Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 Tablets Product Comparisons (2012)

10. Dell Streak 7

The Dell Streak 7 is a small tablet with large features. This computing device comes with the Android 2.2 operating system and 16GB of memory. It also has 4G capabilities and runs on T-Mobile’s 4G network. It is a solid device but requires a few improvements before it can beat several competing products. But despite its flaws, it is a durable product that will get the job done, especially when you're on the go.

This tablet runs on the Android 2.2 operating system. This Android operating system is similar to other versions you've seen on different Android devices, and you will see several similar characteristics such as the customizable homescreens and on-screen widgets. The tablet will also feature an over-the-air upgrade to the Android 3.0, also known as Honeycomb. As of this writing, this upgrade date has not yet been announced.

Several multimedia features are available including a 1.3MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing camera. Using applications such as ooVoo and Qik along with these dual cameras, you can video chat using the tablet. There is also a music player and a built-in eReader so you can carry your favorite books with you anywhere you go.

Our greatest disappointment in the Dell Streak 7 is the poor battery life. This tablet only gets three hours of battery life on a single charge. This barely gives you any time for browsing the internet, video calling, capturing photos or even watching a full-length movie. Plan to use this tablet sparingly if you aren't constantly plugged in.

The Dell Streak 7 features the NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor. This gives the tablet adequate speeds, but it just isn’t enough to make it one of the fastest products on the market. The processor does provide amazing graphics that makes gaming, watching movies or TV shows detailed and crisp.

There are 16GB of available memory, which gives you a large amount of space for storing music, movies, documents or photos. And if that doesn’t seem like enough storage space, you can add up to a 32GB SD, MMC or SDHC memory card.

This tablet is small and lightweight. The device is 4.71 inches wide, 7.87 inches long and 0.48 inches thick. It weighs one pound, which makes it easy and comfortable to hold, even for extended periods of time. But with increased portability you have to sacrifice in screen size. Some users might find the 7-inch touchscreen display too small, and the 480 x 800 pixel resolution doesn’t give this tablet the clarity and brightness it has the potential to possess.

Even though the Dell Streak 7 features a small 7-inch display, the screen is responsive to touch. The virtual keypad is small but the keys respond well; we experienced only a small amount of lag time between key commands.

The Dell Streak 7 is easy to navigate and the user interface is simple, even for those new to this type of technology. There is no built-in stand for easy viewing on this tablet, and there is no stylus or digital pen to make navigation more efficient.

The Dell Streak 7 is 4G capable, has video chat capabilities and the ability to upgrade to the latest Android operating system, but this tablet still has a way to go before beating the top products. The battery life is the biggest drawback to this device, along with the small touchscreen display. Luckily, the multimedia features are terrific and there is plenty of memory available to store all your movies, photos and music.

9. HP Slate 500

If you are looking for a tablet ideal for small business needs, the HP Slate 500 may be the tablet you are looking for. The HP Slate 500 offers multitasking capabilities, connectivity, ease of use and strong processor. There is not a large selection of multimedia features offered but this device is designed to better fit the needs of business professionals.

One feature that makes this tablet stand apart from other similar devices is the use of a digital pen. The pen makes navigating throughout the device and inputting information much easier and more efficient. The HP Slate 500 is designed with two cameras. A VGA camera is located on the front of the device for web conferencing and a 3MP (megapixel) camera is located on the back which is ideal for capturing still images. We were glad to see this business-designed device provided such strong web conferencing capabilities. This is a feature we felt was a necessity on a device aimed toward business.

The HP Slate 500 isn’t aimed toward those individuals who are looking for a tablet designed for entertainment purposes. This device is designed to be efficient and is equipped for business type industries. This HP product runs off of Window 7 Professional. Using a Windows operating system, the Slate 500 provides the ability to connect hassle-free to any PC.

