How to buy a tablet device 2011

October 14, 2011

Tablets are the newest form factor in computing, and many people would love to own one to compliment their smartphone and laptop. But which tablet should you buy at this point in time?

Tablets fit snugly in between smartphones and laptops, being a more stylish, portable, and useful version of the humble netbook. They provide the best of both worlds: Large enough to work on, play on, and host digital content such as movies, but small enough to be completely portable and carried with you wherever you go.

There are a few options open to you, with two main contenders vying for your attention this year. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find a full range of tablets to suit all needs and all budgets.

Apple iPad

The chances are you’ve heard of the iPad. It’s likely to be the reason you’re seriously contemplating buying a tablet. There were tablets before the iPad came along, but they were a different beast and not all that usable.

Apple changed the form factor and potentially the whole field of personal computing when the original iPad was released in April 2010. We’ve since had the only-slightly-improved iPad 2. And an iPad 3 – slightly improved again if Apple follows its usual path – is likely to be released in 2012.

The iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch touchscreen, a dual-core 1GHZ Apple A5 processor, 512MB of RAM, a battery life of around 10 hours (playing video), and cameras front and rear. There are 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions available, each of which comes with just Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 3G. The current version of the operating system is IOS 5.

Buying the iPad would be buying the market leader (by a long way), buying hardware with a guaranteed quality, and in iOS 5 an amazing operating system built with mobile devices in mind. At the time of writing prices start at $499.

Amazon Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire is the new kid on the block. And thanks to the host of Amazon services it ships with and an unbelievably low price, it’s a big player in a small package.

Released on Nov. 15, and currently available only in the U.S., the Kindle Fire is a tablet on a mission: to host digital content; be it movies, TV shows, music, books, or games. And Amazon is hoping you’ll buy the majority of this content from its online store. There are rumors of a larger, more powerful Kindle Fire on the way but nothing has yet been confirmed.

The Kindle Fire has a 7-inch touchscreen, a dual-core 1GHZ TI OMAP 4 processor, 512MB of RAM, and a battery life of around 8 hours. The Kindle Fire is Wi-Fi-only, has 8GB of storage, and comes with a heavily-customized version of Android 2.3. It’s unclear whether this will be upgradeable.

Buying the Kindle Fire would be buying into Amazon in a big way, with the Android tablet existing mainly to sell Amazon products and services. But it has other uses (including Web Access via the Silk browser) and may prove to be serious competition to the iPad in years to come. At the time of writing prices start at $199.

Alternatives

There are a host of other tablets out there, the vast majority currently powered by Google Android. They range from cheap and cheerful tablets for those on a very tight budget to those which compete with the iPad for features and usability but which cost the same or even more than the iPad.

Cheap Android tablets invariably offer resistive rather than multi-touch capacitive screens, no or very poor cameras, slow processors, and a lack of memory. These elements will seriously limit your enjoyment of using the product, especially when comparing to an iPad. But if you have little money and a serious desire for a tablet they may fill that void in your life. Just be sure to do your homework rather than going for the cheapest option.

There are decent Android tablets out there other than the Kindle Fire, but they don’t come cheap. Recommendations include the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Motorola Xoom, and the HTC Flyer. All offer strong hardware coupled with great design, and UIs to rival iOS.

A quick mention for Windows tablets. Although there are none (past the old-style Tablet PCs) available to buy at present, they will be turning up from next year, powered by the new Windows 8 operating system. I wouldn’t advise waiting, unless you’re after a tablet which runs more like a full PC than a cross between a netbook and a smartphone.

Conclusions

The tablet market is currently the Apple iPad followed by everything else. That is just a fact. The Amazon Kindle Fire offers something new, different, and highly affordable, but to compare it to the iPad isn’t fair. These are difference beasts aimed at consumers with different needs and wants from their mobile devices.

Just like smartphones there is no better way to see what tablet is best for you than testing each out for yourself. You can do that with the iPad and the Android tablets in shops, but the Kindle Fire remains, for the time being, an unknown quantity. Buying one before any reviews have even been written would be a gamble.

The iPad it is then, as much as I hate to say it. But in 2012 things may well change, with the iPad 3, a new Kindle Fire, and the first Windows 8 tablets all due to be released.

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100 Responses to “How to buy a tablet device 2011”

  1. geek:

    Tablets as popular as they appear will remain a secondary device to a netbook or laptop for many. The ability to compose a real letter, do a spreadsheet, power point slide and an array of other functions still require a keyboard and other attributes at best awkward on a tablet.

    Apple made the device attractive but it remains an attractive gadget that most could live without. The laptop and phone will continue to be an essential modern day device and if you decide to make the leap of reading a book electronically the very inexpensive Kindle cannot be beat.

  2. charisma:

    I have a Kindle for reading purposes and love it, but when it comes to me having to type anything I prefer to have a keyboard. I still haven’t gotten onboard with touch screens and I don’t think I ever will. As much as the tablets look so appealing; I think the laptop and netbook will always be around. If I had to choose a tablet I would probably pick the iPad since it can do so much.

