The iPad 2 neutralizes the Xoom's advantages, giving the iPad an overall edge. But let's not forget that the Xoom remains a strong choice for tablet buyers -- and its approach to app widgets continues to pose an advantage over the iPad 2. A software update could further bolster the Xoom's areas of strength.
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In this rematch, the winner is a clearer call: the iPad 2. But it's also evident that there are more rounds to be fought, and Apple should not take the iPad 2's superiority for granted. (If you read the , skip ahead to the sections on the and on the , the two areas where the iPad 2's changes are concentrated. There are also some changes of note related to .)
For testing these essential business functions, I used personal accounts of IMAP, POP, and Gmail along with a work account of Exchange 2007. Both devices work directly with IMAP, Gmail, and POP; my email, email folders, calendars, and contacts all flowed effortlessly among the smartphones, my laptop, and the server.