If you’ve set your heart on getting yourself a tablet, you’ll be glad to know that an iPad is not your only option. There are several other tablets of equal repute out there. Knowing your alternatives, their price points and user reviews gives you the opportunity to make the best choice for you.
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
This tablet is lighter than the iPad 2 and thin, with a 2-megapixel front camera and a 3-megapixel back camera. The powerful dual speakers are great but the tablet lacks ports for USB, SD, HDMI devices or SIM Cards. The back of the tablet is made of plastic, which makes it feel less solid then Apple’s iPad 2. The screen is 10.1-inch high and classy looking with a 0.8-inch black bezel and silver aluminum edging outline. Since it’s a Samsung device, you get several Samsung Apps and access to Samsung’s application store.
2. Sony Tablet S
The Sony Tablet S offers exclusive applications, certified PlayStation for mobile gaming, and music and DLNA video streaming facility, all of it wrapped up ergonomically. This smart tablet also comes with an integrated IR universal remote control. The price is a little steep, at $499 for the 16GB version and $599 for the 32GB version. The Sony Tablet S is not as thin as the iPad 2, but it’s forward slanting screen minimizes glare, which helps with screen visibility. If you lose the charging adapter, you’ll have to get one from Sony, since local adapters won’t work with the tablet. The Bravia TV technology makes the screen look fabulous with contrasts, even though the screen is definitely smaller than those found on other Honeycomb devices. With this tablet, you get the full accompaniment of Google’s Android 3.1 features such as Gmail, Google Talk and so on.
3. Kindle Fire
This 7-inch tablet is your best bet to link seamlessly to Amazon’s media and book collection. The Kindle Fire comes with a Web browser, along with the must-have Android applications such as Pandora, Hulu and Netflix. The great screen quality is a plus, but the minus is that the tablet provides only 8 GB of storage, with no slot for expansion. There’s also no camera, GPS and location services or even 3G wireless. Users must opt for an Amazon Prime subscription to use some of the tablet’s more-unique features as well. However, since it’s priced at $199 the Kindle Fire is a fabulous entertainment investment for the price.
4. Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet
The screen is smaller with this tablet, it’s only 7 inches. Still, this tablet offers features that the Kindle Fire lacks, such as built-in Wi-Fi and microSD expansion slot. The built in storage space is 16GB. Users get to use several free books and magazines, and about a 1000 applications via the integrated Nook store. The tablet can playback Netflix and Hulu Plus videos as well. The inbuilt web browser comes with Adobe Flash support, a feature that even Apple’s iPad lacks. The downside is that there’s no GPS, camera, no option to rent or purchase video, Bluetooth, or access to the full Android Market.
5. Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101
This is an Android tablet with a 10.1-inch screen, micoSD, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, HDMI port and both rear and front facing cameras. This beautiful tablet is fast to use with great graphics support due to the integrated 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core chip. The RAM is generous at 1 GB and you also get to choose between 16GB or 32GB internal storage. There’s a microSD storage boosting card slot as well, if you need more memory. There’s also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.
6. The Eee Pad Transformer
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 comes with a detachable keyboard and trackpad dock. This means you can use it as a sleek tablet outdoors and as a great Android-powered netbook at your desk. Tablet’s back and its keyboard are created using a honeycomb-style texture, which prevents accidental slipping. However, the black bezel edging around the screen makes the pad look much wider than the screen is. The tablet weighs in at 680g, which is heavier than the other tablets in the market.
7. Motorola Xoom
If you’re looking for a great Android 3.0 tablet that really challenges iPad 2, then the Motorola Xoom is for you. This powerful tablet with its dual-core processor and large, 10.1-inch slate screen looks beautiful and is flexible when it comes to the media you can load on it. The Xoom comes with a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, 32GB of local storage, which you can update with SD storage with the next version of Android. There’s a generous 1GB of RAM, 10 hours of battery life, potential 4G support after software update. The regular Xoom version is priced at £499, with the 3G version at £599.