Which tablet will you buy?

Ever imagined that there would be a device which would take the world of mobile phones by storm, and make them quiver in their boots?. And has even shaken the laptop manufacturers to the core, largely because the netbooks are under attack too!

Well, the tablet is a device which no one really envisioned, except Apple. Essentially, they made the mobile phone bigger, and a PC smaller than ever before.

And it has not been that long since Apple launched the iPad, and we already have 3 more competitors. Let’s find out which is which and why you should buy a tablet.


The Apple iPad

The original tablet as people like to call it. And this is a device, which introduced the concept of a ‘tablet’ to the world. Critics mock it as a glorified iPod Touch, and well, it actually is! But then again, it does offer a feel, which the iPod Touch can never match. The sleekness along with the screen size is combined in a very lightweight device.

In terms of specs, the iPad has the biggest screen of the lot. The 9.7 inch screen (1024×600) puts the 5 inch and 7 inch rivals in the shade! It has a 1GHz processor with the storage options of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB available. But no camera, phone capabilities or GPS makes it lose out on functionality when the rivals come calling.

The only issue is that Apple has not launched the device officially in India, but that has not stopped people from either asking friends to get it from abroad or buying it via the unofficial channels.

Buy this if you are a hardcore Apple fan and don’t want to buy any device which you may consider as the “clone”.

Price- US$ 499 onwards


Samsung Galaxy Tab

This is Samsung’s challenger to the iPad, and does come in an impressive package. The fact that it has the Android 2.2 operating system opens it to the entire eco-system of apps offered on Android Market.

In terms of specs, the Galaxy Tab has a slightly smaller screen when compared to the iPad, but comes with better screen resolution- 1024×760. Available in 16GB storage option. This makes it sharper and better for watching videos. Which neatly takes me to the point- transferring videos is as simple as drag and drop. It will play HD file formats as well natively. The iPad requires complete video re-encoding before transferring, since the device can only play back certain formats. A 3.2MP camera on the back and a 1.3MP video chat camera and the ability to make voice calls as well give this device the additional smartphone functionality.

However, with Android on so many devices, application makers are having a problem with the screen resolutions. With almost every device having a different resolution, sometimes the apps don’t show up properly on certain screens.

But the best part about the Tab is that it comes with Android 2.2 pre-installed, with no headache of waiting for a ‘promised’ upgrade.

Buy this simply because of the fantastic performance and the different experience it offers, when compared to a phone or a netbook.

Price- Rs 38000/-


Dell Streak

Ah, even Dell decided to enter the ring and throw some punches around! I had reviewed the Dell Streak recently, but till now, have not been able to figure out if this is a phone or a tablet. And neither have a lot of people I have discussed this device with. Essentially, this is a device which is too big to be called just a smartphone, and too small to be called a tablet.

What Dell wanted to offer was the best of worlds- the smartphone and the tablet? To some extent, they have been successful. On another aspect, they have been largely unsuccessful. The Streak is too big to be used as a phone without being on the receiving end of some mockery! To understand what I am saying, place the phone on the year as if you are speaking on the phone, and walk anywhere where civilization exists!

But specification wise, the Dell Streak is a very competent device. A 1GHz processor, 16GB storage and Android 2.1 OS- not bad. What differentiates the Streak from the likes of the Tab and the iPad is the screen size. With the smallest screen size- 5 inches (800×480), the Streak is the baby tablet. The 5MP camera at the back is the highest spec one among all rivals, but the 0.3MP video call camera kind of sours the experience.

Buy this if you want to get the tablet usage experience (well, somewhat) and are comfortable using a device, which is a big smartphone. However, essentially, this is one for those who don’t want to buy a full sized tablet- like the rest of the 3 tablets mentioned here. The Dell Streak can fit in your trouser pocket!

Price- Rs 34990/-


Olive Pad

Perhaps the most under-rated of the tablets that are punching each other in the ring!

This device lacks the “big” brand name, but that does not stop it from putting up a very good show. The processor is only 600MHz (all rivals have 1GHz processors) and the 7 inch screen has the lowest resolution among all rivals. But all that will become secondary when you look at the price tag of Rs 22999! Not only is it a lot cheaper than the rivals, but also offers relatively similar performance. The device has just 512MB memory on board, but Olive make up for it by bonding a 16GB memory card in the box pack. The device will become a bit slow if you open too many applications, but that can be dealt with by installing a free Task Manager from the Android Market to close all unused apps. The 3MP camera is quite decent and the device also has the complete plethora of features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Buy this if you don’t want to spend upwards of Rs 35000, then this tab will be the only option for you. And it is a very decent performer, be assured.

Price: Rs 22999/-

The tablets are here to stay, no matter what the critics have to say. With 4 clear cut choices for you, I hope the decision of which tablet to buy has become a little simpler! Rest assured, whichever tablet you buy, the usage experience will be something unlike anything you have experienced till now, with either the smartphone or the laptop. However, you may still not want to replace the smartphone just yet, just for the convenience it offers. The tablets with their big size may not be the perfect voice call device, but will largely be used as devices for accessing the internet and media while on the move.

 

 

 

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About Vishal Mathur

Geek by day, heavy sleeper by night!

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