This tablet uses a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor. This processor made the device run quickly and we had little problems with slow response or freezing. Not only is the processor a standout feature on the device, but 2GB of memory is included and the ability to add up to 64GB with a media expansion slot is located on the device.

The HP Slate 500 is built with a beautiful display. It provides an 8.9 inch touchscreen with 1024 x 600 screen resolution. The screen was large and the images were bright and vivid. We were pleased to see the display screen featured a wide-viewing angle. This made it possible to view at all angles and we didn’t have to hold the device a certain way to see the images on the display screen.

We were also impressed with the overall size and appearance of the HP Slate. The product is sleek and attractive. It is also lightweight, weighing 1.5 pounds. The lightweight and compact design makes it a key feature as this device is portable and small enough to take with you on a business trip or take with you to a meeting.

The Windows 7 Professional operating system makes this product simple to use for anyone who is familiar with the Windows operating system. It was easy to navigate around and the menus and settings were simple to set up. And to make connectivity much easier, a USB 2.0 port is installed. A dock is provided that stands up the device and makes it feel as if you are looking directly at a computer rather than a small tablet.

The HP Slate 500 is an ideal tablet for business purposes. Though it may lack entertainment features, this device provides multitasking capabilities, a fast operating system and processor. If you want a device aimed toward perfecting the details, take a look at the HP Slate 500.

8. BlackBerry Playbook


The BlackBerry Playbook is a tablet designed for the business professional. This device offers superb multitasking capabilities, excellent multimedia features and a fast processor. With this product you can accomplish all your work – even on the go. It runs the BlackBerry operating system, so those familiar with the interface won’t have any difficulty navigating around this computing device.
This tablet provides all the features you need to accomplish your work quickly and efficiently. Multitasking is simple and you can open several apps at once and switch back and forth between them with no hassle and without any lag time. There is a music player and GPS navigation, and it is Adobe Flash 10.1 enabled.

Aside from any business features offered, there are several multimedia features to keep you entertained. A 3MP front-facing camera, along with a 5MP rear-facing camera is available on the Playbook. These were the best cameras we saw on tablets and they produce the highest quality photos. Along with the photo capability, video calling is available and viewing video in full HD 1080p.

A drawback to the BlackBerry Playbook is it doesn’t offer as large of a selection of applications as Android or Apple devices offer. There still is a large selection to choose from, but it is much more limited in variety and quality. If downloading apps is important to you, you may want to check out their selection and make sure BlackBerry offers the apps you want before purchasing the device.

This tablet runs on a dual-core 1GHz processor. The device possesses a small amount of lag time after keys are pressed or while programs are opening. This product didn’t meet our full expectations with the processor because it wasn’t as fast as several similar devices, even with its advanced multitasking capabilities.

You can purchase the Playbook with 16, 32 or 64GB of memory. The amount of memory you purchase depends upon the amount of data you intend on storing on your device. If you plan to store a significant number of documents, movies, photos and music, you will want a large amount of memory.

The BlackBerry Playbook is a handsome tablet with a sleek design. The only drawback to its design is it is a small device and features a small display screen. This device is 5.1 inches long, 7.6 inches wide and only 0.4 inches thick. It has small dimensions, which increases its portability, but the small size also means a small display screen. The touchscreen display is only 7 inches with 600 x 1024 screen resolution. It is small enough that viewing movies or video chatting aren't as impressive as with a larger tablet. Browsing the internet and typing are also slightly harder on a small screen.
Even though the display screen is small, it is responsive. There is some noticeable lag time but not enough to cause any issues. Those who are new to this type of technology may not even notice any problems with the screen. You navigate the device using only your fingers because there is no stylus or digital pen. Your fingers do all the swiping, tapping, clicking and dragging on the tablet, which makes for a tactile, sensory experience.

The BlackBerry Playbook offers a wide range of features to make your job easier, especially if you are constantly on the go. Wi-Fi capabilities, excellent multitasking, video calling and Adobe Flash support are just a few of the features that enhance this tablet. And for a tablet geared towards business, this computing device doesn’t shy away from multimedia features, including a strong music player and superb dual cameras.

7. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0


When the Apple iPad first hit markets, many thought it would be quite some time before another product would be competitive with this advanced piece of technology. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has become one of those close competitors in the tablet market. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is our preferred smaller format tablet because of the Android 2.2 operating system, long battery life and video chat capabilities.
The Galaxy Tab keeps you in the loop with several connectivity features. This tablet features 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi capabilities and Bluetooth technology. It also provides a battery that will give its users up to seven hours of usage on a single charge.

This tablet offers the ability to watch movies and TV shows using the Samsung Media Hub. This application available on the device allows you to engage in all your entertainment needs. We liked that this application was preloaded on the Samsung tablet and was simple to use. Also pre-loaded on the tablet is the Amazon Kindle eReader. This allows you to read and access all the information and books you want and read them directly from the device. Reading directly on the device was easy and we had no difficulty with screen glare or eye strain.

One of our favorite features offered on the Galaxy is the dual camera capabilities. A 1.3MP (megapixel) camera faces the front of the device; while a 3MP (megapixel) rear-facing camera makes video-chat possible on this device. The video-chat capabilities make it possible for anyone, with internet connection, to have face-to-face conversations hundreds of miles apart. We were impressed with the simplicity of the video chat feature and how clear the conversations were.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab uses the Google Android 2.2 operating system. The Android operating system has all you need to have your own personal computer in your hands. This operating system makes it possible for you to have full internet capabilities, the ability to access applications in the Android Market, along with music, videos and games. The Android 2.2 also gives you nearly two to five times faster speed than previous versions. The Samsung product was a fast device and we were impressed with its quick response.

The battery found in this device offers up to seven hours of play time. The Samsung Galaxy Tab provides 16GB of memory. However, located on the exterior of the tablet was a memory card slot which enables the user to add up to 32GB of memory. This made it possible for us to add more applications, music and videos.

The display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab was one of the features we were most impressed with. The 7-inch display screen features 1024 x 600 screen resolution which made the colors pop. Images were bright, vivid and clear and we had no problems with blurring or soft images. The screen also has multi-touch zoom capabilities so we were able to zoom into web pages, documents or other features easily and with no hassle.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is designed to be compact. The device is thin, less than half of an inch, and lightweight. With such a compact size, and weighing only 13.5 ounces, we found this device highly portable and easy to throw into a bag, backpack or purse.

With multiple home screens, this tablet was easy to navigate around and it was simple for us to find the feature or program we were searching for. The Samsung Galaxy tab also provides access to the Android Marketplace so you can download a vast selection of apps and enhance your tab more fully. Downloading apps from the Android Marketplace was quick and we found no problems like we did on other similar devices.

To make this device even more efficient and easy to use, the Galaxy Tab provides several Google Mobile services such as Google Maps and Google Goggles. Both of these programs enhance this device and for those who are familiar with Google services, they are a welcome sight.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a device that is simple to use and includes several advanced features such as video chat capabilities and the Android 2.2 operating system. The seven hours of battery life was a nice feature but a few more hours would make this device truly stand out among other tablets.

6. Motorola Xoom

The Motorola Xoom ranks among the leading contenders that have challenged the Apple iPad’s dominance of this market. This tablet features the Android 3.0 operating system along with a stunning touchscreen display, a large selection of applications, video chat capabilities and HD video recording. The Motorola Xoom offers you everything you need in a tablet, especially if you prefer the Android operating system.

This tablet offers a large selection of advanced features. One of the standout features is the Xoom’s image capturing ability. There is a 2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear camera. Both take some of the highest quality photos we've seen on any tablet. You can even capture 720p HD video using the rear camera. And having dual cameras, this device excels at video calling. There is also video editing software available.

