When it comes to tablets, iPad isn’t the end-all and be-all on the marketplace, despite what Apple wants you to think. Several alternative brands of tablet exist and they are almost or at least as good as the iPad, and maybe even better in certain aspects. Makers like Samsung, Acer, Sony, Nokia and even Amazon.com all make their own different tablets. Basically, a device can be found for nearly any budgets and for varying requirements; you don’t need to fork over several hundred dollars for an iPad unless you want to.
Before we go on to a review of several notable tablet brands and what kinds of features they offer at what price, we have to quickly compare the Android operating system to its rival, the iPad’s iOS system.
Android vs. iOS for iPad
iOS for iPad is extremely well designed, polished and gives you access to over 100,000 apps in its marketplace. On the whole, it maintains an overall smoother functionality that really is great for the serious tablet user. However, with Apple iOS come with a devotion to Apple’s Universe. The operating system prevents you from using apps that Apple doesn’t permit and connecting to third party machines like cameras and TV’s can only be done with certain adapter cables. Also, the versatility of iOS is great but it can’t be hacked or modified in any way.
Google’s Android, on the other hand, is extremely versatile, can be modified in more ways than you’d care to try and also has its own apps marketplace that gives you access to thousands of different applications. However, the search for Android based tablet compatible apps is trickier to pull off and the Android operating system itself is slightly less polished than iOS for iPad. Android also gives you far more hardware choices that allow it to be used on nearly any sort of tablet on the market.
The Best non-Apple Tablets
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
This pricey but extremely effective tablet comes at a cost that, while high at over $600 USD, includes a wealth of great features. The Galaxy 7.7 has a build in hard drive that can range from 16 to 32 to 64 GB in capacity, depending on price tag. It runs off the above mentioned Android operating system, contains 2 different high quality cameras, runs off a 1.4 gigahertz dual core processor and has a truly excellent battery life. This is possibly the best tablet out there after the iPad
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
The Galaxy 7.7′s little sister tablet, the Galaxy 2 offers some powerful features of its own but for only a fraction of the price that comes with a Galaxy 7.7. A Galaxy tab 2 can’t really be compared to the iPad in terms of specs, but its Android 4.0 operating system, 1.4 GHz processor and HD capacity of up to 32 GB make it an excellent deal for only $250 USD.
Acer Iconia Tab A510
The Acer Iconia is another excellent alternative to the iPad. This powerful tablet also comes with 1280 x 800 resolution, the Android 4.0 operating system, a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 32 gigs of HD storage space. A real selling feature is its excellent processor speed, something that makes this tablet run along at excellent speed while coming at a price tag of only $450 USD.
Sony Tablet S
The Sony Tablet S’s unique screen protecting folding cover design makes it more resemble a paperback book than the typical rectangular hard tablet, and this isn’t the only fine detail about this tablet. Its operating system is, as usual, the Android 4.0 OS and the tablet comes with a HD of up to 32 GB. Other internal features include a 1GHz dual core processor, WiFi access and 1 GB of ram. The Tablet S has the specs to make it a good Tablet but it’s somewhat hefty price tag of $500+ USD is a bit stiff.
This is a guest post by Jeff Fields. When Jeff Fields isn’t busy covering the best tech related news in the industry, he writes poignant reviews on Pelican storm cases and can be found fixing up his collection of historic cars.