The Apple iPad may well revolutionize the computer. It’s already taking sales away from laptops. Consequently, other manufacturers are coming out with their own tablet computers, many of them using Google’s Android operating system (OS).
The question is will these new tablets be more like the Zune or more like Android smart phones when it comes to competing with an Apple product? A comparison of the iPad 2 with some of the tablets using the new Android Honeycomb OS may provide an answer.
The basic iPad 2 sells for around $500. Models with additional features cost more. More than 50 manufacturers plan to bring Android tablet computers to the market in 2011 and early 2012 with a variety of sizes, capabilities and prices. So it depends on what you want. If you can live with fewer features, less capability, and a smaller screen size, a cheaper tablet may be acceptable. The Acer Iconia, for example, is selling for $330.
Size, Weight and New Features
The Motorola Xoom at $500 is a good comparison for the iPad 2. The iPad weighs about 1.3 pounds and is 0.34 inches thick. The Xoom is about 0.5 inches thick and weighs 4 ounces more than the iPad 2. The iPad 2 also has a camera in the front and rear of the tablet and a gyroscope. The Xoom also has two cameras.
The iPad 2 has a 1 GHz dual-core processor as does the Xoom. However, the iPad has only 512MB of RAM while the Xoom and most high-end Android tablets have 1GB of RAM. The iPad is 9.7 inches with 1024 X 768 resolution while the Xoom is 10.1 inches with 1280 X 800 resolution.
So, the iPad is a little thinner and lighter and has a gyroscope, while the Xoom has twice the RAM, larger size and better resolution. Furthermore, the Xoom can be upgraded to 4G while the iPad cannot.
[table id=3 /]
The Android Honeycomb OS allows you to see and scroll through email, check your calendar, and scroll news stories by placing the cursor on the icons without opening a program. The iPad’s current iOS does not have this capability. Honeycomb allows you to customize email notifications while the iPad does not. But the new iOS 5 may mold things differently
Multitasking with the iPad OS is very limited. With Honeycomb, multitasking is much more robust and an icon is dedicated to this feature.
On Android Honeycomb tablets, like the Xoom, you can use Google’s voice-to-text software to input information by voice. With Google’s Voice Actions program, you can search for information, send emails, load music, send texts, and make notes, all via voice commands. The iPad has no such capability.
The Android Honeycomb system replicates the laptop and desktop experience to some degree by letting you open multiple tabs and use Google’s private or incognito browsing feature. Again, the iPad has no such features.
You can sync your Honeycomb tablet to your other computers and have full access to your bookmarks. Easily accessing all of your files is as simple as plugging your tablet into your computer and dragging and dropping files. With the iPad, you can only access files through iTunes.
Although the Android tablets do not have iTunes, they still have the ability to download and access music easily, via the web, PC or dedicated apps.
There are a large number of apps available for both iOS & Android. However, as the number of Android tablets grows, the number of applications available will increase. If you are looking for free apps, then go for Android, as Apple has a majority of paid apps, while it’s the other way round for Android.
In the past year, Android tablets have taken away 20% of the iPad’s market share, which is admittedly enormous. But, projections predict that by 2015, the total market share for Android tablets will be almost 39% versus 47% for iPads. With that many people using Andoid tablets, programmers will have plenty of motivation to customize applications for Android.
Remember, with Android, you can get any app that you want, while iPad users can only get apps that Apple approves.
People who want device that is reliable, that they are familiar with, that is simple to use, and can buy apps should consider the iPad 2. But, if you want a tablet that is customizable, has a strong set of features, has more free apps, a multitude of choices, and numerous capabilities, then an Android tablet may be the more attractive option.
About The Author:
Nicole Rodgers has been blogging in the technology, finance, and insurance industries for three years. When Nicole bought her Tablet last year she decided to share her experience with it by creating a website. This way she can share her opinion with the world.