Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy, Dell Streak, HP’s Slate – Tablets contest
Everyone’s coming out with new Tablet PCs: Apple, Samsung, RIM and others. We all know who the first one was, but who’s the best of the bunch? We gathered up all the data known about the leading tablets in the market
This year we warmly welcomed the new computing category – full board computers. With the potential to bite into the netbook and smartphones markets. many manufacturers put its best engineers to the drafting tables. Apple launched ahead of the rest of the pack with the iPad. Other manufacturers were delayed six months or more – and we’re starting to see the fruit of their developments now: a variety of Tablet PCs in various designs. Not all of them were reviewed in depth or even made it to the stores. However, most of their abilities are well known – which gives us a basis for comparison. Who is the best tablet, the strongest, most suitable for you? We collected the outstanding one in the category.
Pioneer ascetic: Apple iPad
Apple has won many fans and customers for its innovation. Not necessarily due to its development of innovative technologies – but because of agility by launching products from the design stage into the shops. The iPad is a good example: the company’s tablet was the first tablet to be mass produced.
It has an excellent sharp 9.7-inch size screen, a fast processor and a slick and elegant body. But the lack of camera, support formats such as Flash (because of Apple’s austerity policy aspiration to promote its own development tools) or a USB socket, and other flaws earned the iPad harsh criticism from both consumers and technology sites.
However, it is a very user friendly tablet PC, with a very intuitive user experience. The ability to download and run a variety of applications (some designed for the iPhone, some are geared for it) and the simple OS turned the first tablet PC into a fun tablet – not only for Apple and Gadget enthusiasts. A different factor that may deter the consumer is the price, which is around NIS 3,000.
The contender: Samsung Galaxy Tab
The south Korean Computing giant chose to design a tablet would be more mobile than the iPad. And based on Google’s Android 2.2. At first glance, it seems to have everything that’s missing from the iPad: front and rear camera, GPS on all models, support of an open operating system, flash. It has a Cortex A8 ARM processor, ensuring smooth and fast operation.
The 7 inch screen, makes it easier to carry even in an ordinary handbag. On the other hand, it is still a smaller screen and is less convenient to view movies. Samsung built an excellent tablet for content consumption – but the screen size causes the virtual keyboard to take up more space on it and makes it harder to write text.
Compact: Dell Streak
While most companies are working on larger mobile Tablet PCs around ten and seven-inch, Dell has chosen a more compact design of five inches. The Streak is really a super smartphone. It has everything you’ll find in a smartphone, with a slightly larger screen that allows for easier use of office software while surfing the web. It is based on Android 1.6, a version that was made compatible by Del. The Streak will receive the updated version 2.2 in the coming months. It is the smallest and most portable of the bunch – with a long battery life of more than 12 hours, and has the ability to enter the jeans pocket. However, a five-inch screen, limits the experience of viewing movies. Such a small screen is not a significant advantage over the BlackBerry 9800 or Nokia E72 for business use.
Professional: RIM’s PlayBook
Recently added to the parade of tablets is the PlayBook by Rim. The BlackBerry maker conquered the corporate world in regards to the smartphones market, and it seems that’s where it’s with the tablet.
The leading design concepts for tablet PC’s are divided into two – in the first the computer will be based on a heavy and demanding OS (Windows 7) along with a relatively strong processor to support it (like the E5400 – that Toshiba’s Libertto, the N450 that Pegatron’s smartpad is based on and more). In the second the computer will be based on an easier OS (Android, iOS) and therefore will not need a powerful processor. It seems RIM wants to get the best of all worlds: dual core ARM processor, that displays better performance that its rivals in the category and an easy OS.
The PlayBook has a 7 inch screen, strong dual core processor, support of multiple formats (including Opne PL that allows development of games and heavy graphic interfaces), database management, synchronization with office software and more. The strong processor is intended to support functions such as multiple video call participants, presentations and more.
The price is still unknown but its capabilities may attract both the corporate market and the private consumer.
Fans only: Toshiba’s libretto
This year Toshiba introduced the libretto W1100 an interesting Tablet PC. The Libretto displays an old – new design concept: two 7 inch screens, that close one into the other like a book. A brilliant concept invented by Microsoft (for the Currier, may he rest in peace).
The Libretto is based on Windows 7 which despite the good intention and touch support is not suitable for the tablet, without extensive modifications. Thus it is not a fun experience as the Android or IOS devices
The device also includes a powerful Intel E5400 processor which causes structural warming and leads to a noticeable decrease in battery life to a few hours only. The company decided to limit its distribution and make it a collectors gadget – a pity. Replacing the processor and operating system might have turned it into a strong competitor.
Toshiba has chosen to abandon the original design and launched another tablet at the IFA exhibition this year. The Folio 100. This Android 2.2 based computer has a 1.3 megapixel camera, 10.1 inch screen. It has USB and HDMI ports, mobile connectivity (dedicated model) and the ability to display HD movies, thanks to the powerful Tegra 2 processor. Its design and capabilities are similar to the iPad and other Tablets in the category.
The latecomer: HP’s Slate
When the iPad was revealed, they eyes of the world of technology turned to HP. It wasn’t possible that the largest computer company in the world would abandon the tablet market. Indeed, rumors of the Slate, a Windows 7 based Tablet PC, appeared online last year. During the CES convention its prototype was presented.
Since then the Slate has been through a number of revolutions: HP has decided to end its relationship with Intel and choose an easier OS. It later purchased Palm and reports on the development of a new easy operating system – based on the company’s WebOS appeared.
A few months ago fragments of information about two different tablets surfaced – the first is called “PalmPad”, and runs on an easy operating system – the other is “Slate 500″, a stronger tablet designed for the corporate market. According to reports, the Slate will run on a special version of Windows 7 and have an 1.6 GHz Atom processor.
HP still keep their cards close to their chest – and loses customers in favor of the iPad. It is still unknown what models HP will show, and when. Our bet is the CES show this year.
There are other Tablet PCs that are not mentioned here. For example,the MasterPad developled by Pegatron a Windows 7 based tablet which has the power of the netbook – and other similar computers. Review, we found Microsoft’s operating system is not convenient to work Tablet PCs.
The tablet market is expected to receive a tremendous impetus in the coming year.
Business users would prefer devices like the PlayBook and similar devices with a larger screen and open operating system (Android, Windows 7) the younger multimedia fans crowd will be more interested in teh devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab or Dell’s Streak.
In our opinion, such a super smartphone can be a hit among young users, if its priced correctly by the importer. There are rumors of a new iPad model and other tough competitors which make it harder to choose – including Microsoft and Google.