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The new iPad vs the Asus Transformer Prime, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, and Motorola Xoom 2

Battle to the death
Product: Third-generation iPad | Publisher: Apple
Third-generation iPad Multiformat, thumbnail 1
After months (and we mean months) of speculation, rumours, and blatant fairy tales, the new iPad is finally on the brink of release.

Apple's brand-new tablet will hit store shelves (and, hopefully, my doorstep) this Friday (March 16th), and will duke it out for supremacy against slates from the likes of Samsung, Asus, and, erm, Samsung.

How does Apple's third-generation iPad stack up against its competition, though?

Does its Retina display and A5X processor mean the Cupertino-based company's "new iPad" rules the roost, or does the lack of a stylus render the tablet about as useful as a one-legged man in an butt-kicking contest? Spoiler: it doesn't.

We've compared Apple's new iPad with a selection of tablets that are either available right now or are going to hit store shelves in the near future.

So, scroll down a little. You know you want to.

The new iPad vs Asus Transformer Prime

Since the major draw of Apple's new iPad is - probably - its gorgeous Retina display, we'll begin these comparisons by talking about each tablet's screen.

When it comes to screen size, the Transformer Prime's 10.1-inch display dwarfs the new iPad's 9.7-inch IPS offering. Turn the spotlight onto resolution and pixels, though, and it's a whole different ball game: the iPad's 2048x1536 screen resolution is almost double that of the Transformer's.

Thanks to a very recent benchmark test from two guys over in Vietnam, we know that both tablets come packing 1GB of RAM. Processor-wise, the Prime's 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chip is a darn sight more powerful than the new iPad's 1GHz dual-core engine - at least, on the surface.

At the new iPad's launch event last week, you see, Apple's CEO Tim Cook was quick to boast that the graphics processing unit under the third-generation iPad's hood offers 4x the graphical performance of Nvidia's GPU, so it's hard to choose a winner.

The new iPad features a much-improved 5-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera capable of capturing 1080p footage, and the same VGA-quality front-facing FaceTime camera found on the iPad 2. The Transformer Prime, on the other hand, packs an 8-megapixel rear snapper and a 1.2-megapixel front camera.

If storage space is important to you, the Transformer Prime could be the way to go. Asus's tablet comes in 32GB and 64GB varieties - both of which are expandable via microSD cards. 32GB is a lot of space, though, especially if you only have a handful of songs, videos, and apps in your collection. The iPad comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB flavours, so you don't have to shell out for more storage than you actually need.

Finally, the most important comparison point of all: price. A 32GB Transformer Prime will set you back £499 from the likes of online retailer Amazon, which is slightly higher than the £479 asking price for a 32GB wi-fi-only iPad. If you add 3G to Apple's tablet, that RRP rises to £579, mind.

The new iPad vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Much like in the above battle between the new iPad and the Transformer Prime, the yet-to-be-released Galaxy Note 10.1 wins the war of screen sizes, but takes a knife in the back when resolution and pixels are added to the mix. Samsung's upcoming stylus-friendly tab has the same 1280x800 screen resolution as the Transformer Prime.

When it comes to RAM, Apple's and Samsung's tablets are inseparable, packing 1GB a piece. But, the Galaxy Note 10.1's 1.4GHz dual-core processor somewhat overshadows the iPad's 1GHz chip - again, at least, on the surface.

Things get a little bit tricky when attempting to compare the tablets's cameras. Samsung's 10.1-inch slate features a 3.15-megapixel rear-facing snapper capable of shooting 1080p video at 30 frames per second, which, obviously, pales in comparison to Apple's 5-megapixel effort. When it comes to front-facing cameras, however, the Galaxy Note 10.1's 2-megapixel snapper takes home the bacon.

You can grab both tablets (once the latter is released) in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB flavours, and expand the Galaxy Note 10.1's storage by a further 32GB through the use of a microSD card. We guess that's another win for Sammy's tablet.

While South Korea-based manufacturer Samsung has yet to reveal an official price for its forthcoming tablet, website AndroidPit is reporting that the Galaxy Note 10.1 will retail for €729, which is around £607. If that price is for the 16GB base model (and is accurate), that's a massive loss for Samsung. In fact, it's a bullet straight between the eyes.

The new iPad vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

We bet you can already predict the outcome of this 'Battle of the Screens'. Naturally, the Galaxy Tab 2's 10.1-inch screen is larger than the iPad's 9.7-inch monitor, but the latter's "resolutionary" Retina display ultimately comes out on top. Told you so. One-nil.

Both tablets feature 1GB of RAM and a 1GHz dual-core processor. The new iPad's quad-core GPU probably tips this battle in favour of the Cupertino kids, though. Two-nil.

More bad news for the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Its 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera, which is capable of recording 1080p HD video, just doesn't cut the mustard against Apple's 5-megapixel snapper. The two tablets' VGA-quality front-facing cameras are pretty much the same, but the new iPad still chalks up the win in the photography department. Three-nil.

The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 hasn't hit the market yet, but it looks like it will arrive in 16GB and 32GB variants - both of which can be expanded by a further 32GB via a microSD card. The new iPad will, of course, be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB flavours, but you won't be able to expand any of them. We'll have to give this round to Sammy. C-C-C-C-Combo breaker.

And onto price. Samsung is yet to peel back the price tag for the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, but AndroidPit (again) is reporting that a wi-fi-only Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (presumably the 16GB version) will retail for €499, which is around £414. Make your own mind up about this one.

The new iPad vs Motorola Xoom 2

This is the last time we'll bore you with this, we promise. Actually, just forget it: the iPad's beautiful Retina display is the clear winner here.

Motorola's Xoom 2 fares much better in the next battle, though. Namely because its 1.2GHz dual-core processor eclipses the new iPad's 1GHz CPU in terms of raw clock speed. The iPad does, of course, have that quad-core GPU, mind. The winner of this round really depends on what you're looking for in a tablet.

The Xoom 2 is the clear victor, however, when the debate turns to cameras. Both tablets have 5-megapixel rear-facing snappers capable of 1080p video recording, but the Xoom 2's LED flash puts Motorola's tablet out in front. The Xoom 2's front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera also beats out the iPad's FaceTime camera.

Flash memory-wise, the Xoom 2 features 16GB and 32GB of non-expandable storage. The new iPad, meanwhile, comes in a 64GB variant.

Finally, you can pick up Motorola's Xoom 2 tablet from online retailer Amazon for around £369.99, which is cheaper than the iPad's £399 asking price. Naturally, that's for the 16GB wi-fi-only model.

Reviewer photo
Anthony Usher 15 March 2012
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