android. There’s a dedicated app store for Tegra games.
iPad 2 runsApple’s custom A5 dual-core SoC which is 900MHz per core. The graphics did get a better jump with 8x times power from iPad 1, making it actually more powerful than Xoom for all graphics rich applications, especially OpenGL Games.
Galaxy Tab 8.9, 10.1 is a Nvidia Tegra2 Dual core (or Exynos).
If I’ve to buy a tablet today, what would I go with? I love apps on iPad but learning from the past experience of Android, I believe theres no risk in waiting for the right apps on Honeycomb. I do love some awesome accessories in iPad 2 like Smart Cover, but I would rather settle with a Galaxy TAB 8.9 which is the lightest, thinnest and the smallest of all. Being a power user, I would love owning a Tablet that can do more and can still fit my hands without hurting them during long usages.