iPad 2 vs. XOOM vs. Playbook vs. TouchPad... FIGHT!

Now the dust has settled around the Apple iPad 2 release, bloggers are making comparisons with the Motorola XOOM. Some also look ahead to the launch of the RIM BlackBerry Playbook and HP TouchPad.

By Richi Jennings. March 17, 2011, 6am EDT.

Update 3, 3/18 4.55am: add comment from Dave Parrack.

Update 2, 1.35pm: add comment from Cory Gunther.

Update 1, 11.10am: add comment from Daniel Ionescu.

iPad 2 (Apple)
How does Apple's iPad 2 stack up against its main competitor, Motorola's Android-based XOOM? And what about the future? We have RIM's Playbook and HP's TouchPad to look forward to. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers don't know where to look.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Chatroulette Love Song (no, it's not what you're thinking)...


Aditya Bansod tests both, from an HTML5 developer's perspective:

We're less than excited about the quality of the Xoom as a modern web app platform. ... The iPad 2, like the first-gen iPad doesn't disappoint. It's fast, it's accurate and it's impressive.


The iPad 2's Acid3 results are solid, but it would have been nice to see this come up to full compliance. ... Modernizr reported that nearly all the major browser features are supported on the iPad 2 ... [it] has the best CSS3 support of any mobile browser we've seen.


We would love to have support for the Media Capture APIs. We also can't understand why Nitro is disabled in UIWebView. ... Apple's devices are leading the vanguard of mobile browser innovation and for the HTML5 app developer this is great news.

  Charles Arthur unpicks Bansod's results:

It's the performance testing of the browser that shows the big improvements in the iPad 2; pretty much everything ... is doubled compared to the first-generation machine. ... Given that Google Chrome is such a fast browser, and it's also based on WebKit, why does [it] perform comparatively slowly on Android? Is it a poor Javascript implementation, or something else?


Another interesting point is embedded HTML5 audio and video. ... The jury's still out on whether H.264 in mobile HTML5 will fall down a gap between Flash on the desktop and WebM on Google properties.

Ross Rubin talks cameras and content creation:

The addition of a front-facing camera to enable FaceTime video chat was widely anticipated. ... The addition of a rear camera, though, might not be as critical. There's one on the Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, and forthcoming BlackBerry Playbook, but not one on the forthcoming HP TouchPad.


42 percent of tablet owners are capturing, editing, or sharing video on their device, while an even higher number are doing the same tasks for photos. ... The tablet is now about more than simply content creation.

Jonny Evans agrees, natch:

[Here's] the world's first news report shot and edited entirely using an iPad 2 for broadcast. The story is trivial, but it underlines what I meant when I remarked that in future we'll regularly create and consume news content made on ... tablets. The post-PC revolution will be televized. By you, or people like you.

But the XOOM's expensive, right? "NOT!" says Matthew Shaer:

[It] will soon be available in a Wi-Fi only iteration ... [which] will sell for $600, exactly in line with the 32GB Wi-Fi only Apple iPad 2. ... Powerful stuff.

And Cory Gunther suggests an even less expensive price:

Costco is selling the Motorola Xoom now ... the Wifi Only Xoom will be available in store at Costco same time as everywhere else, March 27th. ... [It's] available to order online at costco.com with a free Motorola Gel case, and free shipping.


If I didn’t already have the Verizon Xoom I’d be pre-ordering mine from Costco right about now. ... Better move fast, as this deal probably wont last long.

What about Motorola's "get the whole Web" boast, Daniel Ionescu?

Xoom still has no Flash support, a month after the original tablet was released. However, Adobe said a beta version ... will be available on March 18. ... Motorola also didn't address another ardent issue ... the Xoom touts memory expansion via SD cards, but the slot is still unusable due to lack of software support.


Xoom does indeed have better cameras and more RAM memory ... but Apple's tablet is much thinner and lighter. ... Even the price-match Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom won't trump the iPad 2 any time soon.

Meanwhile, Dave Parrack explores another option:

... which is to pick up an original iPad cheap, and there are some absolute bargains to be had if you look in the right places. ... [Or] buy a tablet other than the iPad. The Motorola Xoom, the BlackBerry PlayBook, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab are all contenders, and there are plenty of others on the way.


And Finally...

Chatroulette Love Song -- Stick with it: the look on her face is priceless

[hat tip: Andy Baio]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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