Motorola's Android 3.0-powered XOOM tablet, set to launch on Verizon's network, will be the tablet of all tablets when it finally does land on store shelves. Or at least, that's what Google is hoping. While we've already seen the XOOM at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, it wasn't until Google's Honeycomb event yesterday that more people, and the general public, got to see what exactly Honeycomb, or Android 3.0, is all about. What does the tablet-specific mobile Operating System bring to the table, how it's different compared to the Android experience on smartphones already available, and most importantly, how it compares to the other tablets already available. While the difference between earlier versions of Android and Honeycomb are obvious, and the tablet experience surely does add something new to the whole mix, the big question still remains to be answered: how does it compare to Apple's tablet, the iPad?

Obviously, answering that question is a pretty difficult one at this stage in the game. That's mostly due to the fact that the XOOM isn't readily available for the mass consumer. And, up until yesterday, seeing the tablet in action with Honeycomb running the show was a hard thing to come by. But Android 3.0 is out of the bag, ready to be shown off, and just as much ready to find its way into the hands of the consumer. However, with Apple's iPad already available, and with plenty of talk about the second generation of the device still heating up the Internet, does the XOOM really compare?

To me, it just doesn't. Not because the XOOM looks worse than the iPad, aesthetically -- because it doesn't. In fact, I'd say that the XOOM is a remarkably attractive piece of technology, and I can't wait to get my hands on one. And it's certainly not the specifications of the device, when compared to the iPad. The XOOM is obviously a beast of a machine, and using it will more than likely be a buttery-smooth experience that I'm eager to explore more often than not. And, let's face it -- the iPad's User Interface is so simple that it gets boring pretty quickly. But the XOOM doesn't suffer from that at all, with its widgets adding flavor to each and every screen.

So, even with all of that stacked up for the XOOM in comparison to the iPad, why don't I think the XOOM can compete? Simply put, it's the same reason I don't think any Android-based tablet can compete. Media. The XOOM is a tablet that Motorola is marketing as a content and media consuming device, just like the iPad is. While it will be possible to create content on the XOOM thanks to applications, just like it is possible to do so now on the iPad, the devices are meant primarily to be used as ways to download and enjoy content. Yes, the XOOM has an App Store, and there will be ways to get other things like movies and music, but none of them compare to Apple's iTunes juggernaut of a digital retail store. Let alone Apple's App Store.

I'm not saying that there aren't ways to get music or other media types onto the XOOM, because there clearly are. There's nothing wrong with Amazon's MP3 store -- it works as well as it should, and finding music to download is simple enough. And, perhaps that's something that anyone can really ask for. That it works. But to me, there's just not enough media available for the Android-powered tablets that makes me think that the XOOM can really compare to the iPad.

One other note: I'm sure the XOOM is going to sell like hot cakes when it goes on sale. And, I'm sure there's plenty of people out there who will be just fine playing Angry Birds over and over again on their tablet, along with a few other fun games they've found in the Android Market. And, there's a chance that I'll buy the XOOM, too. However, the iPad will always be the main tablet I use when I want to watch a movie, listen to music while I'm browsing the Internet (even if I can't see those Flash-enabled ads), and especially when I want to play some games.

What do you think? Is the XOOM the tablet you've been waiting for, and expect that it can deliver everything you want and more? Or is the iPad the device of your dreams? Let me know in the comments below.

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48 Reactions to this post

"Can the Motorola XOOM compete with Apple's iPad?"

