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What makes these tablet PCs irresistible

Last updated on: October 17, 2011 10:59 IST

What makes these tablet PCs irresistible

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Tablet PCs are getting bolder, sleeker and more alluring than ever. What more? The market is only getting bigger and the competition more fierce.

Recent development is in the form of solid-state memory, battery, light weight and so on. So, if you are looking at buying a tablet PC, take a look at India's leading tablet PCs.

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Photographs: Nicky Loh/Reuters
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Apple iPad 2 with Wifi + 3G (Price: Starting @ Rs 36,900) and Apple iPad 2 with Wifi (Price: Starting at Rs 29,500)

This version from iPad 2 is thinner than the original, and has an in-built new A5 chip that offers faster processing. Further, it comes with dual cameras for video chat, HD video recording and stills.

Also, it still includes integrated apps for audio, video, and photo playback, web browsing, e-mailing, calendaring, mapping and more, plus a free downloadable book and PDF reading app.

However, the image quality with rear-facing camera is not so great, and the front-facing camera is not HD. Also, there is modest reduction in headphone port audio and mic performance. Front glass continues to attract visible fingerprint smudges and one can face glare issues, requiring film or a cover to improve usability.

But, if you have to make a choice in the sea of ever-increasing options, the Apple iPad 2 brings a slimmer design, faster processing, dual cameras, and FaceTime video chat to a tablet that already had a leg up on the competition.

Apple iPad 2 with Wifi + 3G v/s and Apple iPad 2 with Wifi

The main difference between iPad 2 Wi-Fi and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G is the 3G connectivity. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G uses the 3G network to connect to the internet in addition to Wi-Fi connectivity. And, the 3G version carries 10grams additional weight and has a SIM card slot. It also offers three storage option.

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Photographs: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
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Asus Eee Pad Transformer
Price: Rs 32,999

ASUS finally launched its much awaited tablet, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 in India in July 2011. It runs on the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System and comes with a 10.1 WXGA Screen, 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera and much more.

The Transformer has made a name for itself ever since its release, unofficially earning the title of bestselling Android tablet.

It is powered by the 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 SoC processor, comes with 1GB of RAM, and can deliver up to 8 hours of battery life. What is unique about ASUS is that the laptop dock has a full sized keyboard, a touchpad, 2 USB ports, and a battery pack, giving it up to 14 hours of life.

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BlackBerry PlayBook
Price: Starting from Rs 27,990

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion presents the 7-inch PlayBook which is powered by a 1GHz Dual Core processor and packs 1 GB of RAM.

It runs on QNX which makes the BlackBerry PlayBook really snappy. The Multitasking on the PlayBook is the best that is so far seen on a Tablet.

The only letdown is the absence of native email. But it is expected to be launched later in the year.

At present, to use email on the PlayBook you require a BlackBerry handset and a BlackBerry Bridge Application.

Other features of the PlayBook include 5 MP Rear Camera and 3MP Front Camera, Video calling, Full HD Video playbook and Capture (1080p) and DocumentsToGo Office suite.

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Photographs: Reuters
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Motorola Xoom 3G
Price: Starting at Rs 41,490

Motorola Mobility India Private Ltd, a subsidiary of Motorola Mobility, launched the Motorola Xoom™ Wi-Fi and 3G variant tablets powered by Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) in India in June 2011. It is first Honeycomb tablet.

The build quality is solid, with volume and power buttons that are easy to press and a sturdily constructed SIM tray that doubles as the MicroSD Card slot cover. It has a soft, rubberised feel along the top, and black metal on the bottom when held in horizontal mode. It also has its buttons and other elements configured for that orientation.

However, it lacks little on the design and display features. For instance, the big piece of glass on the display is readable indoors, but the glare can hit you when you are outdoors.

Overall, it's doesn't compromise on performance. Motorola rates the Xoom's battery life at about 10 hours of high-definition video playback.

All in all, the Xoom is the first large-screen tablet to provide stiff competition for Apple's iPad.

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Acer Iconia Tab A500
Price: Rs 27,990

Acer Iconia Tab A500 is good value for money. It runs on a zippy Tegra 2 processor, and boasts of high-resolution screen. It also features good connectivity options with USB, HDMI ports.

However, comared to most other tablet PC, Acer Iconia Tab A500 is larger and heavier, and it doesn't come with either 3G or 4G options. And, Honeycomb isn't yet a mature app platform.

More or less, it has similar strengths and weaknesses to its direct competitors. And, for this price it may not be a bad deal.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 (Price Rs 36,200) and Galaxy Tab 730 (Rs 33,990)
Price: Rs 26,149

Samsung launched its much awaited tablets in August. These tablets are equipped with 1Ghz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM, which makes them run smoothly. Besides, they both feature 3G and 16GB of on-board memory.

Both the Tabs offer 3-megapixel rear cameras as well as 2-megapixel front cameras, along with capability to record 1080p HD video and flash feature.

Moreover, they both are pre-loaded with 'Readers Hub' allowing users instant access to around 2.2 million books, 2,000 newspaper (49 languages) and 2,300 magazines (22 languages).

However, it lacks in features like: tablet apps, some user interface quirks. Also, it does not come with any USB mass storage support.

In any case, these devices are worth considering for existing Android smartphone users as well as the general population.

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Image: Samsung Galaxy Tab 750

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Creative Ziio 10inch
Price: Rs 21,999

Though the screen looks perfectly fine, it's not going to win too many awards, principally because this is a resistive 1024x600 display – or 480x800 on the 7-inch version.

However, the tablet itself is light and feels well put together – the 7-incher weighs in at 400g, and its bigger 10-inch brother at 650g.

The Creative ZiiO also comes with audio-enhancing features such as the X-Fi and apt-X technology, giving you the highest audio quality possible on the wireless stream.

Even then, it's not a threat to competition as it doesn't offer as many features as most tablets present in the market. But, it's still worth considering because you won't get a tablet cheaper than this, in the current scenario.

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HTC Flyer 3G
Price: Rs 39,890

The most notable change from the norm is the 7-inch screen and the touchscreen stylus, known officially as the Magic Pen.

It connects wirelessly to the Flyer, and enables you to annotate, highlight and erase in supported apps. Instead of Android 3.0, the Flyer uses Android 2.3.3, skinned with HTC's familiar Sense UI.

Also, instead of the dual-core processors, HTC has gone for a single-core processor with a higher clock speed; while the CPU is paired with 1GB of RAM.

It comes with a five-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 1.3MP front-facing camera. Both are capable of recording 720p HD video footage.

Initially, the HTC Flyer will be available in a Wi-Fi-only version with 16GB of storage, or a 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G version. Overall, it's a fine tablet pointing to a bright future for HTC's newly expanded mobile device range.



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