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Plan to buy a tablet? Check out these six beauties

Last updated on: March 12, 2012 09:53 IST

Plan to buy a tablet? Check out these six beauties

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Priyanka Joshi in Mumbai

Just when you thought the tablet PC market could not get any more confusing, Apple released its latest device the 'new' iPad that also brings 4G capabilities along with a host of software upgrades.

As a brand, Apple devices have a special place but those looking for the best of hardware for their tablet devices there are other options available.

Several tablets like Research in Motion's PlayBook after a new software update has now been made more relevant.

But remember, just because a tablet has a better processor, more connectivity options or simply a higher amount of RAM, it does not translate into better user experience as the hardware and the software on the device need to work together to deliver.

Here's a quick rundown on the best tablets available in the market that you should know about, while looking to buy a device for yourself.

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Image: Here's a quick rundown on the best tablets available in the market.


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New iPad

Features

The 9.7 inch tablet is powered by A5X dual-core processor (chip with four processing cores, for smoother graphics)

i) Sports retina display (far superior than the rest), and 2048 1536 pixel means incredible high resolution

ii) Includes LTE/4G networks (faster data speeds than 3G); battery support of up to 10 hours, 5-megapixel rear camera and records HD video (1080p)

What it does best?

No one beats Apple's App store; over 200,000 apps has been designed specifically for the platform

i) Apple has also added a new version of Mac's iPhoto (photo editor for the iPad)

ii) Voice dictation (for those who don't like typing on a touchscreen)

Where it fails?

Thicker and heavier than iPad 2 (0.37 inches vs 0.34 inches of iPad 2; weighs 600 grams vs 640 grams of iPad2

No USB support or SD card slot

Price

Starts at about Rs 25,000 (in the US)

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Image: New iPad.

Tags: , USB , LTE , A5X , Mac

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iPad 2

Features

The 9.7-inch multi-touch display has a 1024x768 resolution and sports a dual core 1GHz A5 chip

i) Smaller than the original iPad and thinner than the iPhone 4, it weighs 680 grams with a battery support of over 10 hours

ii) Video output supports up to 1080p

What it does best?

i) Apple digital AV adapter (costs extra) connects directly to an HDTV using an HDMI cable and mirror whatever is on device

ii) Far ahead in performance, design and apps, it outdoes most Android tablets

Where it fails?

i) The rear-facing camera records video at 960x720 pixels but the output is grainy (even in good light)

ii) It is still not a great multi-tasker

iii) No USB support or SD card slot

Price

Rs 24,500 and onwards

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Image: iPad 2.

Tags: HDTV , HDMI , USB

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Features

It is a 10.1 inch tablet powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor (1 GHz). There's a LTE/4G version too

i) A 3-megapixel rear camera with 720p video, with an added 2-megapixel front camera

ii) The 10.1 has a four-way accelerometer and gyro (iPad 2 uses a three-way accelerometer) that makes controlling games more responsive and fast

What it does best?

i) Android 3.2 coupled with Samsung's interface makes for a slick user interface; Samsung's Social Hub and Music Hub add to the user experience

ii) Thinner than the iPad 2; supports Adobe Flash in the browser

Where it fails?

i) No USB support or SD card slot

ii) Shorter battery life than iPad 2 (7-8 eight hours of normal use)

iii) With a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, it looks paler compared to the new iPad

Price

Starts at about Rs 29,000

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Image: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.


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MotorolaXoom

Features

A 10.1 inch tablet running Android 3.0 (tablet-optimized version of Google's Android OS); powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core CPU along with 1GB RAM and 32 GB Flash storage

i) Battery is capable of up to 10 hours of video playback and multimedia functions

ii) Packs a 2 megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel on the back that also produces 720p video with 30 frames per second

What it does best?

i) A decent, premium and well-built tablet that hasn't got its deserved share of attention

ii) Comes with 32GB of built-in storage which can be expanded to 64GB via the microSDHC card slot

iii) The browser supports multi-touch, has Flash support (downloadable from Android Market) and tabbed browsing

Where it fails?

i) A bit heavy at 730 gram; it may not be the ideal companion on the move

ii) Camera disappoints, even when used in daylight

iii) Hardly any tablet-optimised apps in the Android market

Price

Rs 30,000

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Image: MotorolaXoom.


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RIM PlayBook

Features

This 7-inch capacitive LCD at 1024x600 pixels runs on BlackBerry's OS (QNX); is powered by 1GHz Cortex A9 dual core CPU, 1GB RAM

i) Sports a 3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera

ii) There's no support for external storage, but a micro USB port allows to connect the tablet to a computer

What it does best?

At 130x194mm and weighing 400 grams, the device is compact enough to hold with one hand or carry around all day to meetings

i) RIM's latest update OS 2.0 brings email, calendar, and contact apps (missing at the time of launch); the update has compatibility with some Android apps

ii) Before PlayBook 2.0, the only way to manage email was through a BlackBerry phone, using the BlackBerry Bridge app. That app is now much less important, since the PlayBook functions much better as a standalone device

Where it fails?

It lacks good apps that make use of the tablet capabilities

i) Android apps work but they take a long time to load

ii) Battery supports up to 6 hours of heavy usage

Price

Rs 17,000

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Image: RIM PlayBook.

Tags: RIM , USB , LCD , CPU

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Sony Tablet S

Features

A 9.4-inch TFT touchscreen display featuring 800 x 1280 pixels resolution; powered by dual-core Tegra 2 processor (1GHz) and 1GB of memory

i) Runs on Android Honeycomb 3.2, and weighs about 598 grams (almost equals iPad 2)

ii) A 3 megapixel rear-facing camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera support with 1080p capture and playback

iii) Access to Sony's app store that has PlayStation games, feed readers and mail clients along with a music store

What it does best?

Its wedge-shaped design stands out from the crowd; also while typing, the design makes the device more comfortable when laid flat (a flaw in most flat tablets)

i) Tweaked user interface and is more responsive to touch

ii) The PlayStation factor makes it a great buy for gamers, but at the moment, the number of titles is quite limited

iii) Allows to add an SD card to the 16 or 32GB of built in memory, and there's also a micro USB connection

Where it fails?

Battery drains out at about four hours while playing demanding video apps, and it runs under nine hours while browsing the web

Price

Rs 29,500


Image: Sony Tablet S.

Tags: Sony Tablet , USB , TFT , Tegra

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