Apple’s WiFi iPad 2 has topped the ratings of a recent Consumer Reports test pitting the 10 “most promising” tablet computers against each other to see which one performs better at what tasks, as well as to determine their overall quality.
As expected, the product review team found Motorola’s Xoom as the iPad 2's chief rival.
They found that the Xoom actually beats the iPad 2 in some instances, as it boasts a similar 10-inch screen “but adds conveniences that the iPad lacks, including a built-in memory card reader and support for the Flash videos and animations found on many Web sites.”
Other findings regarding tablets from Archos, Dell, Motorola, Samsung, and ViewSonic were dished out in the magazine’s report.
Each tablet was evaluated on touch-screen responsiveness, versatility, portability, screen glare, and ease of use, among a total of 17 criteria.
Testers found several models that outperformed the rest, such as the Apple iPad 2 destroying the Archos 70 Internet Tablet in battery life tests.
Measured by playing a looped video clip on each tablet, the reviewers found the top-scoring iPad 2 lasted a whopping 12.2 hours, exceeding Apple’s own claims by 2.2 hours.
The lowest-rated tablet, the Archos 70 Internet Tablet, $270, lasted just 3.8 hours.
Specifically, it was the iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G (32GB) that topped the ratings, scoring Excellent in nearly every category. The tablet costs $729.
They also threw in the first-generation iPad for their tests. It reportedly outscored many of the other models tested, but tied with the Motorola Xoom.
The iPad 1 configuration tested by Consumer Reports was priced at $530, according to their report, but it fails to note whether the price is the original one, or the slashed one, following the iPad 2 launch. For the sake of comparison, the Xoom costs $800.
"So far, Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price, which is unusual for a company whose products are usually premium priced," said Paul Reynolds, electronics editor at Consumer Reports.
"However, it's likely we'll see more competitive pricing in tablets as other models begin to hit the market," added Reynolds.