The New Technology From Motorolla.
When the Motorola Xoom and BlackBerry PlayBook hit the market, we'll have two serious challengers to the iPad.
And, perhaps most interestingly, all three will be running different operating systems. So let's compare how the two newcomers stack up against the hottest tablet yet released.
In terms of releases, Motorola won't say anything about the Xoom's UK release date, though it is pencilled in for the first quarter of 2011 in the US. However, it depends on when Google is planning on getting Honeycomb out the door.
This is the biggest difference between the three tablets. The iPad runs Apple's own iOS, the Moto Xoom Android 3.0 Honeycomb and the BlackBerry PlayBook runs RIM's own bespoke Tablet OS. The Xoom was the main unit used to demo Android 3.0 Honeycomb, at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, though we only saw videos of OS features running on the new device.
Android 3.0 rumours and latest updates
ANDROID 3.0: This Xoom was just running a video, but the real Honeycomb looks special
There will also be no Motorola MotoBlur interface overlaying Android 3.0 – this could be part of a bigger move by Google to stop having so many variants of Android.
We got hands on with the BlackBerry PlayBookat CES a few weeks ago and it's a serious threat to the iPad's dominance of the sector. TechRadar's Reviews Editor James Rivington says the PlayBook "could well be the tablet that changes the game. In a word, it's a triumph."
All three units use ARM-based silicon. The iPad runs Apple's own A4 processor clocked at 1GHz (it's less in the iPhone 4), while the Xoom plumps for a dual-core Nvida Tegra 2 processor, capable of 720p video or sending 1080p full HD to your TV via HDMI. The PlayBook is also running a dual core 1GHz Cortex-A9-based processor, though there are no more details on who has manufactured it. It's probably an Nvidia Tegra 2.
The Motorola Xoom has a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 display. The PlayBook is only a 7-inch tablet and to us it can feel small. The touch on the PlayBook does extend right across the bezel though, which is a nice touch and pretty important for navigating around the OS.
The screens on both the PlayBook and Xoom look pretty spectacular even under the bright show lights where we checked them out. The PlayBook'ssize gives it an advantage though, as we said in our hands on:
"The PlayBook's 1024 x 600 resolution isn't far off the 9.7-inch 1024x768 iPad, but because of the Playbook's 7-inch display, the increased pixel density makes all the difference. It's sharp and crisp, and 1080p HD video looks fabulous."