iPad 2 and Motorola's Xoom 2 battle it out in a tablet duel of deuces to see who gets to make an iPad 3 or Xoom 3. No, we can't force the winner of this battle to begin preparations for the next version of its established moniker, but it's good to check how the latest 10-inch Android tablet would do against its Apple nemesis.
Xoom 2 is only coming out in the UK and Ireland with a rumored release set for sometime before the end of the year. For U.S. consumers, it might become available here, or it might not; it's too soon to tell. But, it's made by Motorola, the same company that released the Droid Razr Nov. 11., and the Xoom 2 actually has the same shape as the Razr when viewed from the front. It will be easier to compare these two once the Xoom goes on sale, and that way people can do side-by-side comparisons.
In the meantime, you need to know both devices are nearly the same size, and not just because of their 10-inch screens. iPad 2 is 8.64 mm thick and Xoom is 8.9 mm, so both are amazingly thin. Stylistically, iPad 2 is a marvel of simplicity, where Xoom 2 takes an edgier approach by cutting off the corners to achieve a tapered look at the, um, edges.
As for guts, Xoom 2 has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, five megapixel rear-facing camera, 16 gigabytes of storage and an intelligent grip function that lets you hold the device with one hand and interact with the other, all while not disturbing the screen with the hand that is holding it. It will launch with the Android 3.2 system with a likely 4.0 update coming in early 2012.
iPad 2 comes with a 1GHz dual-core chip, comes in three different storage sizes starting at 16 gigabytes, and is available as a Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and 3G model. They both are $500, unless you want the iPad with more storage. iPad 2 wins the battle in part because Xoom 2 isn't coming to the U.S. anytime soon.
Tell us in the comments if you think this battle is irrelevant because the iPad 3 will be here before the Xoom 2 comes to the U.S.