  3. Michael Mantion:

    LOL the ipad and kindle will be flops in a couple years. Get a true android, like a xoom or transformer, or any one of the hundreds that will come out in 2012.

  4. Cheap pc tablets:

    Thanks for the information. I love the aplication and the quality of ipad. but the price we have to pay for it is really high.

  5. missoni shoe:

    yeah…Tablet device has really given the major impact in our lives.And seems that life is incomplete without it…This blog really guides me to choose the right one…But i think I prefer Apple ipad…

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  9. aryan:

    Nice tips, The IPAD is still the best with the latest release

  10. PLC cable:

    GOOD tips.i like the IPAD.

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  12. Jonell Tigano:

    Back home and pretty wiped right now Day started back at 9:00am But my place is clean my car is clean and I got food and drinks

  13. Ernest D:

    The Kindle Fire can be converted to a tablet and it uses the Android 4.1 OS. I had mine converted for 45 dolllars and I love using it as a full blown tablet.

    Peace

  14. LonaYap:

    I’m also preferred Apple ipad at all. I love the exclusive design of it. Anyway, this is really nice blog to help me choose the right one.

  15. Andrian:

    I’m going to buy the latest ipad next month. Your tips and information really help me. Thank you..

  16. Cheap Platform Bed:

    Hmm~
    This information is really useful if I feel like I wanna buy a new ipad..

  17. Ladies Clothing Catalog:

    Which one is better? The new iPad or iPad mini?

  18. CherrieTanadi:

    Thank you. Your information is really helpful for me.

  19. jimmy jimz:

    Thank you for the information. iPad is the best tablet in the world. And i wanna know, any special feature for iPad mini?

  20. Cynthia Bliss:

    Thank you for the information. I think nowadays, at this time, tablet is very popular. Because when we use tablet. We can take anywhere when we go and more easy than laptop. This blog very help me to choose what i want to buy. Maybe i will prefer to buy ipad.

  21. olivia:

    thankyou for give me some review about what best to choose a tablet. Although it isn’t fair to compare ipad with kindle fire but i preferably will choose ipad beacause of its’ well knowing quality.

  22. ClaudiaYanPutri:

    As we know the tablet is really pretty famous now, and I think this information will help us to choose Ipad that we like.

  23. agustini tjoa:

    Nowadays, tablet seems to be popular gadget in our society. By reading this blog, its help others to know more about it.

  24. Denny:

    I’d like the pink one. :)

  25. juliana zhu:

    Thanks for the information. this really helpful. from there i can know so many information about all the tablets device.

  26. robert:

    This information is really useful because nowsaday tablets is very important for everyone. Because they can do everything with tablets.

  27. Erlina:

    Nice post..:D

  28. juliana zhu:

    Nice post.. Because from here i can know so many information of table, ipad, and the other gadget..

  29. tanjayastefany:

    thank you for your important information and some reviews about tablet and the device. this is really helpful for me.

  30. Erna:

    Thank you for the review. It’s true that Ipad have many ‘plus point’ compared to other tablets, but that’s if we really have a specific reason to use it. Why do I say this? Because I’ve seen people around me who use Ipad, but it seem like they only carry it for style and just following trend. I think that’s quite unnecessary.

  31. robert:

    Great information. Tablets device is my life.

  32. Jimy:

    I can’t agree more to this post. I have iPad 2 and as you said, all other brands seemed to be just following Apple’s iPad. Although iPad is the most expensive amongst all, but the device itself offers a user friendly tablet and has the best and fastest internet speed – which is the main reason people using tablet – and my friend ever bought a cheap Android tablet, but it’s too cruel to compare it to iPad,although the price is just as low as 1/5 of iPad but if I was him, I wouldn’t buy it, i better save some many again to buy iPad, the money value one.

  33. William:

    Thanks for the information, iPad is very popular. We can take anywhere when we go and more easy than laptop.

    Good Job !

  34. Automatic Skeleton Watch:

    Apple is my favorite gadget all over the year. Hope it can be the innovator.

  35. Selvy:

    Great
    I love apple a lot
    it’s quite expensive but the quality is the best overall

  36. Selvy:

    Great
    I love apple a lot
    it’s quite expensive but the quality is the best overall

  37. ClaudiaYanPutri:

    Thanks for the information, i love Ipad very much.

  38. ClaudiaYanPutri:

    Thanks a lot for your info.

  39. Hadinata Lim:

    I’m waiting for Windows 8 tablet, i think i’ll be nice

  40. Engagement and Wedding Ring Set:

    Wow fabulous, that’s amazing

  41. Hard Side Luggage:

    How about posting a new tips on buying a new gadget in 2012… I would like to read the next gadget article from you :)

  42. Hard Side Luggage:

    Windows 8 is great anyway… :D

  43. Shindy Chosisca:

    Awesome!! Waiting for Windows 8!!

