A tablet is a portable device that sits right between the portability of a smartphone and workload assistant of a laptop/netbook. Sure there were tablet PCs long before the whole iPad saga, but it was truly Steve Jobs’ idea of iPad that used a OS and UI tailor made for large touch-screens that revolutionized and brought back the tablets into mainstream. Speaking of which, you can’t deny that 2011 was indeed the year for tablets, starting with Apple iPad 2 to Asus Transformer Prime and everything in between.
If you are a person who fancies tech and gadgets then I am pretty sure that you would be wanting a tablet for yourself by now. As always, the market is full of a wide variety of tablets that are begging in the stores to take them with you. In order to rescue you from the difficulty of choosing yourself a right tablet, I have compiled a list of top 10 tablets in the market.
1. Apple iPad 2 – Rs. 27,000 (16GB Wi-Fi) onwards.
Love – iOS 5, Specially made iPad Apps, Great Screen, Fluid Web Browsing, Extremely fast, Amazing battery life and Solid built quality. And Apple, ofcourse.
Hate – Poor Fixed Focus Cameras, iTunes Still required, Comparatively low screen resolution.
Conclusion – Although priced higher, it is obvious that there is still no match to this tablet. Not only it is extremely fast and pleasing to use, its solid built quality and thin body makes it comfortable to carry around. It has the longest battery life till date so you can charge it once and forget the charger for the rest of the week if you use tablet casually.
2. Amazon Kindle Fire – Rs. 13,500 On Ebay.
Love – Extremely Affordable yet fast (Courtesy: Dual-Core processor), Good screen, Good Browser, Amazon media services are second only to Apple iTunes, Exclusive Apps.
Hate – Only 8GB non-expandable storage, No Extras (Cameras, Microphone, GPS and 3G), Some UI quirks.
Conclusion – It is the best and most usable affordable tablet to date. If you are geek enough then you can install Android 4.0 ICS on it in the near future.
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1/ Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 – Rs. 30,990 onwards
Love – Very good screen, lighter and slimmer than iPad 2, Fast, Android 4.0 Upcoming, Usable cameras, Good on-screen mini apps and good battery life.
Hate – Very limited set of tablet apps, No memory expansion option.
Conclusion – It is by far the best Android 10 inch tablet with all the latest features built into its thin and light body. It is also officially announced to get Android 4.0 ICS.
4. Sony Tablet S – Rs. 29,990
Love – New, fresh and easy to handle paperback-like design, PlayStation Mobile Gaming certified, Integrated Universal Remote, Android 4.0 Upcoming.
Hate – Low screen brightness, Proprietary and heavy charger, Average Battery Life.
Conclusion – It looks and feels different from all the other slim slab looking tablets out there. With ‘PlayStation’ certified games for mobile and an integrated all-in-one remote, it is a good tablet to be in your living room.
5. Asus Transformer – Rs. 29,990
Love – Keyboard and Touchpad Dock is really useful who happen to type a lot, Full sized USB port and card slot, HDMI out will be good add-on for media enthusiasts.
Hate – Low quality cameras, average build quality.
Conclusion – Sure it is a yesteryear’s tablet but with some great add-on in the form with a keyboard dock that doubles up as a secondary battery built-in. The HDMI port, full sized card slot and touchpad makes it look like a netbook replacement with an added advantage of touchscreen.
6. Motorola Xoom – Rs. 19,900
Love – Android 3.2 (Upgradeable to Android 4.0 ICS), HDMI, Low priced, 3G connectivity standard in all models, All the connectivity options and sensors present.
Hate – Heavier and fatter than other tablets, Dull looking design.
Conclusion – Although with a heavier body, it is the most affordable Android 3.2 tablet with powerful hardware and connectivity features.
7. Apple iPad (64GB, Wi-Fi) – Rs. 27,000
Love – Good screen, Huge storage option, Excellent apps and games, Great for reading books, Wide range of accessories, Awesome battery life.
Hate – No 3G connectivity, no cameras and limited 256MB of RAM.
Conclusion – It may be nearly 2 years old but it is still better than a lot of tablets out there. With a huge collection of apps and games specially made for iPad, it may never disappoint you with all the entertainment options. Excellent battery life makes it the cherry on the cake.
8. HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) – Rs. 22,000
Love – Affordable, Good looking and great build quality; All-round connectivity, Android 3.2 Honeycomb, Speedy single core processor, Digital pen for jotting down notes and scribbling, HTC Sense.
Hate – Single core processor may not be able to run all high end games, You can buy dual core tablets and cheaper price, thicker than others.
Conclusion – With super sexy aluminum unibody, great 7 inch screen with HTC sense UI, it is the best and most affordable 7-inch tablet with Android 3.2 and a 3G connectivity option.
9. Samsung Galaxy Tab (7-inch, 16GB, Wi-Fi) – Rs. 15,000 on EBay India
Love – Faster processor than others, Good gaming performance and web browsing. Android 2.3 with Samsung TouchWiz 3.0 UI and good tablet specific apps from Samsung (Email, Calendar, Music Player, etc); Good screen quality.
Hate – No upgrade to Android 3.0 or 4.0 and average battery life.
Conclusion – This tablet is definitely the best Android 2.3 tablet with all the Google services. It has a good screen, it is light and easy to carry around; build quality is good too.
10. Akash Tablet/Ubislate 7+ – Rs. 2,500 onwards
Love – Super affordable making it the cheapest tablet in the world. Can play HD videos, Expandable storage, Android 2.2(Akash)/2.3(Ubislate 7+), Full sized USB port, Made in India.
Hate – None at this price. (Could have been excellent if they managed to fit a capacitive touchscreen though)
Conclusion – Finally we are proud of Indian government who launched the worlds cheapest tablet for Indian students and even subsidized the price.
What tablet did you buy in 2011? What do you look forward to? iPad, once again?
[Guest article contributed by Shaik Asif Iqbal of Techhunger.]