The Motorola XOOM has been one of the most spoken about Honeycomb tablets since its launch because it was the first device to come with Android Honeycomb while the Iconia Tab from Acer has its own appeal for the sleek look and the grey bezel which is indeed attractive. Honeycomb based tablets are improving day by day, with google introducing the 3.2 Honeycomb update and more of them are to come soon.
We compare the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and the Motorola XOOM tablet in this post, looking at all the features and technical specifications in detail:
The Iconia Tab is really thin and has dimensions of 260 x 177 x 13.3 mm while the Motorola Xoom is 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8 mm, quite slim in our opinion and the Iconia weights 730 grams, with a similar 730 grams weight on the Xoom too. Though both devices have a 10 inch screen, do consider the extra bezel all around and dimensions before you make the pic, if you are looking for portability and the feel in your hands.
When it comes to the display, the Acer Iconia A500 has a 10.1 inch screen, which supports upto 256K colors while the Motorola XOOM has a similar screen of 10.1 inches and supports 16M colors. The Acer Iconia has a proximity sensor and a couple of other sensors like gyroscope, but the XOOM does not have a proximity sensor on the device but it does have an accelrometer.
The Iconia A500 from Acer has a TFT screen has a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels while the Mototola Xoom also has the same resolution on its screen. Also, both the tablets have a three-axis gyroscope sensor and support multi touch input on their screens.
Both the tablets come with cameras and the Iconia from Acer has a 5 megapixel camera with a single LED flash with a resolution of 3264×2448 pixels. On the other hand, the Xoom’s camera also has the same camera unit, with a 5MP camera and a resolution of 3264×2448 pixels. There’s Geo Tagging on the Motorola XOOM, enabling you to add your position while you shoot photos.
The Motorola XOOM’s camera comes with , auto focus and dual-LED flash and the Iconia A500 has an LED flash and autofocus. Coming to the video recording capabilities, the both the devices record HD video at 720p at 30 frames per second.
Both the tablets here, the Motorola XOOM and Acer Iconia tab have a secondary front facing camera, a 2MP one and is used for video calling and by various apps on the Android platform such as Skype, Fring etc.
Operating System and User Interface:
The Acer Iconia and Motola XOOM run on Honeycomb 3.1, a newer version of Android, and Honeycomb 3.2 update is available for all the users of the Motorola Xoom now though the Iconia A500 is yet to receive it. Note that there are quite a few apps only on the HoneyComb platform, unlike the Android Market on smartphones. All apps which run on your Android smartphone will run on the tablet too, however, they will be of a smaller resolution and will appear stretched and pixelated on this huge screen. Tablet specific apps are only about 200 in the Android Market and you can check out the Best Apps for Honeycomb Tablets and Best Games for HoneyComb Tablets also.
Though they run on the same operating system, there is a slight change in the User Interface. Acer Iconia runs Acer’s UI on top of Honeycomb, which adds its own small tweaks and gesture improvements throughout the software while Motorola XOOM has the Motorola UI on top of Honeycomb, which looks more attractive and is more intuitive to use than the Acer UI.
The XOOM supports GSM bands on 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and both support HSDPA on 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 on 3G and comes with a standard SIM Card slot, if you are going for the 3G Model. The A500 Iconia also has similar specifications on 3G, but very few regions have the 3G version of the tablet and the WiFi only version is only widely available. So do check out before buying.
The XOOM has dual-band similar Wi-FI support, with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n while the A500 Iconia has only single band Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n and both of them have WiFi Hotspot capabalities.
A-GPS support for locaion and navigation are also present and both devices have Bluetooth 2.1 and USB 2.0 connectivity, along with a HDMI port on the Xoom and Iconia making it a true entertainer on the move. With the cable given, you can connect it to any largescreen display and enjoy your HD videos or movies which are stored on your tablet.
The Acer Iconia A500 comes with either 16/32 GB of internal storage, and has a microSD. But, the Xoom has more options, it comes with 16, 32 and 64GB Versions and also has a microSD slot which supports upto 32GB.
Processor and Battery:
The Acer Iconia A500 has a Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor with 1 GB RAM while the XOOM has a similar 1 GHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with 1GB of DDR2 RAM.
Though both the processors might look similar on the technical side, the A500 has a Tegra 2 T20 chipset with ULP GeForce™ GPU for quick Web browsing and HD Gaming. The Moto XOOM also has the same GPU based on GeForce.
Iconia has a comes with 2 3260 mAh battery in series while the Motorola XOOM also has the same setup, with two of 3250mAh batteries and both of them can stand continuous browsing and media usage and last for over 10 hours very easily.
Both the tablets have almost the same specifications, but the Motorola XOOM has an edge over the Iconia Tab from Acer, thanks to better build quality from Motorola’s engineers and the 3.2 HoneyComb update as well. The Iconia Tab, though lacks on build quality, is an amazing value for money device and is the best if you have a very tight budget. However, it would be better to spend some more money, and buy the Xoom for a couple of more features it offers and much better overall build quality.