The tablet arms race is in full force, so how does the newly released iPad 2 stand against the tablet competition? This chart compares the new iPad 2 specs with the Motorola Xoom, HP TouchPad, and BlackBerry Playbook.

Similar Hardware, OS & Apps Make the Difference
From a hardware standpoint, each tablet is pretty comparable, so what becomes the differentiator is the operating system and app market. In my view, this is where the iPad 2 and iOS clearly win out, the OS is minimalist and out of the way, and there are 65,000(!) iPad specific apps available on the iTunes App Store. The App Store alone is a huge uphill battle for competitors to catch up to, although admittedly some of the competing OS offerings are looking impressive.

Comparing Prices
What about pricing? The comparison chart doesn’t show price data, but here’s what we know:

  • iPad 2: $499 to $829 depending on storage and 3G connectivity
  • Xoom: $799
  • TouchPad: $699? HP has been silent on pricing, but rumors say it starts high
  • PlayBook: $499? BlackBerry is in the same situation as HP, only rumors tell us the cost

The fact that nobody yet knows what HP or BlackBerrys offerings are going to cost doesn’t really help to compare them against the iPad or Xoom, and witholding pricing data has led to speculation that their tablets will be on the expensive side. Some are saying Apple has already won the price war, but we don’t have enough information to know that yet.

iPad 1 vs iPad 2
While we’re comparing tablets, we might as well check out the iPad 2 vs the original iPad too:


Back on the topic of pricing, Apple has cut the original iPad down to $399 to sell out existing stock, but if you ask me, it’s worth spending $100 more and getting the second generation iPad 2 and all the enhancements it includes.

I’ve heard some critics say iPad 2 is just a minor update to iPad 1, but if you look at the hardware specs and watch the iPad 2 promo videos, this is a lot more than a minor update.

Both of the comparison charts were put together by Engadget.

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