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Xoom Tablet Aims To Steal Thunder From The iPad

There is finally a decent competitor to the iPad with Motorola’s launch of the Xoom tablet. It doesn’t take much to notice that tablets have taken the world by storm and electronics manufacturers are playing catch up to Apple’s near-monopoly position with consumers and their wallets.

Motorola’s Xoom runs Honeycomb, the Android operating system that’s been designed specifically for tablet use. The Xoom also has a 10-inch screen like the iPad, with roughly the same thickness, although it is a bit narrower and longer. However, it has something the iPad lacks, those being front and rear cameras. It also has a more powerful processor than the current iPad and better screen resoulution at 1280 X 800 compared to the iPad’s, which is 1024 X 768. This is a clear difference that can be seen everytime you use the device.

The Xoom comes standard with 32 gigs of memory and an expansion slot will give the user the option to add more. Although the iPad now has tens of thousands of apps available for it, the open-source Android will surely catch up in time and in popularity. Several other major manufacturers are also using Android, and the release of Honeycomb can only increase the user base, which will in turn spur more application development.

Not all is rosy in the Xoom corner though. First of all, the price of the device is much more than the iPad, which has a $500 entry-level model. Spec’d similarly though, the Xoom and iPad are close in price. Another area where the Xoom falls flat is in battery life. Both the iPad and Xoom are claimed to have 10 hours of battry life. Whereas, the iPad meets or sometimes even surpasses 10 hours of use, the Xoom dies out at around 7 hours. Big difference.

Sadly, the Xoom may be an example of too little, too late. Apple is releasing the 2nd-gen iPad in a couple of weeks and although few details have been released, it’s known that it will have cameras and a thinner form factor. Most consumers will naturally wait for this latest Apple release before committing to other alternatives.

Photo Courtesy of MktFan