Motorola XOOM vs Apple iPad

Sitting atop of the throne for the better portion of the last year, the Apple iPad’s grasp is somewhat unrelenting seeing that it has proven itself as a threatening competitor in the general computing space. So far, we’ve seen some passable offerings coming from the Android sector, but the Motorola XOOM has seemingly taken the whole approach to a new dimension since Android 3.0 Honeycomb was built to be optimized for tablet usage. Obviously, as of right now, the now year-old iPad and the just-released XOOM are the most relevant tablets currently available on the market. And even though they might share some similarities, they boast their own unique branded experience to appease a wide array of users out there.


Placing the two against one another, we’re not especially more fond of one design over the other – that’s partly because they’re almost the same size when you hold them in your hands. However, they do share many commonalities such as their razor thin profiles sizing up at around half an inch thick, premium choice of materials, and their overall weight; granted that the XOOM is just a tad bit heavier.  Nevertheless, we’re happy to see that both are solidly constructed all around, but the XOOM’s brushed metallic exterior seems to sustain fingerprints and smudges more than the repelling nature of the iPad’s brushed aluminum casing. Ultimately, their designs are pretty much typical for their product category, however, their high-quality choice of materials definitely catapults them to the upper end of the spectrum against others.

Just by looking at both head on, it’s quite apparent that the XOOM sticks to using a 16:10 aspect ratio with its 10.1” capacitive touchscreen – which end ups giving it a widescreen appearance. While on the other hand, the iPad appears to look almost boxy with the 4:3 aspect ratio of its 9.7” display. Overlooking the miniscule size difference, the XOOM boasts a higher resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels versus the 1024 x 768 resolution of the iPad. Honestly, there isn’t a drastic difference in detail between the two, especially when they have good viewing angles, but there is a little bit more brilliance with the iPad’s display. And when we set them to their highest brightness setting, it’s evident that the luminance of the iPad is also stronger. Regardless, we didn’t experience any issues with their capacitive touchscreens since they accurately measured our gestures and presses. Though, we find it a lot easier to clean the iPad’s display over the XOOM – which requires some hard scrubbing to remove smudges.

The power buttons of both are reasonably sized to feel out with the finger, while an acceptable tactile response is felt when they’re pressed down. Obviously, the placement of the button with the iPad is at a customary location, much like what’s found with the iPhone, but we were baffled to find the location of the button in the rear with the XOOM. Nonetheless, it’s an ideal location since your index finger has perfect access to it while holding the XOOM in landscape.

Although the Motorola XOOM doesn’t have any physical or separate touch buttons, we still find the iPad’s single home button to be a convenient and useful thing. Sure we didn’t have any accidental presses this time around with Android’s built-in buttons that are located in the lower left corner of the System Bar, but as a matter of fact, we’ve never experienced any problems with the springy home button of the iPad either.

Without hesitation, the volume rocker of the XOOM is one pain in the neck thing to feel out or press – and that’s why we prefer the iPad’s elevated and clicky one. Moreover, there’s a switch on the iPad that will instantly place the tablet in vibrate mode, which is nice seeing you have to manually lower it on the XOOM to get it completely silenced.

Thanks to its left and right speakers, the Motorola XOOM is able to offer stereo sound that should enlighten those while watching a video of some sort. Meanwhile, the iPad only designates a single area around its bezel for its speaker.

Taking into consideration multimedia connectivity support, there’s no arguing that the XOOM features quite a few ways to instantly share content with other devices. Surely by now we’re accustomed to seeing Apple’s proprietary 30-pin connection port gracing the iPad, but we’re enthralled to see a traditional microUSB port and an especially useful microHDMI port on the XOOM. However, there is a separate power port that you’ll need to connect to supply power to the XOOM since it doesn’t do it via the microUSB port.

Supplementing its arsenal, we find a 0.3-megapixel front facing camera and a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with dual-LED flash with the XOOM. Naturally, you’ll be able to take photos and videos with the tablet, but it even enables you to do video chat – all of which are non-existent with the current Apple iPad.

Shunning away any prying individuals out there, the battery for both tablets is not all that easily removable and requires you to send it away to get it replaced in the unfortunate event that it goes bad. Also, the iPad is available is capacities ranging from 16GB all the way to 64GB, with varying prices obviously, but the XOOM only provides a total of 32GB of internal storage. Albeit, there is a microSD card slot that will enable owners to increase its capacity – but it’s not yet supported by the platform.

Lastly, one distinctive advantage with the XOOM is the fact that it’s going to be upgradeable down the road to support Verizon’s 4G LTE network; while currently working with their 3G network. Whereas some variants of the iPad feature microSIM card slots to get it working with certain 3G networks around the world.



1. android_hitman unregistered

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa how can you compare XOOM with the IPAD???? i hate you phonearena

15. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

omg this is like comparing Jessica Biel with Susan Boyle in terms of who has the better ass. You can't be serious phonearena lolololololol!!!

16. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

hahahhahaha iPad is Susan Boyle

23. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

yes exactly! and Android is Jessica Biel. Mmmmmm talk about a perfect ass...

17. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

You realize your talking about phonearena right? They compare apple products to anything and usually with there biased opinion apple wins. Big suprise! Nothing new here.

2. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

why not wait for the iPad 2 and save us the trouble? -_-" its really close to sale date

24. Skidro13

Posts: 65; Member since: Jul 27, 2010

because the xoom is way better

30. Razor unregistered

and bcos the ipad doesnt bring any real change aside from the cameras, screen resolution an OS are still exactly the same so its not exactly more functional than the old one.