If you enjoy the Android operating system, you will be pleased with the operating system available on the Xoom. The Android 3.0, also known as Honeycomb, provides several features found on previous Android operating systems such as the five customizable homescreens and the pinch-and-zoom display. However, there are a few notable differences. Instead of your basic navigation tools located on the bottom of Android devices, you will find them at the top of this tablet. You can also take a look into your inbox, Facebook account or even read the latest news headlines with widgets located on your homescreen. You won’t have to worry about opening several separate programs or applications to get to those apps.

The battery life is excellent on this computing device. When you're browsing the internet or playing videos, the Motorola Xoom can get up to 10 hours of battery life on a single battery charge. However, battery life will vary depending on the tablet’s usage. There is also Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi capabilities. This device also comes prepared to upgrade to 4G LTE, the ability to connect to a 4G network. But as of this writing, the 4G LTE is not yet in service.

There are several useful features available on this device including a GPS, music player and built-in eReader. You also have access to the Android market to choose from hundreds of applications to enhance your computing device and give you the features you want and need. You also have access to several Google Mobile services including Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube. There is also Google eBooks, the built-in eReader, so you can enjoy reading books wherever you are, whenever you like.

There is a dual-core 1GHz processor that makes this device’s name speak for itself. The processor makes this tablet fast with no lag time and without waiting for programs to open or for applications to download. Along with quick speeds, this advanced processor also makes graphics more detailed and smooth. It also makes it more enjoyable to stream movies or music without waiting for the media to buffer. Although, even with its fast speed, it isn’t any faster than several competing devices.

There is enough memory available on this tablet to store a large selection of music, movies, photos and captured videos. There are 32GB of available memory, which is large, but we were disappointed to see that there are no options for expanding memory purchasing a version with less memory for a less expensive price.

All of your basic hardware features are available on the Motorola Xoom. There are built-in speakers and a built-in microphone, which are necessities for video calling and for HD video capture and playback. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can listen to movies, TV shows or music without disturbing those around you. We were also glad to see a USB 2.0 port located on this tablet.

The Motorola Xoom has a beautiful display with a 10.1-inch multi-touch display screen. This is a large display screen, which makes it ideal for watching movies or TV shows or simply browsing the internet or reading a newspaper. The larger display screen comes at a cost, however, as it makes the device much larger and bulkier. This tablet is 9.8 inches long and 6.6 inches wide. It is 0.5 inches thick and weighs 1.6 pounds, which is a bit heavy for a device tablet.

Bulkiness aside, the clarity and brightness of the display screen can’t be beaten. The Xoom features an 800 x 1280 pixel resolution screen that provides detailed, sharp images and greatly enhances your HD viewing experience.

There is no built-in stand for easy viewing or digital pen for simple navigation on this device, but that doesn’t mean the Motorola Xoom is hard to use. The touchscreen is one of the most important factors because if the screen isn’t responsive, the tablet is difficult to use. Fortunately, this tablet's screen is one of the most responsive and fastest screens available. There is no lag time after pressing the virtual keys or typing on the virtual keypad. You also don’t have to press hard for the screen to recognize your command. If you just barely touch the screen it opens the program or makes the desired request.

With the wonderful display, excellent battery and fast processor, the Motorola Xoom offers the closest technology to beating the Apple iPad. There are a few improvements that could be made including the option to expand memory, lighter design or even a built-in stand to make this device even more multimedia-friendly. But the 2MP and 5MP cameras, responsive and large touchscreen and even the Honeycomb operating system make this tablet the perfect device, especially for those who prefer the Android operating system and user interface.

5. Asus Eee Pad Transformer

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is a large, nicely made and affordable Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet, that features a dual-core, 1GHz processor and up to 32GB of storage. It lacks access to mobile broadband for constant connectivity, and it isn't as comfortable to handle due to edges that aren't smooth, but it makes up for it with features and a colorful backlit LED screen. Additionally, its available keyboard dock makes it look and function like a netbook.

