Tablets have become one of the most wanted techs around the world, and the popularity will only be going up in the coming months. As you might know, Apple sold 15 million iPads in 2010 and is expected to sell as many as 45 million this year. But it seems like everyone wants a piece of the pie. A number of companies have already released their tablets in 2011 and the number will only increase in time.
If you are someone who is planning to get a tablet sometime soon, but is confused after seeing all the different types, you can check out our list of ten best tablets available this year.
As you might remember, Motorola became the chosen one for working with Google and its Android 3.0 tablet operating system. The result of the collaboration was the Motorola Xoom.
This 10-inch widescreen device came equipped with awesome specs. But one of the drawbacks was that the software was incomplete and it needed more apps. The price of the device at the time of its launch was also high.
It came with a price tag of $799 without a contract ($599 for Wi-Fi version). Nowadays, the Wi-Fi version of the device can be bought for just $439 through Amazon.
Although it’s a bit heavy and bulky, it still is the most industrial-strength Android tablet available on the market.
Not many people were impressed by the BlackBerry PlayBook at the announcement ceremony of the device. But, almost all of them found the final product appealing.
You will like a lot of things about this 7-inch tablet, especially if you are someone who is working for a business organisation committed to BlackBerry smartphones. The device’s hardware feels awesome and the performance is good as well. The OS is also easy to figure out.
It’s also good for web browsing, although the small screen size makes reading from most web pages a bit difficult.
In January this year, Motorola, Samsung, and LG had unveiled high-end tablets at CES. At that time, HTC remained remarkably silent. Later on, HTC unveiled its own iPad killer, the Flyer, which came with specs such as a 7-inch screen, a 1.5 GHz CPU, 1.0 GB of RAM, and 32GB of Flash storage.
The device also features a special version of the HTC Sense UI designed for tablets, and it is the best Android skin on the market. And it works fine on the Flyer, although it runs on the Android 2.2 OS.
The only problem is that the device is a bit thick, awkward to hold, and feels just like an oversized smartphone.
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is not a spectacular tablet, although it comes with good hardware and features. But the main thing to note about this tablet is that it is available for a reasonable price.
The 10-inch Android Honeycomb tablet comes with a price tag starting at $449. The device features a dual-core Tegra2 processor, 1GB of RAM, and dual cameras on front and back.
As you might know, HP officially killed this tablet. But we are not being generous by ranking it number six. If the company hadn’t killed it, it would have been in the third spot.
The device is now available for $100 (16GB version) and $150 (32GB). This tablet comes with good features as well, and it actually is better than the iPad in productivity and web browsing.
But what keeps the customers away is the fact that it lacks good entertainment and media options. And also the hardware feels cheap and clunky.
The Nook Color e-reader became a good low-cost tablet, when it got an update to the Android 2.2 OS and its own app store. But many won’t find the device interesting, since it comes with a heavy-handed UI forced on top of Android and it doesn’t run the full Android Market app store.
But still, we couldn’t keep it out from this list. The device is really easy in the hands and you definitely cannot beat its price. It is available for just $249.
The company made this tablet keeping in mind iPads weaknesses, lack of choice and limited content creation ability. The most awesome thing about this tablet is that it also doubles as a laptop. The device comes equipped with an optional keyboard dock that also functions as an extended battery. It gives the device up to 16 hours of life.
And the price is also right. The device, which comes with a 10-inch screen, a dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU and Android 3.0, costs just $399. No wonder it sold out in the US on its first day of online sales.
The launch of the original Galaxy Tab was the first try by Samsung to beat Apple in the tablet race. And the device did post respectable sales numbers. It would have done even better if it didn’t cost that much ($600). But the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a lot more potent.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 looks and feels great. It’s light and razor-thin, and comes with high-end specs such as a great screen, dual cameras, solid battery life, and a dual-core NVIDIA processor.
The only problem is with the software. It runs Android 3.0 but doesn’t come with a very appealing UI. But it can be in the third position because it is very appealing to enterprise buyers and it is capable of running on Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
What makes a tablet so appealing is not just the tablet itself, but the services that it brings with it. So, the company that is at the moment in a better position to bring out a great iPad killer is Amazon, mostly because of its strengths in content and cloud computing.
As you might know, Amazon’s services include Kindle e-book library and Web-based music and video stores. And in 2011, it has also added the Amazon Appstore for Android and Amazon Cloud Drive. It is going to be big trouble for Apple when Amazon releases a tablet which comes with all these services.
The iPad remains in the top position and is expected to remain there for a long time. It remains at the top because of aspects such as dead-simple usability, long battery life, a lot of apps, and a respectable price.
All the big challengers are making good quality machines. But they are all having trouble beating the iPad’s price tag while offering a comparable experience.
Apple hasn’t added that many features when designing the iPad 2. It is thinner and lighter than the original iPad, and has an upgraded processor and display, and adds front and rear cameras. But all these features along with its big advantages in apps and entertainment, it can easily stay on the top of this list.
So, which device is in your mind?