New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 was launched at MWC last month

The new iPad has been announced, so it's time to see how it stacks up against its high-end rivals.

We've chosen the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Asus' latest flagship tab, the crazily-named Asus Transformer Pad Infinity and the Motorola Xoom 2.

Remember to check out New iPad vs iPad 2: which should you choose? if you're undecided on which iPad to buy.

See what's new in the next-gen iPad in our first look video:

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: OS

The new iPad launches with a new variant of Apple's iOS - 5.1. It's also available for older iOS models. The Transformer Pad Infinity and Galaxy Note 10.1 both have Android 4.0, though the former has Samsung's TouchWiz overlay. The Xoom 2 launched with Android 3.2. The Xoom 2 will get Android 4.0 in due course - it's slated for later this year.

Winner: You choose, though it's definitely not the Xoom 2.

The asus transformer prime infinity

The asus transformer prime infinity runs android 4.0

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Processor

The iPad 2 introduced the A5, a dual-core chip based on the new ARM Cortex-A9 design, clocked at 1 GHz. We don't yet know what the new iPad's evolutionary A5X is clocked at, but it remains a dual- core chip. Indeed, all these tablets are dual-core rather than quad-core. The Galaxy Note 10.1's chip is clocked at 1.4 GHz, while the Xoom 2's TI OMAP 4430 is 1.2GHz. The Transformer Pad Infinity employs the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, clocked at 1.5GHz.

Winner: The Snapdragon S4 is a formidable processor, but Apple won't have under-specified the iPad, so expect the A5X to stack up.

New ipad

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Graphics

What the A5X does have is better graphics capability - with Apple saying it has quad-core graphics. Like the iPhone 4, the iPad and iPad 2 both had an Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX-based graphics chip - the new iPad has the PowerVR SGX543MP4.The Xoom 2 uses a similar chip, packing the PowerVR SGX540, while the Asus uses the Adreno 225 GPU from Qualcomm (alongside the Snapdragon CPU component featuring two so-called Krait cores).

Winner: The jury's still out pending decent benchmarks.

New ipad

The galaxy note 10.1 also comes with the s pen

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Storage and memory

Like the original iPad and iPad 2, the new iPad comes loaded with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage. The Galaxy Note 10.1 and Transformer Pad also come in these sizes. The Xoom 2 only features 16GB of memory. All the tablets have 1GB of RAM - we believe the new iPad has doubled up on the iPad 2's 512MB of RAM.

All have microSD slots except, of course, the iPad.

Winner: Score draw

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Display

The new iPad lays down the screen gauntlet with a 2048 x 1536 resolution 9.7-inch IPS LCD display that boasts 264 pixels per inch - the pixels themselves are indistinguishable, just as on the iPhone 4 and 4S. The closst comparison is the 10.1-inch 1900 x 1200 pixel display inside the Asus. Both are capacitive, just like the Xoom 2. The Moto tablet and the Galaxy Note still have HD displays at 1280 x 800. (The Note's is a Super PLS display). All three non-Apple tabs have 10.1-inch displays.

Winner: The iPad

TechRadar on a new ipad

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Communications

The new iPad ups the ante on the iPad 2 by introducing 4G LTE connectivity alongside the Wi-Fi capability. 4G LTE is also available in North America for the Transformer Pad Infinity. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is available in a 3G variant, although the Xoom 2 is Wi-Fi only in the UK. If you're after a Samsung LTE tablet, you need a Galaxy Tab.

As you'd expect, all the tablets featured here have an accelerometer and ambient light sensors. The Xoom 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 feature digital compasses and magnetometers.

You also get Bluetooth 4.0 on the new iPad and Asus Transformer Infinity instead of Bluetooth 2.1 on the Xoom 2 and Bluetooth 3.0 on the Galaxy Note.

You can also use the new iPad as a Personal Hotspot via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.

Aside from the iPad, there's Micro USB on all three other tablets, while the Xoom 2 and Transformer Pad Infinity also feature Micro HDMI.

Winner: Take your pick between the iPad and Transformer Infinity (we rather like the inclusion of Micro HDMI on the latter, not everybody has an Apple TV for AirPlay).

New ipad

The xoom 2 is wi-fi only in the uk

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Camera

The iPad has a VGA front-facing camera compared to the Xoom 2's 1.3 megapixels, and the 2 megapixel cams on the other tabs.

Round the back of the new iPad there's the new iSight camera with 5 megapixels, 1080p video recording instead of 720p and video stabilisation.

The Xoom 2 matches the 5 megapixel resolution, but can only shoot 720p. The Galaxy Note features a 3MP snapper, but can still take 1080p video. The Asus wins the camera battle though, with an 8 megapixel unit that can also record Full HD.

All have single LED flashes, except the iPad which has none.

Winner: The Transformer Pad Infinity takes it.

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Size and weight

Unlike the change between the original iPad and iPad 2 when the thickness dropped down to 8.8mm from 13.4mm, there's no such change this time - in fact thickness is slightly more at 9.4mm.

The Galaxy Note has the additional S-Pen, the stylus which is used to draw, write and interact with device.

Cited weights are for the 3G or 4G models.

New iPad

Height: 241.2 mm
Width: 185.7 mm
Depth: 9.4 mm
Weight: 622g

Note 10.1

Height: 256.7 mm
Width: 175.3 mm
Depth: 8.9 mm
Weight: 583g

Xoom 2

Height: 253.9 mm
Width: 173.6 mm
Depth: 8.8 mm
Weight: 599g

Transformer Pad Infinity

Height: 263 mm
Width: 180.8 mm
Depth: 8.5 mm
Weight: 586g

Winner: The Transformer Pad Infinity might have be longer/taller, but it's wonderfully thin.

New ipad

The new ipad is thicker than the ipad 2

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Battery life

The new iPad offers up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music while there's also a month of promised standby time. If you're using the new iPad on 4G, this drops to 9 hours. The Transformer Pad Infinity also offers the now-familiar 10 hours, as does the Xoom 2. The Note 10.1 should clock in around the same.

Winner: Score draw

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Pricing

For iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, it's $629, $729 and $829 respectively, or £499, £579 and £659 - though the faster data will be of limited use in the UK of course.

For the Wi-Fi only it's 16GB for $499, 32GB for $599 and 64GB for $699. That's £399, £479 and £559 in the UK.

The Xoom 2 is available in the UK now for £370-£380 in a Wi-Fi version, while we don't yet have a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 UK or US price or Asus Transformer Pad Infinity UK or US price - so everything hangs on that.

Winner: The jury's still out

New iPad vs Note 10.1 vs Xoom 2 vs Transformer Pad Infinity: Verdict

The new iPad still has to be the leader of the pack - the display is without question the stand-out feature and until we start seeing OLED displays in 10.1-inch tabs (remember the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 does), the iPad will stand ahead of the pack. The other challenge for the contenders is price - £399 is a price point that everybody is trying to match, but they're running to keep up and the now-£329 iPad 2 is also a real challenge for many of them. Despite the best work from Asus and Samsung, Apple will rule the tablet roost for some time yet.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.