Features Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score 
Out of the box, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer tablet has plenty of apps for its Android 3.1 Honeycomb operating system, a very nice desktop experience, video chat and other Android-centric apps and features. You can also grab more on the Android Market. ASUS includes some additional apps, including the ASUS Launcher, MyNet, MyLibrary, File Manager, MyCloud and PC Sync.

The unlimited ASUS WebStorage service that comes with the Eee Pad Transformer is a great way to store extra files, music and videos so you're not overdoing it with the tablet or your computer. It's also good for backup. You can sign up for 2GB free for both Windows and Macs, although it's a little pricey compared to dedicated cloud backups.

Hardware Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score
This tablet features a speedy NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, clocking in at 1 GHz, with 1GB of memory. This is on par with most Android tablets as far as these specs go. There is also an option for 16GB or 32GB of additional storage. These days, neither of those is quite enough space, which is why ASUS offers its WebStorage, as mentioned above.

The tablet's dimensions are 10.7 inches wide, 6.9 inches wide and .51 inches thick, and it weighs a little more than 1.5 pounds. That's slightly bigger than similar Android tablets and the iPad, but these tablets' overall design, features and price separate these devices from one another. The Eee's ergonomics are good, but it's not quite as enjoyable to hold because the edges are a little sharp. It looks nice but isn't comfortable.

I/O ports (inputs and outputs) include one SD card reader, a mini HDMI port and two audio jacks, for both headphones and a microphone. There is a built-in microphone, along with stereo speakers with SRS Premium Sound. Audio is good with the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. There is also a sound up and down rocker and a power and lock switch. The battery gets about 9 to 10 hours during normal use, and with the dock, around 16 hours.

You can connect to the internet via a WLAN 802.11 b/g/n built-in wireless device, and it includes Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. If you're without Wi-Fi, you won't be able to connect online because this tablet doesn't include a mobile broadband option. Some users may like this because they won't be stuck with a pricey monthly cellular plan, but others may want constant connectivity.

There are two cameras – a 1.2 megapixel (MP) camera on the front, which is a little weak on the resolution side, and the rear-facing camera is a nice 5MP. Pictures look good, but recorded video is less than desirable; the overall quality suffers.

The dock includes a keyboard, touchpad, an extra card reader, an extra battery and two USB 2.0 ports. An added advantage of the dock is that you get extra battery life and a keyboard to do some serious typing and work. It is a little tricky to attach, but once you do, it functions much like an open netbook.

Display Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score

The display on the Eee Pad Transformer tablet is bigger than the iPad's, measuring 10.1 inches tall – or wide, if you're holding it horizontally. The screen is scratch resistant and offers a backlit WXGA LED monitor with excellent viewing angles that don't lose too much quality or brightness.

Resolution is a little better than 720p high definition at 1280 x 800. Photos, video, websites and more look great. It also supports 10-finger multi-touch, though we tended to use two or three fingers at a time.
Ease of Use Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score 
This tablet is fairly easy to use, thanks to its Android 3.1 Honeycomb operating system, which showcases Google's dedication to its tablet OS, and not just dropping a version of its smartphone OS on this device. However, when compared to an iPad's easy and sophisticated iOS, Android isn't quite there yet. Thanks to the dual-core processor and 1GB of memory, navigating through apps and browsing the internet is smooth and never feels jerky.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is an affordable, large tablet with a great backlit LED screen and many features and apps that ship with the device from both Android 3.1 and ASUS. The edges aren't as smooth as similar tablets' edges, so it isn't quite as comfortable to hold. However, the keyboard dock gives it extra battery life and an easier way to do heavy typing.

4. T-Mobile G-Slate

The T-Mobile G-Slate is a 4G Android 3.0 tablet packed with features and pre-loaded with several quality Android apps. It has a thin body, dual rear-facing 5MP (megapixel) cameras that can shoot in 3D and a beautiful display. It does have a smaller screen than similar tablets, and the price is expensive whether you have a contract for 4G or not, as we'll explain below.

