Does iPad 2 Really Have a Price Advantage?

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-03-07 Print this article Print

5. The superior browsing experience

There's no comparing the browsing experience on the Motorola Xoom to that of the iPad 2. Apple's iPad 2 comes with the same, basic Mobile Safari experience customers have grown accustomed to. Apple's iOS 4.3 improves browsing a little by increasing surfing efficiency, but it does nothing to answer the vastly improved Chrome browser in Honeycomb. Not only is surfing much faster than in previous versions of the software, but the software has real tabbed browsing, like users would find on the desktop. It also has Google's Incognito Mode, auto-fill options, and many other services typically found in desktops. Simply put, it's the best mobile-browsing experience on the market.

6. Where's the advantage?

A quick glance at the basic specs of both the Xoom and the iPad 2 reveals no sizable advantages for Apple. Both devices come with a dual-core processor, have dual cameras, and offer WiFi and 3G connectivity. Both platforms record video, snap photos and support video conferencing. In other words, the key features are basically the same. The iPad 2's most important advantage might simply be that it comes from Apple.

7. The price is right

Much has been made about the price of the Motorola Xoom. Those who support Apple products say that Motorola's option, which starts at $799 with no contract, is quite expensive, considering the iPad 2 starts at $499 with WiFi and $629 for WiFi and 3G. But what those folks seem to forget is that the most relevant competitor to the Xoom, the iPad 2 featuring 32GB of storage and 3G connectivity, goes for $729. Moreover, those who are fine with entering into a two-year contract with Verizon can pay just $599.99 for the Xoom. As one can see, the Xoom's pricing is right where it should be.

8. The battery consideration

Since tablets are mobile devices, battery life matters quite a bit. Although Steve Jobs was quick to tout the iPad 2's battery life, it's important to note that the Xoom features up to 10 hours of life surfing the Web over WiFi and up to nine hours on 3G. The iPad 2 has 10 hours of battery life over WiFi and nine hours of battery life on 3G. So, if battery life matters, Apple's iPad 2 doesn't seem to hold an advantage.

9. The extra ports matter

The Xoom comes with an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port and USB port for customers to pump video out of the device, connect other devices and more. The iPad 2, on the other hand, lacks those ports. Apple said that it will sell an HDMI-out adapter, but that costs customers an additional fee that they shouldn't have to pay. After all, considering how much users are spending on a new tablet, wouldn't an HDMI out and USB port be expected?

10. The mobility factor isn't major

It's important to note that the iPad 2 is both thinner and lighter than the Motorola Xoom. Since tablets are mobile devices, that might matter to some folks. But it probably shouldn't matter as much as they think. The differences aren't major. For most customers, the Xoom will be quite easy to carry around in a bag or purse. Would it be nice if it had a slightly smaller footprint and less heft to it? Sure. But it's not enough of a problem to be a deal-breaker. And it certainly isn't enough of a problem that customers should ignore its other benefits and opt for the iPad 2. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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