Difference Between Android Honeycomb Tablet Motorolo Xoom And Apple Ipad

The landscape of technology is continually evolving, with the tablet market representing a significant portion of this change. Within this dynamic environment, two notable products have emerged as frontrunners: the Android Honeycomb-powered Motorola Xoom and the Apple iPad. These devices, each pioneering in their own right, have set standards and pushed the boundaries of what we expect from a tablet.

The Motorola Xoom, running on Google’s Android Honeycomb operating system, and the Apple iPad, powered by iOS, showcase distinct approaches to tablet design, functionality, and user experience. While the Xoom was the first tablet to feature the Honeycomb OS, designed specifically for tablets, the iPad has been a market leader, known for its sleek design, intuitive interface, and robust app ecosystem.

Both tablets offer unique strengths and weaknesses, catering to different user preferences and needs. The Motorola Xoom boasts extensive customization options, a wide range of connectivity features, and an open app marketplace. In contrast, the Apple iPad is celebrated for its high-quality build, superior app quality, and seamless integration with other Apple products. This juxtaposition highlights the diversity within the tablet market, offering users a choice between customization and flexibility versus simplicity and integration.

Overview of the motorola xoom

Historical Context

Genesis of Android Honeycomb

Android Honeycomb represented a pivotal moment in the evolution of Android OS. Launched in February 2011, Honeycomb (Android 3.0) was the first version of Android designed specifically for tablets, not smartphones. This distinction marked Google’s commitment to the burgeoning tablet market, acknowledging the need for an operating system optimized for larger screen sizes and more powerful processors. Unlike its predecessors, Honeycomb introduced a new holographic interface, enhanced multitasking capabilities, and more robust widgets, setting a new standard for Android tablets.

Motorola Xoom’s Market Debut

The Motorola Xoom made headlines as the first device to run Android Honeycomb, officially hitting shelves in February 2011. As a pioneer, the Xoom was met with anticipation and curiosity, offering features like a 10.1-inch display, a dual-core processor, and two cameras. Its debut was not just a milestone for Motorola but also a bold step for Android into a market dominated by Apple’s iPad. The Xoom’s arrival heralded a new era of competition in the tablet space, with Android’s flexibility and customization serving as its main selling points against the more established iPad.

Apple iPad’s Inception and Market Impact

Apple’s iPad, launched in April 2010, quickly became a cultural phenomenon and redefined consumer expectations for tablets. It offered a sleek, user-friendly interface powered by iOS, a robust app ecosystem, and unparalleled build quality. The iPad’s success spurred rapid growth in the tablet market, prompting competitors to accelerate their own tablet offerings. Its impact was profound, setting high standards for what users expected from their devices in terms of performance, design, and ecosystem. The iPad not only dominated the market but also pushed technology companies to innovate and diversify their product lines.

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Design and Build

Physical Dimensions Comparison

The Motorola Xoom and Apple iPad, though similar in purpose, differ significantly in their physical dimensions and design language. The Xoom features a 10.1-inch screen, with dimensions slightly larger than the iPad’s 9.7-inch display, making it both wider and slightly heavier. This difference in size and weight impacts portability and user comfort during extended use. Each device caters to different user preferences, with some favoring the larger screen for multimedia and productivity tasks, while others prefer the lighter, more compact form factor of the iPad for ease of use and mobility.

Design Aesthetics and Ergonomics

The design aesthetics of the Motorola Xoom and Apple iPad reflect the philosophies of their respective brands. The Xoom, with its angular edges and a soft-touch back, offers a distinctly industrial look, while the iPad’s smooth, rounded corners and aluminum back provide a minimalist and premium feel. Ergonomically, both devices were designed with user experience in mind, but the iPad’s thinner profile and lighter weight contribute to a more comfortable hold and usage over longer periods.

Build Quality and Durability

When it comes to build quality and durability, both tablets exhibit high standards, but the Apple iPad’s aluminum chassis provides a sense of robustness and luxury that the plastic components of the Xoom struggle to match. The iPad’s build quality has been a hallmark of Apple’s product lineup, offering both aesthetic appeal and durability. The Xoom, while solidly built, places more emphasis on functionality than on premium materials, reflecting a different set of priorities in design and manufacturing.

Operating System

Overview of Android Honeycomb

Android Honeycomb was a revolutionary step for Android, introducing features tailored to the tablet experience. Its user interface was designed from the ground up for larger screens, with an emphasis on multitasking, rich notifications, and customizable widgets. Honeycomb also introduced the Action Bar, a versatile tool for app navigation and management, enhancing usability and efficiency. These improvements showcased Google’s vision for a more interactive and productive tablet experience.

