Tablet Comparison: iPad 2 vs Xoom vs TouchPad vs PlayBook

Mar 3, 2011 - 18 Comments


The tablet arms race is in full force, so how does the newly released iPad 2 stand against the tablet competition? This chart compares the new iPad 2 specs with the Motorola Xoom, HP TouchPad, and BlackBerry Playbook.

Similar Hardware, OS & Apps Make the Difference
From a hardware standpoint, each tablet is pretty comparable, so what becomes the differentiator is the operating system and app market. In my view, this is where the iPad 2 and iOS clearly win out, the OS is minimalist and out of the way, and there are 65,000(!) iPad specific apps available on the iTunes App Store. The App Store alone is a huge uphill battle for competitors to catch up to, although admittedly some of the competing OS offerings are looking impressive.

Comparing Prices
What about pricing? The comparison chart doesn’t show price data, but here’s what we know:

  • iPad 2: $499 to $829 depending on storage and 3G connectivity
  • Xoom: $799
  • TouchPad: $699? HP has been silent on pricing, but rumors say it starts high
  • PlayBook: $499? BlackBerry is in the same situation as HP, only rumors tell us the cost

The fact that nobody yet knows what HP or BlackBerrys offerings are going to cost doesn’t really help to compare them against the iPad or Xoom, and witholding pricing data has led to speculation that their tablets will be on the expensive side. Some are saying Apple has already won the price war, but we don’t have enough information to know that yet.

iPad 1 vs iPad 2
While we’re comparing tablets, we might as well check out the iPad 2 vs the original iPad too:


Back on the topic of pricing, Apple has cut the original iPad down to $399 to sell out existing stock, but if you ask me, it’s worth spending $100 more and getting the second generation iPad 2 and all the enhancements it includes.

I’ve heard some critics say iPad 2 is just a minor update to iPad 1, but if you look at the hardware specs and watch the iPad 2 promo videos, this is a lot more than a minor update.

Both of the comparison charts were put together by Engadget.


Related articles:

Posted by: Matt Chan in iPad


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  1. counsel says:

    I like accurate reporting, and this article does not have it…

    Today I saw iPad 2 prices as listed herein… xoom at staples was 599…. 200 less than stated. if the price is off by almost 30%, I wonder what else is off…

  2. AndyBSG says:

    “From a hardware standpoint, each tablet is pretty comparable”

    Not really comparable at all, from everything I can see above the iPad is lagging way behind the Xoom in almost every category.

    Screen size, resolution, no USB, no MicroSD and the ‘convenient’ ? where the iPad RAM should be should actually say 512MB…. Half what all it’s competitors are shipping with.

    The only reason the iPad has more apps is because it’s been out longer. 90% of all the third party iPad apps will be available on the Xoom within a month and with a USB socket to allow you to copy files while would you pay for an app anyway?

    So Apple can get their 30% cut, that’s why

  3. Ves says:

    Apple will win this for the moment but since apple never ever lowers their prices of their products xoom will be 1/3 to 1/2 of its current price in 6 months and then apple wont be laughing as hard. Xoom will be the ultimate winner as they wont nickle and dime you for addons the way apple does. The xoom already has more versatility the the ipad2 and things will only improve as the os evolves and version 2 hits the streets. Let the apple fanboys pay full price forever I will buy my xoom at the end of summer for 1/2 the cost of an Ifad2.

  4. […] installous to Ipad 4.2.1 after jailbreak, Wont start up.? | IPHONE GUIDE Should You Buy the iPad 2? Tablet Comparison: iPad 2 vs Xoom vs TouchPad vs PlayBook Chair calls iPad 2 a “game changer,” which allowed it to “crank up” […]

  5. Zep says:

    Gladiator_Posse ur the man!!!
    The most important interface between any Tech gadget be it PC, phone, mp3 players, video players etc…. is the USB port. The name Universal is not just for play and that is what Jobs doing, throw dollars to his feet and he took out the most important interface USB!!!!!

