HP TouchPad vs Apple iPad vs Motorola Xoom vs BlackBerry PlayBook

By Matthew Braga

While some might argue it's far too late to challenge the iPad's dominance, that's not going to stop some of the industry's biggest players from trying.

Following the unchallenged success of Apple's iPad last year, it was only a matter of time before other companies began to offer tablets of their own. And while some might argue it's far too late to challenge the iPad's dominance, that's not going to stop some of the industry's biggest players from trying. 

having announced their WebOS-based TouchPad tablet earlier today. Once you're done digesting all the juicy details, we're going to see how how HP's upcoming tablet compares to Apple's mobile juggernaut, as well as some of this year's other most anticipated models.
Motorola's Xoom and HP's TouchPad will both be 3G/4G capable, and BlackBerry's PlayBook is actually 4G-only, at least thus far (a 3G-capable model has only been rumoured). 
Also, dual-core is more or less the norm from here on out, with each manufacturer using their own ARM-based variant inside. This jives with what we've heard about the iPad 2, which may be clocked at 1.2 GHz like Motorola's Xoom. Coupled with a beefy 1 GB of RAM for all the tablets we've compared — far more than the current generation iPad's paltry 256 MB — and you have a good indication of where this market is heading in terms of performance and speed.
our bet is that Apple's next generation iPad will stick to this trend — contrary to what some rumours claim.
Finally, it's worth noting the interesting discrepancy between cameras in each of this year's tablets. HP, for example, offers no rear-facing camera, providing only a modest front-facing sensor instead. Meanwhile, the Xoom and the PlayBook offer considerably higher-quality sensors, while the iPad 2 is said to have a paltry 1 MP rear-facing camera and a 0.3 MP sensor on the front. The lack of consistency is intriguing, and seems to indicate that, beyond video-calling capabilities, no one is quite sure whether tablet photography will have similar success when compared to mobile phones.  
Below, we have a full comparison of this year's upcoming tablets, with the first-generation iPad included for reference.

Apple iPad 
Motorola Xoom 
HP TouchPad 
BlackBerry PlayBook  
Display9.7" IPS 10.1" LCD9.7" LCD7" LCD
Resolution1024x7681200x8001024x7681024 x 600
Processor1 GHz  
Apple A4
1 GHz dual-core  
Tegra 2
1.2 GHz dual-core 
1 GHz dual-core  
TI OMAP 4430
256 MB DDR1 GB DDR2 1 GB 1 GB
Battery Life10 hours of  
video playback
10 hours of  
video playback
Dimensions9.53" x 7.48" x 0.54" 9.8" x 6.6" x 0.5"9.45" x 7.48" x 0.54"5.1" x 7.6" x 0.4" 
Weight1.6 pounds1.6 pounds1.6 pounds 0.9 pounds
Storage16GB, 32GB, 64GB32GB16GB, 32GB16GB, 32GB, 64GB
WiFi802.11a/b/g/n802.11b/g/n802.11b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth2.1 + EDR2.1 + EDR2.1 + EDR2.1 + EDR
— 2 MP 1.3 MP3 MP
Rear-facing camera —  5 MP— 5 MP
Video Calling— Google TalkSkypeYes 
Video Recording720pUnknown 720p
MultitaskingPartialYesYes (card-based)Yes (card-based) 
BrowserWebkit (Safari)Webkit (Chrome)Webkit Webkit 
Mobile HotspotNo YesYesNo 
Adobe FlashNo Yes YesYes 
What are your thoughts on Palm's tablet announcement? How do you think this year's tablets compare? Which are you most interested in buying? Let us know below!