Apple's iPad 2 has already been made available in the US and will hit UK shelves within the next two weeks. However, should you plump for Apple's latest tablet or opt for one of its competitiors that run Google Android?

The Motorola Xoom, the first device to run Honeycomb, the tablet-optimised version of Google Android, will be made available in the UK on April 9.

The W-Fi only version of the device will be available through Currys, PC World, Dixons and Pixmania, priced at £499. A Wi-Fi and 3G version will be made available through the Carphone Warehouse  and Best Buy later this year, but while the device is available to pre-order SIM-free for £599, availability dates have yet to be released.

Considering the wave of Android tablets expected to launch later this year - is it wise to opt for the Xoom as soon as it is released Or would you be better off taking a wait-and-see approach?

Here are some things to keep in mind if you're still on the fence.

Motorola Xoom: If you're champing at the bit for a Honeycomb tablet...

...get the Xoom. As Google's inaugural Honeycomb tablet - and the device that the Android team actually used to develop the Honeycomb software - the Xoom has a huge advantage in the timing department. Other Honeycomb tablets are still undergoing testing and development, with release dates limited to fairly vague terms; LG's T-Mobile G-Slate, for example, is "expected to be available this spring" (some rumours have pointed to late March, but that date has not been confirmed). The recently announced Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 also has no firm release date so far.

If you're excited about Honeycomb and want to get your hands on a high-quality Android tablet ASAP, the Xoom is the way to go.

Motorola Xoom: If a 10.1-inch tablet seems about right for you...

...get the Xoom. Other Honeycomb tablets, like the Galaxy Tab 10.1, will match the Xoom's size - but (1) they aren't here and (2) we have no indications that they'll offer any significant advantages other than subtle design differences. The Tab, for example, lacks a memory card slot and USB port, both of which are present in the Xoom. It does, however, have a slightly slimmer profile - by 0.07in -and weighs about 0.3 pounds less.

Let me put it this way: If you think one of the future tablets' designs might suit you better and you don't mind waiting, hang tight till you can properly compare.

NEXT PAGE: Even more reasons to buy the Xoom

  1. Should you buy the Xoom or wait for a competitior?
  2. Even more reasons to buy the Xoom