Features Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score
The T-Mobile G-Slate has many features, including access to T-Mobile's 4G network and a very nice web browsing experience, complete with tabs and the latest version of Flash. It also features quality HD video support, the on-demand T-Mobile TV service, video chat and more.

It comes loaded with some nice apps, such as Zinio for digital magazines, and games, including "Need for Speed SHIFT HD," so out of the gate, you're set with enough apps to keep you busy. Plus, you can access the Android Market for more apps.

T-Mobile touts a lower price than the iPad, but only if you sign up for a standard two-year contract plus rebates, so the actual cost is currently $399. You'll have access to T-Mobile's fast 4G network, which is the only way to get 4G. However, you'll be stuck paying monthly fees that add up and make the tablet more expensive. If you buy without the contract, you'll pay closer to $700, so no matter what, you're going to be paying a lot for the T-Mobile G-Slate.
Hardware Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score

The G-Slate from T-Mobile has a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, with 32GB of flash memory and 1GB of RAM. It's a speedy little device, and Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) runs

well on it. The battery has a long life – around 10 to 12 hours – although using the 4G network will drain the battery faster.

This tablet is a little bit smaller than several other tablets with dimensions of are 9.56 inches tall, 5.88 inches wide and 0.49 inches thick. It weighs just less than 1.5 pounds. It doesn't feel heavy or awkward, and there is no problem holding it for long periods of time while watching movies, reading, surfing the web and so on.

I/O ports include a SIM card, mic, headphones, a place for the power adapter, mini USB and mini HDMI; in addition, there is volume control, a power and lock button and three speakers – two on the right and one on the left. The sound quality is good but not great, which is surprising with the three built-in speakers. The G-Slate ships with 4G support, which you'll need a two-year T-Mobile contract to use, along with 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.

This tablet gains an advantage over most others with its front-facing 2MP camera and dual rear-facing 5MP cameras that can shoot video in 3D. You read that right, 3D. Unfortunately, the quality isn't great, with crummy video that ghosts, and it's basically old school 3D because you need to wear red-and-cyan glasses, which are included. For now, it feels like a gimmick to make the T-Mobile G-Slate stand out from similar Android 3.0 tablets. You can take regular 2D images with the rear cameras, which is a plus.
Display Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score
The display is a smallish 8.9 inches, but images, HD and SD video, photos and browsing the web look fantastic. When flipped on its side, horizontally, its width is fine (at 8.9 inches), but the height is shorter than similar tablets (at a little less than 6 inches), so movies appear smaller on this unit compared to bigger tablets.
Ease of Use Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score

The T-Mobile G-Slate is easy to use, and Android 3.0 Honeycomb does a great job of integrating desktop features into what is essentially a mobile operating system. However, Android seems to work better on smaller mobile devices than on tablets, and it feels like Google is trying to throw as many features into the OS as possible, approaching overkill.

Overall, the T-Mobile G-Slate is a nice tablet, if a little bit on the small side. The 3D video shooting feature helps it stand out from similar units, but the 3D video quality is weak and gimmicky. Whether you buy it with a 4G contract or not, it's an expensive tablet.

3. Sony Tablet S

The Sony Tablet S is an exceptionally built device that's about the size and weight of an iPad, making it a pleasure to hold. It has many excellent features and apps, and its Android 3.1 Honeycomb operating system makes it intuitive to use, and doesn't lag. The only issues are that its display is a little smaller than similar Android tablets and it doesn't allow for internet access via mobile broadband, so if you're in an area without Wi-Fi, you'll have no access to the internet. It receives our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award.

Features Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score
The Sony Tablet S sports quite a few features that are a mix of practical and really cool. The practical features are commonly included with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, such as a

desktop-like experience, tabbed browsing, video chat, Google Talk and more. Plus, the Tablet S doubles as a superb universal remote control, so you can control your TV, disc player and more. You can access even more apps from the Android Market.