Features Unique to Honeycomb

Honeycomb introduced several features that were unique at its launch. Notable among these were the “holographic” UI design, redesigned multitasking view, and enhanced keyboard. The operating system was designed to make full use of the tablet’s larger screen, offering more interactive and visually appealing interfaces for apps and the system itself. Honeycomb also placed a strong emphasis on widgets, allowing users to access a wide range of information directly from the home screen without needing to open apps.

Overview of the apple ipad


Processor Specifications

The heart of any tablet’s performance lies in its processor. The Motorola Xoom is equipped with a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, which was among the most powerful at the time of its release. This processor allowed for smooth multitasking and fast web browsing. On the other hand, the original Apple iPad is powered by Apple’s custom A4 chip, also clocked at 1 GHz. While both processors delivered competitive performance during their peak, the A4 chip’s optimization with iOS resulted in a fluid user experience, often perceived as smoother than that of the Xoom.

RAM and Storage Options

RAM and storage are critical for the overall functionality of tablets. The Xoom came with 1 GB of RAM and offered models with 32 GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. The iPad featured 256 MB of RAM in its first generation, with storage options ranging from 16 GB to 64 GB, without the possibility of expansion. The higher RAM in the Xoom provided an edge in multitasking and running complex apps.

Battery Life and Management

Battery life is a key factor for mobile devices. The Motorola Xoom boasted a 10-hour battery life under typical usage, similar to the iPad, which also offered around 10 hours of battery life. Both devices implemented power management features to optimize battery usage, but the iPad’s tightly integrated hardware and software often resulted in more consistent battery performance.

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Connectivity and Ports

Wireless Connectivity Features

Both the Motorola Xoom and the Apple iPad supported Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth connectivity. This allowed users to connect to the internet and a range of devices and accessories, enhancing the versatility of the tablets.

Availability of Ports and Expansion Options

The Xoom featured a microUSB port, an HDMI output for connecting to external displays, and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. The iPad, meanwhile, relied on its proprietary 30-pin dock connector for charging and connecting to computers, with video output and other expansions requiring additional adapters. The presence of a microSD slot in the Xoom provided a notable advantage in terms of storage flexibility.

Cellular Network Capabilities

Both tablets were available in versions that supported cellular connectivity, including 3G and, later, 4G networks. This feature allowed users to access the internet on the go, ensuring they were always connected, regardless of Wi-Fi availability.

Camera and Multimedia

Camera Quality and Features

The Motorola Xoom featured a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, supporting video calls and digital photography. The iPad’s first-generation model came with a less impressive camera setup, focusing more on the overall user experience than on camera capabilities. Over time, both brands significantly improved the cameras in subsequent models, but the Xoom’s initial camera offering was more versatile.

Multimedia Playback and Support

Both the Xoom and the iPad were designed with media consumption in mind, supporting a wide range of video and audio formats. The Xoom’s Android Honeycomb OS and the iPad’s iOS allowed for streaming content from various services, playing games, and browsing the web. However, the iPad benefited from a more extensive range of media apps available through the App Store, enhancing its multimedia capabilities.

Audio Quality and Speaker Performance

The audio quality on both tablets was designed to complement their media playback capabilities. The Xoom featured stereo speakers that provided a decent sound experience for a tablet. The iPad also offered good audio quality, with its speaker producing clear and loud sound for videos, music, and games.

App Ecosystem

Comparison of Available Apps

The richness of the app ecosystem is often a decisive factor for tablet users. The iPad’s App Store boasted a vast selection of apps optimized for the tablet, ranging from productivity tools to games. The Android Market (now Google Play Store), while extensive, took some time to accumulate a similar volume of tablet-specific apps. The iPad’s early dominance in the market contributed to a more robust app ecosystem, attracting developers to prioritize iOS app development.

Exclusive Apps for Honeycomb and iPad

Each platform had its exclusive apps that showcased the strengths of their respective operating systems. Honeycomb featured Google apps optimized for tablets, such as Gmail and YouTube, offering enhanced functionality on the larger screen. The iPad’s exclusives included various Apple-developed apps like GarageBand and iMovie, which were highly regarded for their quality and usability.

User Experience

Interface and Usability

Both tablets offer distinct user interfaces tailored to their respective operating systems. The iPad’s iOS is celebrated for its simplicity and intuitive design, making it accessible to users of all ages and technical backgrounds. Its smooth animations and consistent design language across apps contribute to a seamless experience. In contrast, the Motorola Xoom’s Android Honeycomb presents a more customizable interface, allowing users to tailor their experience more granularly. While offering greater flexibility, it may present a steeper learning curve for those unfamiliar with Android.

