Computer tablets top the wish lists of many this holiday shopping season. Dominating at what used to be a limited choice was Apple’s iPad. This year however, Apple’s competitors have matured and came out with their own versions, making the field even, and the choice widened.
To eye on tabs, the first step is to decide the size, which has two categories – full sized (pioneered by iPad) and half sized (by Kindle Fire). Full-sized tablets having screens that have diagonal measurements of about 10 inches are as good as PCs in surfing websites and even better when displaying docs and mags. They go as far as replacing the laptops and cost about $400. At the top of this category are:
Apple iPad, 4th Generation (Price starts at $499)
Apple updates its iPad annually, but surprised the public this October with an innovative model which has a faster processor, “Lightning” connection, charging port, a “Retina” screen of ultra-high-resolution and 2,048 by 1,536 pixels that is better than Google Nexus 10.
iPad has less downsides and definitely, no one shall frown when opening the package with it.
Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ ($269)
It is quite unexpected for a book store like Barnes & Noble to create some stunning tablets. Nook HD+ is a model closer to iPad in size; and smaller with a diagonal screen measurement of 9 inches. The resolution is lower too but still good at 1,920 by 1,280 pixels which is capable of displaying more detail than an HDTV.
As a family-friendly tablet, it allows multiple user accounts which can be set to restrict access to certain content. HD+ comes with 16GB of storage memory but expandable with microSD, meaning, a 32GB shall cost $25. That’s a pretty deal.
However, the Nook is not so versatile. It has limited available apps, and the content is focused on Barnes & Noble like mags, movies and e-books. It has no camera while the others have two per unit. It suits someone who is not more on recent games and apps, but sticks to media consumption only.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (starts at $499)
Galaxy Note 10.1 is creative having the only “pen” to write or draw on the display screen. It runs Google’s Android and can access a good list of apps, though not on par with iPad’s, but better than others. The resolution is low at 1,280 by 800 pixels. Storage memory is expandable. Note’s appeal is for the amateur or expert artist.
Microsoft Surface (starts at $499)
The MS first tablet is heavy, rugged and thick and is different from iPad or any tablet powered by Google or Apple. It has Windows RT as its operating system, which is Windows 8’s version for tablets. Coming with it is MS office and it can connect to wireless peripherals and printers. Screen resolution is 1,366 by 768 pixels, putting it on the low-resolution list. It suits to workaholics though it does not run other programs still and the selection is quite limited for now.
Asus Vivo Tab RT (starts at $599)
Asus has “Transformer”, which is its quality Android tablets lineup. The tablet is thinner and smaller than Surface and it has a memory card slot and a USB port. Vivo Tab RT best fits to those who is working while on the go, or cannot decide which one to have between a tablet or a laptop.
Google Nexus 10 (starts at $399)
Google’s pilot full-size tablet and the only one that beats iPad’s screen resolution. It boasts of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels – a third more than iPad 4th generation. It is the only tab having speakers on either side when held horizontally, producing good sound reproduction when watching films. Its back is rubberized and grippy; its corners are widely rounded.
It has no slot for memory card nor a cellular modem option. The third party software selection is wide, just like Note 10.1. It is odd for it to steer buyers to Play Store of Google since most do not associate Google with online movies, movies or music. However, with Android nature, apps are handy for streaming services such as Netflix and entertainment stores like Amazon’s.
Nexus 10 is an energetic performer, and among the competitors of Apple, it is closest to match the flexibility of the latter’s devices.