Why not buy an iPad?

I cannot deny that the iPad is a great device. Looks beautiful and performs superbly. So why don’t I but one? Well, it’s not the device, it’s the ethos behind it. I don’t want to be trapped in an Apple world. If I want to write an iPad app I have to buy a Mac. For better or worse I’m a PC person and I have a few ideas for some apps I want to write. So I’m going Android.

Android on my phone.

Actually, I’ve already gone Android on my phone. I have an HTC Desire HD smart-phone which is a superb bit of kit. I’ve already been building some practise Andriod apps.

What do I need?

Besides the ability to use it for a tablet app test-bed:

  • I have load of eBooks, and lots films and music so lots of storage built-in – 32Gb.
  • I want a really good screen, and decent speakers (though I’ll probably use ‘phones).
  • WiFi only, not 3G
  • SD or microSD capability,
  • Decent front and back cameras
  • and USB and HDMI sockets.

Decisions, Decisions.

So, I’ve been researching the current market and what follows is a summation of the many (many) reviews I’ve been reading. However I haven’t made a decision yet, but I have some front runners. Most of the big hitters in the market have a roughly similar underlying specification – a NVIDIA Tegra 2 T20 1.0GHz Dual-Core Processor with about 1Gb of RAM.

  • The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the nearest device to being a direct competitor to the iPad2 – but it’s not perfect –  lack of USB is an issue. It also depends on the UK price which hasn’t been announced yet.
  • The Asus EEE Pad is also a strong contender, with a low price and a good specification, but it is bulky and heavy.
  • The tablet I’m waiting for is the HTC device, which I believe will be called Puccini. This could be the winner, as HTC make superb kit.



Tablet Pros Cons

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 – £tba

Overview: The major contender. Note: This is NOT the Galaxy Tab 10.1V which is a bulkier device probably destined to be a Vodafone only product

  • Bright screen
  • Light and portable – thinner than the iPad2
  • Great battery life – 9 hours
  • Excellent usability
  • Good speakers
  • Motion sensor works well – 4 way compared to iPad 3 way
  • Android 3.
  • No USB
  • Still poor app selection
  • Some minor bugs
  • No 1080p video recording
  • Few first-party Samsung apps

Asus Eee Pad Transformer –  £379

Overview: This is a real contender

  • Fast performance
  • Decent smudge resistant screen
  • Keypad dock for an extra £50
  • 16 hour battery life
  • Great price
  • SD and MicroSD slots, miniHDMI-out and two USB ports
  • Android 3.1 update available
  • Poor quality camera
  • Over large form factor — case extends well beyond the screen, and little too heavy
  • No USB charging

Acer Iconia Tab A500 –  £395

Overview: Middle of the road …

  • Fast performance
  • 720p video playback
  • More rugged than most
  • Bright screen
  • Docking station
  • USB port
  • Poor quality camera
  • Screen not very smudge resistant screen
  • Shorter than average battery life
  • Short charger cable
  • Some minor crashes
  • Wide bezel – over large form factor — case extends well beyond the screen, and little too heavy
  • No support for Adobe Flash–based content.
  • Only 16 GB of storage.

Motorola Xoom  –  £450

Overview: A good try

  • Good screen – 1080p video playback
  • Cameras: Rear facing 5MP / Front facing 2MP
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • microSD, : microUSB / HDMI
  • Rear-facing speakers don’t do justice to any kind of audio.
  • The button placing at back.
  • No support for Adobe Flash–based content.