The cool features include:
  • Access to Video Unlimited, which allows you to buy or rent a variety of movies
  • Sony's eBooks app and access to the Reader Store to buy books
  • Music Unlimited for a large library of music from all the major labels, which is a streaming service
  • The Sony Entertainment Pack, with games such as the fun and popular "Crash Bandicoot," free limited memberships to Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited and more
  • You can also stream content to a variety of TVs and other devices, much like Apple's AirPlay feature found on iOS devices
As a bonus, the Tablet S is a Sony PlayStation Certified unit – the first tablet to achieve –this certification – so you can play games like the above-mentioned "Crash Bandicoot," along with "Pinball Heroes" and other classic titles online.

Hardware Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score
The Sony Tablet S is a sturdy, well-built and lightweight unit, powered by the dual-core, 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. It offers a couple of nice memory options of either 16GB or 32GB, priced at $499 and $599, respectively. It's worth the extra $100 to get more space for music, videos, photos and more. The price doesn't make it a true competitor among other Android tablets or the iPad, but it is a nicely built unit. There is 1GB of internal memory, which helps with the speed.

You can easily connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, which is 802.11 b/g/n, so you have the latest wireless technology, along with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. However, there is no way to connect to a cellular network for 3G or 4G internet, which is a little unusual. Some people may see this as a problem, while others may prefer to save money by not having a mobile contract.

This tablet's measures 9.5 inches long, 6.8 inches wide and a thin 0.3 inches deep. It weighs in at 1.3 pounds which is pretty typical of devices in this category. Overall, it's nice to hold for extended periods of time and easy to carry around.

I/O ports (inputs and outputs) include a headphone jack, a Micro USB port and a USB card reader. You can easily transfer data to and from an SD card in the slot, thanks to a special app.
Display Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score

The display on the Sony Tablet S reproduces color, video and photos nicely, but even at the highest level of brightness, it appears just a little bit dimmer compared to similar tablets. This tablet uses Sony's TruBlack technology – found in the company's popular Bravia line – in the display, giving the Tablet S an extra edge in image quality.

The resolution is 1280 x 800 pixels, so you're getting a little better than 720p high definition (HD) resolution. The display is 9.4 inches tall, which is only marginally smaller than the unit's height, so you won't feel like you're losing any display real estate.
Ease of Use Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score
The Sony Tablet S is a pretty fast tablet, and there are no lagging issues where it would feel that the software is trying to keep up with what you're doing. If you have a slow internet connection, you may see some issues there, but overall, it's a very responsive device.

As mentioned above in the hardware section, it's about the size and weight of an iPad, but slightly smaller than some of the other Android tablets, which are around 10.1 inches tall. The Tablet S feels comfortable to hold; its ergonomics are smooth and polished.

Packed with interesting and practical features, the Sony Tablet S is a finely made – if pricey – device that is very responsive and ready for show time right out of the box with its Android 3.1 operating system and included apps. If you have no access to Wi-Fi, there isn't a built-in option to access a mobile network, which will leave you high and dry if you need a constant connection.

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The Apple iPad 2 has set the standard for tablets very high. While we can't say that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 exceeds the mark set by the category leader, we have no reservations about stating that it is the closest Android tablet yet to give the venerable iPad a true run for its money. It's no thicker than the iPad and is a bit lighter. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs the newest Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS, which is designed specifically for tablets and it even runs Adobe Flash. As a result of these and a host of other impressive features, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the recipient of the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for tablets.

Features Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers a feature set that is rivaled by few tablet devices. The first thing that you'll notice is the brilliant display screen. Whether watching videos, surfing the web or using productivity applications, the screen provides a user experience that is remarkably like using a full-sized computer. We were impressed with the speed at which web-based video content loaded and the flawless playback. Switching videos to full-screen mode is a delight. While we expected to see notable pixilation in full-screen, the reality was that the images remained sharp with beautiful color saturation. Videos played every bit as smoothly as we're accustomed to seeing on a desktop.

