Behold the new fistfight. While we have had many a competition between tablets of Android and the iPad original, this is 2011's real brawl. We're talking the official Google approved Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet vs Apple's hero product, the second generation in what's quickly become a game-changing device in the whole world of consumer electronics. Who will emerge victorious?
Lets begin with the XOOM: This Motorola produced tablet is being carried by Verizon currently and runs Google's first tablet-specific Android OS, Android 3.0 Honeycomb. This tablet was made by Motorola who worked closely with Google to produce what they're pushing as the perfect platform to show off the capabilities of the Honeycomb OS. The dimensions on this device are 9.80 x 6.61 x 0.51 inches (249 x 167.8 x 12.9 mm) and the weight is right around 25.75 oz (730 g) depending on what you've got inside. On the front is a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel resolution WXGA display capable of delivering HD 720p video playback (AAC, H.263, H.264, MP3, MPEG-4, ACC+ Enhanced, OGG, MIDI, AMR NB, AAC+). Around the display is a black metal bezel, on the back is either a black metal cover (USA) or a silver metal cover (EURO.) There's also a special edition floating around out there with a slightly more gold tinge to it. As for the processor you'll find a 1GHz Dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2. Also inside you'll find memory up to 32GB for storage. Accelerometer, CDMA800 /1900 LTE 700, Rx diversity in all bands connection, GPS, headphone jack, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n, microUSB, HDMI out, Bluetooth 2.1, and over 8 hours of heavy-use battery time, with 24 hours of standby (with supposedly a max at 14 days.) Cameras include a 2 megapixel webcam on front and a 5 megapixel 720p-capturing photo and video camera on the back with dual-LED flash. Access to Android Marketplace and Google's collection of standard apps. We've got reviews on Android Community [here for unboxing] and [here for a massive Q and A] as well as on SlashGear [here].
Next, the iPad 2: This is Apple's new big fish, with the iPad 1 being one of the biggest devices in the tech universe in 2010, a second generation of this tablet must be on the ball to follow up, especially since the Android universe is responding in kind this year with a wave of opposing tablets. This new iPad comes with everything in the original plus it's running the latest version of Apple's iOS, version 4.3. The iPad 2 comes packed with a dual-core A5 processor. Apple included dual-cameras, a VGA webcam up front, and a 720p camera on back - both of which we're unsure of as far as still photos go. There is the same 9.7inch LED-backlit LCD display, but with a 33% thinner and 15% lighter frame than the original. Apple is claiming up to ten hours of battery life, even with the reduced weight. They are offering models with up to 64GB of internal storage and Wi-Fi and 3G are both supported. There's a built in gyro, HSUPA support for enhanced 3G uploading speeds on AT&T. They also put in HDMI mirroring for your iPad so you can mirror your iPad screen on any HDTV. That looks like a good package for some amazing online games, both on the go, and at home. In just a few minutes we'll have a full hands-on look at this brand new device so you'll be able to judge it your nicest or harshest in the correct amount of light.
EDIT - for those of you who prefer a more list-like and less paragraph-esque sort of look at these two tablets, here's this:
OS Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Display 10.1-inch WXGA 1280 x 800 Pixel Resolution Touchscreen
Weight 730 g
Dimensions 9.80 x 6.61 x 0.51 inches
Color Black [USA], Silver [EURO], Gold [SE] - all variations in back panel
Cameras - front, -back
Processor Dual-Core NVIDIA Tegra 2
Battery 8 hours heavy use (so says we), up to 14 days standby
Price $799 Verizon, $600 Verizon Wifi-Only, £499.99 Euro Wifi-Only
Connections accelerometer, CDMA800 /1900 LTE 700 (4G), Rx diversity in all bands connection, GPS, headphone jack, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n, microUSB, HDMI out, Bluetooth 2.1, mic, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, miniUSB
OS iOS 4.3
Display 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD 1024 x 768 Resolution Touchscreen
Weight 613g [AT&T], 607g [VERIZON], 601g [WIFI]
Dimensions 9.5 x 7.31 x .34 inches
Color Black or White - both variations in front bezel
Cameras VGA Webcam (unknown quality) - front, 720p Video (additional qualities unknown) -back
Processor Dual-Core Apple A5
Battery 10 hours heavy use (says Apple), up to 1 month standby
Price $499 16GB, $599 32GB, $699 64GB, $629 16GB+3G, $729 32GB+3G, $829 64GB+3G - all models include Wifi
Connections gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, HUSPA support, HDMI out, Wifi 802.11a/b/g/n, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology, mic, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, 30-pin dock connector port, GPS and Cellular location on 3G models
One thing we should mention here is that neither of these devices are fully released just yet. There's certainly testers out there for the XOOM, but the iPad 2 has been under HEAVY wraps for some time now. Once we get the chance to put the iPad 2 through the same hoops we've been pushing the XOOM through, we'll know for sure who mister victorious is.
For now though, we're content having both pads in our backpack.