Android Tablets: Small Differences, Make All the Difference

android tablets

Tablets are coming from everywhere these days. Whether it's from Motorola, Acer, Dell, Asus, it seems that every manufacturer wants to have a hand in the Android tablet market sweeping the tech industry. Each tablet has its own spectacular features, but a lot of them are only different in the smallest of ways. The two tablets that are very much talked about are the Motorola Xoom and the Acer Iconia tab. As similar as these two tabs are, there are five major (minor) differences.


First, we'll look at tablet performance. They both contain the 1GHz Nvidia Tegra II chipset and 1 GB of RAM, but the reviews seem unanimous. The Iconia tablet just seems faster. There's something about the Acer tablet that feels faster, snappier, more responsive. It seems as if Acer has found a way to make the Android OS work better with the hardware it was given. Running Quadrant on these tabs shows something as well. The Motorola Xoom scored 1902 and the Iconia tab scored 1995. Not a huge difference in scores, but in the land of Quadrant, this is a big difference.


MicroSD and USB

Continuing on with the hardware of the tablets, we need to take a look at the MicroSD port and the USB port on both tablets. The MicroSD port is something that is a bit of sore subject for some Xoom owners, considering the port itself is disabled. Motorola has stated that the port will be enabled in the near future with an update, but nothing yet. The Iconia tablet has an enabled MicroSD directly out of the box, allowing for external storage. There is no file browser yet for the Iconia, but applications for media playing will be able to search through and recognize all files on that SD card.

The Xoom doesn't have much in the way of a USB port, aside from the Micro USB that allows it to connect to a computer. Acer however, has loaded a full sized USB port into the Iconia, and it's fully enabled. This means that external keyboards and flash drives are able to work on the tablet itself. This use of input devices really pushes the Acer tab into the lead when it comes to tablets.

Media Formats

Xoom takes the cake on this one. The Iconia tab only can access and play certain formats, namely .3gp and .mp4. The Xoom on the other hand can play a wide range of formats, including: AAC, H.263, H.264, MP3, MPEG-4, ACC+ Enhanced, OGG, MIDI, AMR NB, AAC+. Yes, it's true, the Xoom can definitely play more formats for video and audio, but you have to load all these files directly onto the tab, because as stated in the last section, there is no working SD card.


Look and feel

The Xoom is nice, that's a given. The buttons are located in an easy to use array and the tablet itself feels nice and high-end. The Iconia is a bit cheaper feeling, but does have more rounded edges and an iPad like design. The Xoom has more of a rounded back, where as the Iconia tablet feels easier to hold, strictly because of the design of it. The weight of the Xoom gives it a feeling of more a little more durable and stable, but the Iconia definitely has a nicer, easier to use feel to it.

Native Apps

The Android market doesn't have many apps designed just for tablets, but that hasn't stopped Acer from loading the device with applications that are better used on a tablet like device. The Xoom comes without 20 different apps pre-installed that are great for tablet use, such as ereading apps. The Iconia comes with around 30 apps pre-installed, including a number of games, ereading apps and products that makes the tablet really push forward in the tablet race. Heros of Sparta and Let's Golf by Gameloft along with NFS Shift from EA are games that come directly on the Iconia tab, and they really make the tablet performance that much better. In this section, this minor difference definitely has the go to the Iconia for pushing the idea of tablet applications

Final Thoughts

Looking at both of these applications side by side, they are very similar but with only slight differences. If you were to test drive these two tablets out, you would look some significantly minor differences that might mean picking one over the other. At any rate, both tablets are very easy to use and are loaded with different amenities that will make your experience with a tablet that much greater.


[Via CrunchGear]