All about the top tablets on the market
While the Apple iPad is one of the hottest consumer products on the market, the world of tablet computers doesn’t start and end here. Companies like Samsung also offer high-end products, so start your search by understanding what to look for in a tablet.
Like laptops, factors like size, speed, computing power and memory are vitally important. However, you should also think about whether you really need 3G or 4G connectivity, or whether a standard Wi-Fi connection will suffice. You’ll pay more for 3G and 4G capabilities, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you don’t need these capabilities.
Finally, consider compatibility with your other devices, input capabilities and app availability. Of course, value for your money is also a central concern, so start your search by considering these well-reviewed tablet computers:
iPad (Third Generation)
The new iPad hit the market in early March, 2012, and was instantly hailed as a major improvement over the iPad 2, with extended battery life and a sleeker teardrop-shape design. Supporting 4G technology while offering an astonishing range of communications and connectivity options, there is practically nothing this tablet can’t do.
One of the most anticipated features of this tablet is the debut of the A5X processor, which Apple claims will perform at double the speed of its closest comparable, the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core. Indeed, this iPad offers immaculate performance, even though its technical specs are very similar to its predecessor, the iPad 2.
With lightning-fast connection speeds, incredible 2048 x 1536 resolution and one of the best built-in rear cameras ever offered on the market, reviewers can hardly find anything bad to say about the third generation iPad. One of the only negative things people have to say about it is that its 4G capabilities only work in North America, and that it didn’t quite live up to all the hype as some rumored features didn’t end up making it into the final product.
- Operating system: iOS 5.1
- RAM: 2 GB
- Processor: A6
- Display: 2048 x 1536 pixel retina display
- Battery: 10 hours
Just about the only bad thing anyone could say about the iPad 2 32GB was that it lacked a USB 2.0 port. Otherwise, it was virtually a unanimous choice among reviewers as the top tablet computer on the market…that is, until the third generation iPad came out. However, it still makes a cost-effective alternative to the newest iPad if you’re looking to save a little bit of money.
With an easy-to-use iPad keyboard and handy accessories and features like FaceTime video and voice streaming technology, a built-in iPad camera and stylish iPad covers, this was one of the most sought-after products on the electronics market when it was released. Note that the iPad 2 is also available with a 64GB memory, if you want to bulk up your storage capabilities a bit.
- Operating system: iOS 4.0
- Processor: A5
- Processor speed: 1 GHz
- Display: 1024 x 768 pixel retina display
- Battery: 10 hours
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
This powerful tablet is Samsung’s answer to the sleek third generation iPad, and it delivers on its promise. It actually offers comparable computing power and provides several features the 3G iPad doesn’t offer, including a stylus and its ability to let users view two apps at the same time while copying, pasting, dragging and dropping between them. It also offers superior image editing capabilities, and is both thinner and lighter than the new iPad.
- Operating system: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- Display: 10.1 inches, 800 x 1200 pixels, PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen
- Sound: Stereo speakers
- Memory: 1 GB RAM, microSD providing up to 32 GB of additional storage
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n