Customization and Flexibility

The Xoom shines in its customization options. Users can add widgets, change app icons, and adjust settings to a degree that iOS does not permit. This level of personalization is a significant draw for users who prefer to have their device reflect their usage habits and aesthetic preferences. The iPad, while less flexible in customization, counters with a highly polished user experience that prioritizes consistency and ease of use.

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Multitasking Capabilities

When it comes to multitasking, both tablets were innovative for their time. Honeycomb introduced a redesigned task switcher, making it easier to move between apps. The iPad, with iOS, also provided robust multitasking features, including the ability to run multiple apps simultaneously and switch between them smoothly. However, the iPad’s approach to multitasking has often been viewed as more user-friendly, especially with the introduction of features like Split View and Slide Over in later versions of iOS.

Pricing and Availability

Initial Launch Prices

At launch, the Motorola Xoom was priced competitively with the iPad, aiming to offer a viable alternative to Apple’s offering. The initial price for the base model of the Xoom was around $599 for the Wi-Fi version, with the iPad’s first-generation Wi-Fi model similarly priced. These prices reflected the high-end status of both tablets at the time of their release.

Current Market Availability

Over time, the availability of the original Motorola Xoom and the first-generation iPad has dwindled, with both devices being discontinued and replaced by newer models. However, they can still be found on secondary markets, such as online auction sites or used electronics stores. The legacy these tablets have left behind continues to influence the design and functionality of their successors.

Value for Money Analysis

Evaluating the value for money of these devices requires considering their impact at the time of release and their longevity. The iPad, with its robust app ecosystem and consistent software updates, offered a value that extended well beyond its initial purchase price. The Xoom, while initially offering a strong hardware specification and the novelty of Android Honeycomb, struggled to maintain the same level of support and app development, potentially affecting its long-term value.

Pros and Cons

Advantages of Motorola Xoom

  • Customization: The Xoom offered unparalleled customization options for users who value personalization.
  • Connectivity options: With its array of ports and expansion capabilities, the Xoom catered well to users needing more from their tablet’s connectivity.
  • First to Honeycomb: Being the first tablet to run Android Honeycomb, it offered users a fresh experience outside of iOS.

Advantages of Apple iPad

  • Ecosystem: The iPad benefits from the cohesive Apple ecosystem, offering seamless integration with other Apple devices.
  • App Quality: With a vast selection of high-quality apps optimized for the tablet format, the iPad stands out.
  • User Experience: Known for its intuitive interface and ease of use, the iPad offers a polished user experience that appeals to a broad audience.

Limitations of Each Tablet

  • Xoom: The main limitations include a less extensive app ecosystem and slower software updates compared to the iPad.
  • iPad: While offering a superior user experience, the iPad’s customization options are limited, and the reliance on proprietary connectors can be seen as a disadvantage.


How does the Motorola Xoom’s display compare to the iPad’s?

The Motorola Xoom features a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels, providing a slightly larger and more pixel-dense screen than the original iPad’s 9.7-inch, 1024×768 resolution display. This difference results in sharper images and more screen real estate on the Xoom, offering a more immersive experience for video watching and gaming.

Can the Xoom run iPad apps?

No, the Motorola Xoom and the Apple iPad operate on different operating systems, Android Honeycomb and iOS respectively, making their apps incompatible with each other. Each platform has its own dedicated app store, offering a wide range of applications tailored to its system.

Which tablet has better battery life?

Battery performance varies depending on usage, but the Apple iPad generally offers longer battery life compared to the Motorola Xoom. The iPad is known for its efficient power management, providing up to 10 hours of video playback, while the Xoom offers around 8 to 10 hours under similar usage conditions.

Is the Motorola Xoom still available for purchase?

As of the latest updates, the Motorola Xoom, being an older model, is no longer sold directly through major retailers or Motorola. However, it may still be found through secondary markets, refurbished electronics stores, or online auction sites.


In concluding our exploration of the Motorola Xoom and the Apple iPad, it’s evident that each tablet carved its own niche within the technology landscape. The Xoom, with its Honeycomb OS, offered a glimpse into the future of Android tablets, emphasizing customization and versatility. The iPad, on the other hand, continued to refine the user experience, focusing on simplicity, quality, and ecosystem integration.

This comparison not only highlights the technological advancements made over the years but also underscores the importance of user preference in the selection process. Whether prioritizing flexibility and customization or valuing simplicity and integration, there is a tablet suited to meet those needs, demonstrating the rich diversity and innovation that defines the tablet market.

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