  6. […] There are enough other URLs in the web that provide comparison on specs, dimensions etc. – e.g this link […]

  7. Gladiator_Posse says:

    Sorry Scotty Appleseed…the Wifi Xoom price is wrong here. It is only $540 so at 32gb it still beats your ipad2 AND with Android, you can DOUBLE the memory with an SD card so it REALLY beats the apple price. You don’t even have a usb port. Go ahead and throw your money at the feet of Jobs so he can give you weak capability. Burned.

  8. Roman says:

    Oh… I will also be interested in hearing how the proc actually compares performance wise with the Tegra II… From what I have read on the Nvidia chip it has some pretty phenomenal processing power. I saw an early beta of the full fledged Unreal 3 engine running on one! :)

    Full-on detailed 3D graphics on a modern engine running on devices this compact absolutely blows my mind :)

  9. Roman says:

    I just prefer android devices because they are more open :)… Build quality on Apple stuff is usually pretty solid though. I was surprised to see them win the price war on this one as there products are usually quite a bit more than the competition. A bit of a breath of fresh air as far as apple is concerned IMHO.

    To each his own I suppose… I am glad their hardware specs are competitive, not that it really matters as long as the device can run everything well (there is something to be said for well optimized operating systems…iOS being one of those).

    Having taken a look at some of the reviews for Android 3.0 it sounds like Google is getting pretty serious. The interface sounds quick and optimized for a touchscreen/tablet experience (thumb menus sound pretty cool to me). I am not sure how the experience will compare with the Ipad 2, has Apple innovated as far as the interaction with the OS is concerned? (actually asking because I am curious)…

    I am also interested to see the host of MS Windows 7 “Slates” that will be hitting the market this year. Love MS or Hate em’, windows 7 is a pretty decent OS and it is a full-fledged desktop OS meaning it can do quite a bit more than most tablet/handheld only OS’s… Unfortunately it really needs either a complete UI overhaul or perhaps a Skin to make it more touch friendly.


  10. Scott says:

    What if Apple made better products than it’s competition, would people be allowed to say as much? If someone said a honda scooter was a better made product than a chinese knock off, would he be accused of being a Honda Fanboy? What if it’s just really close to being a fact, why does the person stating it have to be accused of being biased?

    The people that don’t like apple always accuse them of over charging for fancy products. Well, the iPad 2 is now $70 cheaper than it’s main Android rival, so that argument in the tablet world is kind of over. Second, has anyone tried a xoom? When you press on the glass, you can see it flex and seperate from the plastic on the edge. It’s just not as well made as the iPad. That’s not bias, it’s just true if you look at the products. A better made product and a cheaper price, why is it horrible to say that the iPad is a better device than the xoom at this point? Why do I have to be “biased” or a “fanboy” to say such things? Are you that jaded that you can’t accept the current state of things? Are you really unable to think objectively?

  11. a pass by says:

    If the whole world become idiots and you (and other “few”) are the smart ones, then the definition table will turn you into the stupid ones.

    I like Apple’s products, I just don’t like when a company becomes too big, it usually turn into another MicroSoft . . . just human nature I guess . . .

  12. lol@macfa says:

    This is hilarious same as always with apple after over charging people for ipads low budget specs now ipad2 comes out with a small performance increase I bet it doesn’t even have 512mb of ram….. listen mac users stop paying retail cost for beta hardware makes u all look like idiots

    • Wha? says:

      @lol: Don’t worry – we understand you can’t afford quality products that actually work. If you could, you’re public jealousy and moronic comments wouldn’t be on here.

      • Ha! says:

        Riiiiiiight . . . waited to get the Iphone on Verizon for the better network and found the reception still sucked as the lower quality antennae still has not been corrected. This is your idea of better quality? Bottom line is that people who have convinced themselves that more money means better product keep Apple in biz

        • SINicleOne says:

          Yeah I’m Forced to agree after chunking the ifone in the river after smashing it with a hammer, Mac still second rate, overpriced garbage always will be. Got the new galaxy and wow is all i can say. I have always been leery of android tablets and LOVE my pc_tablet Dualboot 1GHzx2 android/WSE i can do anything on it.

  13. qka says:

    Is it fair to compare shipping products with vaporous products?

  14. Moro says:

    I think Xoom is $600 with a subsidy.

    Not that it matters, I’m getting an iPad 2.

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