3. superpooburger

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 17, 2011

So Phonearena once agan shows us that they are in love with googel. Compear first gen apple ipad with 2nd gen android tablet... Any case, i have comment on this sentence: "When you think about tablets, the Apple iPad and Motorola XOOM should be the first two to come into mind" When i speak of tables in mien main come PC tablets. If you need keyboard, then of the newest was T900 i think, and if you do not need keyboard then ST6012. You can drop them in google searcher, adn find them. Those is the real 2 tablets taht pops in mind... ipad drops in mind only when i think what woudl be mine next phone. and even then thougth is, stay with mine old nokia 3220 (battery holds 1 week) and ipad in 2nd hand for extra features liek multimedia, navigation... But xoom, well since i started to read this news page regulary, adroid devices do not pop in mind as those which shoudl be bougth... and thats a good thing... :D

12. Maestro716

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 08, 2011

2nd gen Google tablet? Last time I checked this is Motorla's first tablet.

18. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

also first tablet with google's intentions.

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

lol. i love the fact that the xoom beat the ipad in almost every category and yet they still reccomend the ipad. the xoom beats the ipad2 as well and at that price range, whats another 50-100 bux for more usable features?! "do not forget that the iPad 2 is right around the corner, adding more functionality and setting new standards in the design field."

6. superpooburger

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 17, 2011

so you think, more power = better? But tell me, whats the point of more power, if it can not handle it? That does apply to android... Yes Android phones have better spec. But no, Android do not handle them jsut as well as iOS! and jsut becosue of taht iOS preforms better then android, and thats why iOS and iPad is better then android adn xoom...

9. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

apple fanboy its just a review. Life will go on. =)

14. Misanthropos

Posts: 56; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

and the xoom's just a turd.

11. Maestro716

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 08, 2011

Spell check is your friend.

19. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

wow. what the heck did you just say?? LOL. maybe u should spend less time snuggling with apple logos and more time learning how to spell. iOS is a simple list of icons. There is no customization, no widgets, no flash support, hell no cameras on the ipad1, no calling ability, no reskinning, crap java support, on and on. its a list of "no's" while android is a list of "yes". If im paying 700 bux and i had to choose from a huge heaping of extra functionality and a minor graphical hiccup here and there (and remember this is the first version of honeycomb while ios has had quite a few updates), or a tablet that does NOTHING more than the ipod, which does LESS than the phone counterpart but it rarely has a graphical hiccup.... id choose the hiccup. while your staring at your shiney tablet, ill be voice chatting, while playing a game, while flipping back n forth from the internet, while flipping over to my news app, and then right back to the same spot in the game. We call that "multitasking". try it on the ipad. :)

31. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

SuperPoo: "so you think, more power = better?" Nah, it's worse!

5. giantgnome

Posts: 67; Member since: Feb 11, 2011

I think I'm going to just bookmark my carrier link instead of phonearena's front page. All these worthless comparisons and baseless release date rumors are a real waste of time.

7. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

So many little subjective things go to the iPad in this comparison that right now I can't list them all. I'm not shocked at all, really. I've come to expect such bias from Phonearena.

13. RottenApple unregistered

Subjective??? You are an idiot!

22. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yes. Subjective. And biased. And sometimes just plain wrong. In this comparison Phonearena: Said the iPad's screen was just a little more brilliant when the photos show no difference. Misquoted the resolution of the XOOM's front facing camera. Implied with no qualification that the iPad's predictive text software works better. Complained about a little bit of crackling on the loudest XOOM setting, while ignoring the power output of Motorola equipment's speakers. Dinged points for less apps available for the XOOM, when the nature of its OS makes backwards compatibility impossible anyway, and for good reason. Arbitrarily stated that the iPad 2, which, as mentioned, is pretty much the same as the first iPad, will be setting new design standards. Lol, why? Because it's thinner?

28. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

i love the fact that people were making fun of the ipad originally because nobody knew what it was for. Now that everyone else is following them (per usual) there is all of a sudden a shitload of nerds crying and comparing. Im glad there is keeps Apple striving for better and better :)

32. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

They better get their *** in gear! They haven't been keeping up lately.

8. Guest unregistered

Xoom has 2 MP front facing camera, not 0.3 as stated in this article. Get your facts straight.

10. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

Did anyone notice the youtube client on the iPad was playing a video of a WP7 device

20. Gary McKoy unregistered

That was a really nice move! Comparing the Xoom to the old iPad with the iPad 2 launching Friday?! Wow! Someone deserves a pat on the back for his willingness to stoop to levels I never thought possible on this site! I mean..really?! Why would you do that? What's next? The original iPhone against the Thunderbolt? Or how about a 1992 car phone against the Thunderbolt! Seems to be your style of comparison! You mentioned the apps but how can you merely mention them when you should have shinned a light on the fact that there's like 65,000 for the iPad 2 which should have been the one going against the Xoom! This is bull$hit! You just made me take this site off my bookmarks bar!

21. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

You won't be missed, Slappy. Since the iPad 2 is only a marginal improvement over the first iPad, this was a fair comparison.

25. blueFox

Posts: 9; Member since: May 29, 2008

Now that's a fair review. Thank you, PA.

26. Bagamon unregistered

"Though, we find it a lot easier to clean the iPad’s display over the XOOM – which requires some hard scrubbing to remove smudges." WOW! Forget the specs and such, if I have to scrub hard to get smudges off...forget it!

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