  44. williyani:

    thank your for the information
    i love apple a lot and Windows 8 is great anyway

  45. williyani:

    i’d like the black one

  46. indahangeliaa:

    thx for the information..i love ipad too

  47. cathrinetiosandy:

    thanks for the information..
    i like the red one.
    waiting for new ipad..

  48. july_lim:

    Thanks for your information…I like apple so much.
    In here,We can know more information about it.

  49. Denny:

    I’d like the pink one.

  50. Flat Shoes:

    Really love all apple product. Great!

  51. Baby Jogger Pram:

    Nice tips, Thank you. Your information is really helpful.

  52. Baby Jogger Pram:

    Nice tips, Thank you. Your information is really helpful. :D

  53. carinLeonardo:

    Thanks for your information. Its really help me too choose the best one.

  54. megalai:

    I was greatly helped by the information that you provide …
    ipad is the best choice….

  55. megalai:

    thank you

  56. Janice Hester:

    Tablet has become a trend option nowadays. You really know how to get an up-to-date information for everyone.

  57. Khuang:

    That’s Great post !
    It’s really helpful…

    I love apple products, and I’ll always be loving it !

  58. Melissa:

    thankz for sharing
    What an awesome information!
    ^^

  59. Rudi:

    thank you for making this helpful blog.
    from here i have got a lot of information about tablet pc.
    so i can choose the best tablet that suits me the most.

    thank you …

  60. jocelin:

    thank you for the posting. I’m really interested on it!

  61. Leather Clutches:

    Nice post :D
    This information increase my knowledge about gadget, now if i want to buy a gadget i think the fitur is the important thing that i must know…
    Keep writing !!

  62. Silvia:

    Thanks for sharing !
    Oh I love apple products very much !

  63. Chandra:

    apple is great products !
    i love apple! wait for new apple products

  64. Vivian Tristanty:

    Apple is unstoppable :)
    keep produce the great product!

  65. Heart Diamond Necklaces:

    Thank you for the information. Really helpful ! And I think, iPad is the best one..

  66. Liahui:

    thank you for sharing…
    this post is very important to me, so now I know the technological developments..

  67. Sutrisno Lim:

    Now Ipad 3 had been released.
    it also have retina eye and the front camera better than ipad 2.
    Any information for ipad mini????
    thanks before

  68. Gresfini:

    Thank you for your informations.I like it so much..

  69. aryati:

    waiting for the first Windows 8 tablets..

  70. Denny:

    Its a good information for us and must to know. I’d The pink one is looked nice.

  71. wilia:

    It was a good information
    thank for sharing to us
    Now what tablet i really want to buy now

  72. Silv:

    Thanks for sharing !
    Like apple products very much

  73. Jim:

    That’s great post ! Now I am using ipad 2, and that’s great !

  74. hadinata:

    apple is a good product. i agree with that, but let see how can windows 8 break the popularity of the apple

  75. Boyri Ongkosari:

    Nice post !!
    your information is really useful.. :D

  76. febrina:

    Apple is always be the best product.
    I really like the pink one. =D

  77. Gabriele:

    What a lovely post ! I really like your post….

    Any other updates ?
    Thanks

  78. jimmyjimz:

    Tablet is very important nowadays. It’s more simple brings tablet anywhere than laptop especially iPad. Thanks Apple for launching iPad.

  79. Herawati:

    Great ! i love apple’s product..

  80. Karen Leonardo:

    Nowadays everyone is using tablet as their gadget it’s really useful. Recently apple had just launched their iPad mini it’s a great choice, it smaller n lighter.
    Love your post ! :)

  81. serah rohana:

    thank you for the information you’ve provided. This information is very useful to me when i want to buy iPad…

  82. Elvira:

    in modern times, tablets is very useful and simple to carry anywhere. what a tablets is same i’m think. from their product surely launch a good product. this post give me more information. thanks for the information.

  83. july_lim:

    Amazing…
    This is a very nice article where tell me about tablets…thank you to share it

  84. Comfortable shoes:

    Thanks for sharing.. Apple will always be the best product ever

  85. Christine:

    thanks for this information..
    apple product is the best..

  86. vincent_wijaya:

    i love all aple product..its so cool!!

  87. irene william:

    Thank you for the information. Its very useful. i agree with your opinion. I Love apple products :) )
    its very simple and elegant

  88. stefanyse:

    Thank you for the great information and the sharing. It is really amazing.

  89. sunny wijaya:

    I love all products about apple. Awesome!

  90. stefanyse:

    Thank you for the information. I really love ipad2. It is very great product.

  91. Wenny:

    I bought it yesterday and this device very very usefull to me.. Thank you for the information. Keep Posting..

  92. stefanyse:

    Thank you for the great sharing

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  94. mega:

    great post :)

  95. shindy:

    great post! the applications are awesome and i’m really satisfied even the price is quite high.

  96. wilson Yap:

    great post … I love ipad toO..

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  99. Princess Cut:

    Thanks for the tips, there’s definitely more to choosing a tablet that you might think. As you have shown there are a number of different ones to look at. Ipad, Amazons and others

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