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Robert Centennial $799 for a tablet motorola is stupid. Tablets should sit somehwere between $200 and $450 but thats it.
Jerry Wyrostek Leonard No Motorola Has crap Support. Just all the cliq XT users out there who now have a useless phone after 8 months. "DOWN WITH THE RUDDY BLACK M!"
Louis Bevans Blackberry Playbook
Dave Pullen Is this a real question lmao apple against xoom ahahaha. Ipad doesn't stand a chance. The only reason the ipad sales will b higher is that people by apple because of the brand period ... it doesn't do one thing equal or better than xoom end of story. And if u disagree u are publicly labeling yourself as an idiot that buys for brand, not functionality
Tham Ye Yang Android is trash. The number of bugs it has sure surpasses 100.
David McClellan It can if they bring the price down. Currently it's way overpriced even considering the massive amount of hardware inside.
Samson Muthami Honeycomb looks awesome.
Patrick Bishop Can we just have all of out devices please be stock android so we can get updates when they first come out. Is that so hard
Chris RandomGuy Lol, vzw moto devices get updates more regularly than almost any other android device... Get your facts strait
Jose Pablo Islas No...its a motorola...nobody wants to buy an android that is guaranteed to never get any updates and never get support
Marti Ruiz Maybe look awsome
Gainaako Munyal I would say out can, but motorola is well known for its rebooting issues. I had a droid x but I am now using a samsung fascinate. I will never buy another motorola product again.
Danny Calderon On paper its better, but the ipad will outsell and outshine any other tablet just because its apple
Jose Avila It's not about the xoom, its about honeycomb and all the different companies that will use it for their own tablet... ANDROID HB equals choice... the tampon or iPad equals people who wear turtle necks. I'll take choice any day ... let's go HTC push your tablet out I'm waitng...:-)
Jonathan Carrillo Hell yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Joel Gomez Hopefully the price is reasonable.
David Hore Yes as long as they keep the price reasonable
Danu Carrión Perales Lol the real question is, can the ipad stand up to the xoom? Btw ipad sucks games look slow, in fact they run faster on ipod touch
Keith Aguiar Jr. I think the xoom can hang. But probably not overtake the ipad. As long as its good quality stuff, and less than the ipad it can hang.
MoMo Khan I'm just mad some1 mentioned the playbook here
Ian Mcclendon Love Android, like apples reputation but everything about Apple is to LOCKED DOWN. no freedom like most OS. Price wise iPad has it but any other way I'd say xoom. But 800$ for a TABLET is pretty ridiculous.
Erik Balster Its definitely better than the year old ipad. But the ipad 2 which will come out around the same time? Not so much.
Stephen M. Knipe II It already has, and it isn't out yet (you're talking about it now, right ;) ). But to compete sales-wise it needs to be priced the same as the iPad 2, which is a gamble for Moto because Apple hasn't discussed it yet...
Cory David Baxter Love the android community cyangen mod 4ever
Cory David Baxter Price tag might effect it cause once honey comb is made you could fund a chinese mock up that will be the quarter of the price with the same hardware
Brandon Worley I believe u may have worded that backwards! The xoom is amazing. I returned my galaxy tab waiting for launch of this bad mother...
Anne Bradshaw Musser Love my Droid. Can't wait for this!
Michael Patrick Android is trash. I'd rather buy a laptop running Windows Vista.
Ayman Hawatmeh Yes. <3 android products
Maitreya Solanki Iphone and ipad don't even stands in competition with android
Dave Trivino No. Have to wait and see what the temple of Steve Jobs brings up for iPad 2 to really make a good comparison. Personally, unless iOS incorporates a better notification system or a more "desktop" experience (i.e. widgets) for the iPad then I'm staying in Android's camp.
Edward Madera Xoom is new but sooner or later it will get boring like the ipad
Sam Bahhur iPad 2 will Kill every tablet out there
Jaz Lasa Yea they can if they keep the price as the same as the iPad or cheaper. A tablet plus accessories should not be $900 or above.
Sam Bahhur Motorola = FAIL
Harold Bias Yes it can!!!! I don't evan like android and I can say that.
Seth Techmanski ipad 2 will be a joke just like the first one
Tony Abiama Yea the Xoom is a beast, iPad is no competition.
Victor Sanchez Yes the iPad but nothing compared to the iPad 2 The xoom will not stand a chance against that!!!
Jeffrey Vivar Apple sucks and so will phonedog if you keep bringing up apple products
Andy Castineiras Not if it also out "overprices" iPad...
Jan Wulf Maybe. Let s wait for the playbook from RIM.
Robert Centennial It will destroy the ipad, although I would never buy a tablet for more than $300.
Neel Basra Yes. Anything compares with iPad. Even a rock.
Seth Techmanski yup sure can

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