iPad 2 vs Xoom vs TouchPad vs PlayBook: New Challenger Or Not?

At the start of this year with the CES event in Las Vegas, it became apparent quite quickly that tablets would feature highly alongside smartphones. Many devices have been showcased between then and now including offerings from Motorola with their Xoom, HP’s forthcoming TouchPad, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook and of course Apple’s iPad. Last month we reviewed the 4 in question, but we based it on the first generation iPad. Today we feel that we need to update our tablet roundup with the official news of the iPad 2 which was announced just a few hours ago.

Although the tablet choice purely comes down to personal preference, in terms of pricing its plain to see from previous posts that the Xoom is placed at the top of the pile. Official pricing for the iPad 2 US market will stay the same as the previous iPad, but a pricing structure has not been announced for the rest of the world. In relation to internal specifications and that of RAM, this is difficult to gauge the iPad’s offering as this is still unconfirmed although its competitors are all packing 1GB. If we look at the storage capacity, the Motorola Xoom falls down a little with just the offering of 32GB whist the other 3 clearly offer 16, 32 and 64GB versions.

If when buying a tablet, the introduction of a camera is a plus side for you, then the iPad 2 will include a front camera with FaceTime and PhotoBooth whilst the Xoom includes a 2 megapixel, the TouchPad a 1.3 and the PlayBook a huge 3 megapixel. Rear camera including 720p video recording is an inclusion on all tablets barr the TouchPad which unfortunately loses out.

As Engadget stated, each tablet will be running on individual platforms with the introduction of iOS 4.3 on the iPad 2 from March 11th, whilst the Xoom will be the first tablet to run on Android’s 3.0 Honeycomb, the TouchPad being the first to include webOS 3.0 and the PlayBook on QNX OS. Although the iPad 2 doesn’t pack a similar girth to say the Motorola Xoom with a 10.1-inch display, it does score highly on its slim and lightweight new design.

Running speeds in relation to the inclusion of processors is always a big talking point, and rumor became reality today when Steve Jobs announced that the iPad would run on a 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor giving it twice the speed and 9 x graphics capability. On comparison to the Xoom which takes on board a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2, the TouchPad on a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon whilst the PlayBook racks up a 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 it really does come down to personal choice.

What tablet gets your vote? Are you swayed by Apple’s new iPad 2 or do you feel that Steve Jobs acquisition has not delivered enough new features to make it a real contender? Perhaps you may be waiting for news of the iPad 3 or iPad Mini as its named to showcase later this year?