If you’ve read the header on this post you might already be wondering why I’m writing about the latest technology on a Genealogy and History blog.

portable computerAnyone who travels, attends conferences and seminars, writes a blog, or worries about storing valuable data on a personal computer hard drive, is likely to be interested in up-to-date technology. And now, from my own point of view, just as I was about to purchase an iPad, I’m wondering if I should wait until the Motorola Zoom is launched in March.

When the Apple iPad was first released, I was skeptical for several reasons that now seem cursory.

A couple of people I know own an iPad and now that I’ve had a chance to check it out, I think it’s not only a pretty neat gadget, but a useful one too.

There are several tablets on the market, all designed to end the reign of the Apple iPad. Most of them are forgettable and if you’re an Apple enthusiast the Motorola Xoom will be forgettable too.

The Zoom, however, was chosen by Google to debut its first version of the Android Operating System (OS), which was built to run on touch tablet computers and that, in my opinion, is compelling. Please note that the operative words here are “in my opinion”.

It does look as though the iPad has a real and competent competitor with the Xoom, but we won’t really know until it’s launched and the public gets to kick the tires.

I noticed during my research that no pricing has been announced yet and the cost will need  to be comparable or lower than the iPad to be able to compete. Does anyone want to take bets?

Let’s take a look and compare from the specs (and the hype) and I promise to keep it pithy.

Operating system:

The iPad runs on an Apple iOS 4.2 with multi tasking.

The Xoom has it over iPad with the Android Honeycomb OS. It’s specially designed for tablets with an attractive user interface and allows installation of third party applications.

At this point, Apple iPad users can access to the Apple App Store where more than 10,000! apps are available for download.

Although the Xoom can download apps from the Android market the number is much less than the Apple App Store. This will change.

Screen Size:

The iPad has a 9.7-inch (diagonal measurement) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS (LCD technology developed to correct the poor viewing angles and color problems) technology and 1024 x 768 resolution.

If  you’re concerned with size for carrying convenience, Xoom comes with a larger 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, but still less cumbersome than a laptop.

Processor and RAM

The iPad has 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed processor with 256MB of RAM.

The Xoom wins here with an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor and an extra large 1GB RAM.


The Apple iPad doesn’t have a camera.

Are we ready for this? Motorola Xoom, has dual cameras, a 5 MP rear-facing camera with dual LED flash and a 2 MP front-facing camera for video chatting.

Memory and SD (Secure Digital it’s portable memory)  card

The iPad is available in 16Gb, 32Gb, and 64Gb models.

Xoom has 32 GB in-built memory and a micro SD slot which supports up to 32 GB and, therefore, offers a total of 64 GB memory.


The iPad has a battery life of up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music.

The Xoom tablet also offers 10 hour video playback.

Flash support

Flash is an essential component for surfing the Web, but the iPad doesn’t support Adobe Flash.

Xoom supports Flash Player 10.1.


Although already available in most countries the iPad hasn’t been launched in India. The formal launch is expected in April of this year.

Xoom will be available by Mar 2011 in the international market. In today’s market the price is likely to determine the real outcome. Will it be a “nice to have” or a “must have”?

Apple still controls the lion’s share of the tablet market. With the advent of the Google Android OS and the new Honeycomb OS exclusively designed for tablets, this will change.

2 Comments on Apple iPad vs Motorola Tablet (Xoom)

  1. LInda Gartz says:

    Wow! This is a detailed and helpful post on the technology available to help keep us organized and efficient. I’ve given you the Ancestor Approved Award. I’m impressed with the layout and content of your blog. http://familyarchaeologist.blo.....d-and.html

  2. Lisa M. says:

    This is well explained article with sans technical mumbo jumbo. I know it will be too expensive for me. Even so, we still need to know and understand what technology is out there.

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