The 3.0-megapixel rear camera takes good if not spectacular pictures, and while the form-factor of a tablet isn't ideal for photography, it's certainly functional. The camera application includes auto-focus, an LED flash and a few basic adjustments. Switching to video recording mode is simply a matter of moving an on-screen slide control. There's even a video editing app included, and you can embed still photos into your video project.

The 2.0-megapixel forward-facing camera is ideal for video chatting. Our test device offers internet access via Wi-Fi only and it certainly isn't a cell phone, but we particularly like being able to make Skype video phone calls. A cellular version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is slated to be released in the near future and will operate using Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network.

Hardware Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's design is dominated by its 1200 x 800 pixel touchscreen. It's surrounded by a black bezel, but otherwise the buttonless face of the device is all screen. An on/off switch, volume rocker and 3.5 mm headphone jack are located on the top edge. The sides sport stereo speakers that won't send chills up your audiophile spine but are much better than might be expected as built-ins. On the bottom there is a proprietary charging and docking port. The back cover is available in white or metallic gray.

At the heart of the device, Samsung has provided a peppy nVidia Tegra2 Dual Core 1GHz processor. It provides plenty of power to run the device smoothly over a wide variety of applications. Our test unit had 16GB of internal memory though a 32GB version is also available.

Typing on any touchscreen has positives and negatives. Its flat surface certainly doesn't offer the feel and certainty of a physical keyboard, but the virtual QWERTY keyboard – available in landscape and portrait mode – offers some haptic feedback, which helps to a degree. In portrait mode, thumb typing seems to work best, but the larger keyboard of the landscape mode allows for normal typing if you pay close attention to avoid errors.

The browser application is exceptional for such a portable device. It offers the complete internet experience like on a computer with full-content webpages. It even has tabbed browsing just like on a computer, a particularly handy feature. Pages are rendered as quickly as you'd expect with any brand new computer.

The Galaxy features a 7000 mAh Li-Polymer battery that offers about 10 hours of usage on a charge. Actual battery life will, of course, depend on how you use the tablet. Wireless connectivity is by Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and the device also supports Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR Connectivity.

Display Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score

Touchscreen devices are all about the display, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a real winner. Whether you'll personally find it to be a little better or a bit worse than the iPad is a matter of personal preference. We'll say that we found it to be surprisingly bright and crisp and liked it very much. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will run Adobe Flash, a feature notably missing from the iPad. Since so many webpages use Flash, this can be important. In our evaluation, we found that most content ran with ease, but while some graphics-intensive pages indeed played, they tended to be choppy. Once we closed some applications that were running in the background, Flash play was smoother but still not as fluid as it should be.

Ease of Use Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score Product Feature Score
Tablets are intended to make their users' lives easier so there's little toleration for one that is at all difficult to operate. For consumers who already use an Android device, there's virtually no learning curve in getting up to speed with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Even those who have never used and Android device will have little trouble adapting to this sleek interface. Icons, widgets and drag-and-drop functionality make using the tablet simple and pleasurable. Its multitasking ability is a major plus, and the web browser experience is essentially identical to using a computer.

The screen is very responsive to the touch of a finger. Panning from one screen to another is smooth and instantaneous. Multi-touch technology is available in many applications for zooming, and tapping hyperlinks will deliver you quickly to the next subject. Downloading apps from the Android Market is a simple process and installing them is even easier. Icons and shortcuts can be customized by dropping them where they are most convenient for your personal needs.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the best Android tablet we've tested so far. Its design is not coincidentally similar to that of the Apple iPad 2, which continues to set the standard but is now being challenged. If you're a fan of the many advantages of Android smartphones, this is definitely the tablet for you.

1. Apple iPad 2


Post a Comment