Camera and Multimedia:

Augmenting its allure, the Motorola XOOM packs on a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera that takes some sharp looking photos that can easily replace most basic point and shoot cameras. Additionally, it has 720p video recording that looks moderately satisfactory with its output and complements the XOOM’s overall features prowess. And lastly, there is a front-facing camera on board that you can use to take self-portraits or enlighten yourself with video chat – all of which are not available on the iPad.

Shockingly, the Honeycomb music player vastly separates itself by essentially providing an engaging experience with its presentation. Naturally, we’re greeted to similar items being displayed while a song is played; such as the album cover, track information, and on-screen controls. However, the slick 3D carousel interface of the Honeycomb player adds in some nice eye candy while browsing through your albums. Unfortunately, Apple’s visually impressive Cover Flow mode is missing in action with the iPad. In terms of audio quality with their speakers, they both emit some equally deafening tones, but there is just a small hint of crackle with the XOOM on the highest setting.



Watching videos is no problem whatsoever with either tablet since their comfy sized displays makes for a very conducive experience – which also makes for the perfect companion on long trips. Videos play at a smooth frame rate with no instances of any lag or slowdown to muddy the experience, but you’ll have to bear in mind that the widescreen format of the XOOM is going to be the preferred choice.



Even though they might list photos and videos in a grid-like view with their respective gallery apps, the XOOM’s graphical prowess is once again being shown off with its 3D like qualities. When tilting the XOOM, it emulates a sense of depth by making it appear as though photos and videos are stacked up top of one another. Naturally, you have all the sharing functions on board that are prevalent throughout Android, but we’re also presented with some editing functions with the XOOM. With the iPad’s gallery app, it’s fairly simplistic with its operation, and unfortunately lacks any editing tools.



Previously, we mentioned that the Motorola XOOM is only offered with 32GB of storage, while the iPad ranges from 16GB to 64GB. Once it’s supported, the microSD card slot on the XOOM will quickly allow owners to increase its total capacity – plus, it gives you the freedom of instantly hot-swapping cards on the go.

Finally, the microHDMI port on the Motorola XOOM will basically mirror the entire Honeycomb interface on your high-definition television set. From browsing the web or playing a YouTube video, it’s nice to see that you can still receive the full Android 3.0 Honeycomb experience on the big screen. Again, it’s not something that’s available with the iPad.

Software:

Running the YouTube apps on both tablets, we’re greeted to yet another optimized interface that makes use of every nook and cranny of their displays. Overall, we prefer the layout and presentation of the XOOM’s YouTube client since an abundant set of functionality is available with it – like being able to share videos with your social networking accounts.



Google Maps?  Just by uttering the first word you already know which one is going to deliver the goods. Rightfully so, the Motorola XOOM is leaps and bounds over the iPad thanks to its long listing of features and functionality. Not only do you have voice guided turn-by-turn directions with Google Maps Navigation, but we’re treated to other novelties such as 3D view with select cities around the world. When you compare the two, there’s no arguing that the experience is night and day – especially when there hasn’t been much improvement found with Google Maps for iOS.


Even though both the YouTube and Google Maps apps are so closely tied with Google, it doesn’t mean that third party apps right now are better with the XOOM. Interestingly enough, the iPad boasts a ton more tablet optimized apps in the App Store, whereas the Android Market only lays claim to a handful right now. Certainly the iPad got a jump start since it has been on the market for quite some time, but now that the Honeycomb SDK is available to developers, we’ll quickly see an abundance of apps for the platform that are specifically tailored for the tablet experience. Last but not least, we shouldn't forget that the iPad is capable of running almost every iPhone application, greatly expanding the list of things it can do.

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