Written by Olivia Preston
Tablets are a cross between a smartphone and a laptop and are currently the most sought after device in the tech world right now.
So far, the Apple iPad has been the only mainstream contender for the number one tablet after selling over two million in the first two months of its release, but with the release of the Samsung Galaxy tab, and copious amounts of other anticipated tablet launches, Apple may be forced to hand over the tablet crown.
Tablets are no doubt going to be this year’s most popular gift for Christmas, but how you do the impossible task of choosing which one to buy if you’re not particularly tech savvy?
We’ve reviewed some of the current and up and coming tablets on the market so the all important decision can be that little bit easier for you.
All tablets allow users to browse the Internet with their fingertips, flick through photos, read e-books and even watch films but which tablets really stand out from the crowd?
The iPad has a 9.7 inch backlit LED touchscreen, a screen resolution of 1024 x 768, and weights 1.5 pounds. It also has up to 10 hours of battery life.
The iPad offers Wi-Fi + 3G superfast data speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps over the 3G mobile networks so users can access the Internet wherever and whenever they need to.
Users can access over 25,000 apps available from the Apple app store, the interface is very user friendly and you can also use the iPad to watch TV. Bluetooth is enabled to send and receive data for free.
The cons are that the iPad doesn’t support Flash, which is a shame. This means that websites using this will be shut off to iPad users. The battery is also built in so if anything goes wrong, it will be costly to fix. There’s also no camera or USB port.
Price: Starts at £429 Release date: Out now
The Samsung Galaxy has a smaller touchscreen than the iPad at just 7 inches and weighs just 13.8 ounces. The screen resolution is a bit lower than the iPad at 1024 x 600, but the dots per inch are higher.
Unlike the iPad, it can be used as a phone, also has a 5MP camera and can support Flash. Its battery life is slightly less at just over 9 hours.
Google Android is a big selling point for the Samsung Galaxy and could clinch the sale for many fans of this operating system which also runs on smartphones such as the HTC Desire
Although only around 200 apps will be available at launch, the price is anticipated to be a lot cheaper than the iPad.
Price: TBC Release date: November 2010
Toshiba Folio 100
The Folio 100 is Toshiba’s entry into the tablet race, opting for a 10.1 inch touchscreen and weighing nearly twice as much as the Galaxy at 1.6 pounds.
The battery isn’t as impressive as the Galaxy or the iPad at 7 hours, but comes with the Android OS, is Flash compatible, 16GB flash storage, Bluetooth, a built in 1.3MP webcam, SDHC card slot, HDMI, a USB port and audio jacks.
It’s not as aesthetically pleasing with its plastic casing as the Galaxy or the iPad but is considerably cheaper.
Price: £329 Release date: October 2010
Fusion Garage JooJoo
Made by Fusion Garage, the JooJoo has been slated by tech reviewers for its tiny battery life at just 2.5 hours and its uninspiring user interface and lack of apps available.
It has a larger screen than the iPad at 12.1 inches, a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 and it boots up in just 9 seconds. It also has a front mounted camera and a USB port, which the iPad does not.
It’s very clear that the JooJoo is in need of a few tweaks here and there but reviewers have given this iPad alternative far too much of a hard time. After all, it supports Flash, looks sleek and is great for browsing the net whilst on the move.
Price: £374 Release date: 2011 but already available in the US
Archos 10.1 Android
The French electronics company has jumped on the tablet bandwagon recently launching five tablets, one of them being the Archos Android tablet. The tablet has a 10 inch screen, weighs just 16.9 ounces and is 12mm thick. It has its own app store (appslib.com) with a sizable choice of 5,000 apps to choose from, has an Android OS, is WiFi enabled and comes with Bluetooth.
Its very easy on the eye with its stainless steel structure looking slick, has a front mounted camera, and a built-in leg stand. Other features include USB port, HDMI output, HD video playback and a MicroSD card supporting up to 16GB.
At over £150 cheaper than the iPad, this will be a serious contender for the most popular tablet.
Price: £269 Release date: October 2010
So, as for which tablet to go with, I personally would go for the Samsung Galaxy or the Archos 101 Android tablet depending on your budget.
I certainly won’t be purchasing an iPad until all of its issues have been sorted out which won’t be until iPad 2 is released during 2011.
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