For those new to the emerging technology of tablet computing, distinguishing your apples from your androids may prove confusing. To help, here are the best new tablets for 2011.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer
It’s an unlikely name to be included in a list such as this and here’s why it’s included.
16.5 hours of battery life. Yes, you read that correctly. It runs Android OS, Honeycomb with a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, or in English, the fastest tablet processor available making browsing, video and multitasking smooth and lightening quick.
Given the grumbles about the quality of on-screen keyboards in tablets at large, probably its coolest feature of the Eee Pad is the keyboard dock. Attach a Qwerty keyboard and suddenly you have a netbook. This is great for heavy text or data entry tasks, or if you’re not enjoying the on-screen keyboard, and it can swivel, giving a viewing angle 178 degrees.
It supports Flash 10.2, giving the best video and graphics experience on the web and with the full 16.5 hours of battery life with keyboard connected, that’s double the amount of battery for the majority of conventional laptop and tablets.
It’s worth noting that Asus was voted the most reliable PC maker by three independent consumer tech analysists. The Eee Pad is available in the U.S. and due for release in the U.K. on June 1st. See the full specs here and also read customer reviews on Amazon
iPad was the original consumer tablet and it’s new sibling is thinner, faster and smarter. Apple was the first to install front and rear cameras setting the bar for all other manufacturers. Recognizing the potential of video chat, other brands have followed. However the quality of the iPad’s cameras isn’t great. Pinch to close-up and the image will pixelate. This is a small blemish on the sleek exterior of the iPad. It’s multitasking is improved and it’s OS 4 is available in more languages than before.
Each of its 16, 32 and 64GB models are available in 3G and wi-fi only. There is no upgrade however; if you run out of memory, it’s time to delete.
The number of tablet optimized sites and apps are growing and Apple see this as one of the keys to the tablet market. Flash isn’t supported, so you’re losing some of the internet.
The Motorola Xoom, like the iPad is set itself up as a web/media driven tablet. Its 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor also runs Android 3.0 and comes loaded with Google apps. On e of the criticisms is at the time of writing the number of third-party tablet optimized Android apps is limited. The speed of evolution this market is undergoing will see that improve by the end of 2011.
Battery life is one of the best-in-class giving almost 10 hours of nonstop browsing. The 32gb of internal storage can be doubled with an SD card. The hardware is cut at a slick 10.1-inches. Front and rear cameras are now standard. Xoom is available in both 3G/wireless only options.
Motorola have done something clever: they have future-proofed the Xoom, offering all customers a free hardware upgrade. This will allow users’ access to the 4G LTE Network.