Tablet deathmatch: Motorola Xoom vs. Apple iPad
As Apple prepares to ship its iPad 2, the first viable Android competitor packs a punchFollow @MobileGalen
Deathmatch: Web and Internet
Both Apple and Google are strong forces behind HTML5 and other modern browser technologies, so it's no surprise that the iPad and Xoom both offer capable Web browsers. Note that neither is as HTML5-savvy as their desktop versions, however. Based on the HTML5 Test site's scores, the Xoom's mobile Chrome racked up 195 out of 300 (better than Android smartphones' 176) points, versus 242 for desktop Chrome (version 9.05), and the iPad's mobile Safari scored 196 versus 208 for desktop Safari (version 5.03). Tests by mobile IDE developer Sencha suggest that the Xoom browser is inferior even in HTML4 display compared to the iPad's; I didn't notice a qualitative difference other than greater font support on the iPad in my admittedly subjective browsing.
The main differences between the iPad and Xoom browsers are cosmetic. Both browsers have persistent buttons or fields for Back, Forward, Bookmarks, Refresh, and navigating tabbed panes. The Xoom's browser shows a row of tabs at the top for each open browser window, whereas the iPad displays a button showing how many windows are open; tapping it opens a screen that previews all open windows. The Xoom automatically opens a (cached) Google search page when you bring up a new tab. The iPad opens a blank window instead.
Both browsers can share pages via email, but the operation is faster on the iPad, which also lets you print the page to a wireless printer (either to an AirPrint-compatible printer or to a local wireless printer connected via one of the many printing apps available for the iPad). But the iPad's separate Search and URL boxes are less convenient than the Xoom's unified URL and Search box; you have to be sure to tap the right box on the iPad. The Xoom also has a separate search control, if you prefer.
Unlike Android smartphones, the Xoom's touch keyboard offers a .com button -- like the iPad and iPhone -- when entering URLs, which is a significant timesaver.
Both browsers let you select text and graphics on Web pages, but only the iPad lets you copy graphics. The Xoom can save graphics to the tablet's local storage. The iPad can save images to its Photos app.