The 3 Best Android Tablets Available Today That A Buyer Should Check Out

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bestandroidtabthumb   The 3 Best Android Tablets Available Today That A Buyer Should Check OutWhile the iPad was able to jump on the tablet market before anyone else, Android tablets from competitors are starting to flow like water. There’s now a wide variety of options available and many of them are quite mature.

There are some Android tablets that stand out from the crowd. Let’s have a look at three of them that any potential buyer should be sure to check out.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101

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When the Eee Pad Transformer debuted, it made a surprisingly big splash. According to some reports this tablet is the second most popular currently available behind the iPad 2, which is surprising. It’s not as if ASUS has put much effort into marketing.

The reason for its sudden popularity is the optional keyboard dock. While many tablets have docks, the Eee Pad Transformer was designed from the ground up to work with one. Once inserted into the keyboard dock this tablet operates much like a netbook. A battery is hidden in the dock, as well, extending life to between 14 and 16 hours in most situations.

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One downside of this Eee Pad is a lack of support for mobile data plans, although a 3G version is expected sometime this month.

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Don’t let yourself be hung up on the dock, however – you don’t need it to make this a great device. The base tablet is excellent and it’s just $399 (the dock is an additional $150). It offers solid build quality combined with an elegant Espresso finish. While the pricing might lead one to think this is a budget option, the Eee Pad is actually on par with the competition, right down to the Tegra 2 processor.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1

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Just released in July, the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is the company’s first consumer Android tablet. Sex appeal is one of the K1’s greatest strengths. It’s offered with several different color options for the back panel and features a smooth design that, in my opinion, is even more attractive than the iPad 2.

Another impressive feature is the user interface. Stock Honeycomb is common on Android tablets, and any changes are usually not for the best. The K1, however, adds a convenient launcher widget in the middle of the home screen that lets users sort apps into specific categories like Watch (movies) or Listen (music/podcasts). This organization reminds me a lot of libraries in Windows 7. There are a few other extras as well, such as an App Wheel that can be used as a quick-launcher for your favorite apps.

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The rest of the K1’s features are standard for Android tablets. It has a Tegra 2 processor and battery life of over 8 hours, which is a bit better than average. The only potential deal-breaker is the tablet’s relatively hefty weight of 1.6 pounds. Still, the base price of $499 is attractive.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

 

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Apple’s iPad had no serious competition until Samsung released the Galaxy Tab in the latter half of 2010. The original was quite robust, but in response to the iPad 2 it has been redesigned significantly.

The new version, called the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, is a formidable opponent. It’s slightly lighter than Cupertino’s tablet (1.24 pounds vs. 1.35) and is approximately as thin. The design doesn’t have the punch of the K1 or the elegance of the Eee Pad, but it’s attractive in its own right and it’s lighter than either of those entries. Users can expect over eight hours of endurance from the battery. Like the other entries here, this tablet has a Tegra 2 processor.

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At $499, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn’t try to win on price alone. The Eee Pad Transformer is clearly better value, but its subdued aesthetics won’t be to everyone’s taste and it’s heavier. The K1 carries extra bulk as well. As a result, this tablet is likely the best choice for frequent fliers, road warriors, and other users who will often be using the tablet without a stand or solid piece of furniture to sit it upon.

Conclusion

In my opinion, these three tablets are the clear winners in the current Android market. The Xoom was great when it came out, but the styling is now unimpressive and the display was never great. The Acer Iconia Tab feels cheap but remains more expensive than the Eee Pad Transformer. Toshiba’s Thrive is bulky yet offers less battery life than the options above.

The market is changing rapidly, so buyers should keep a look out for the latest-and-greatest. But for now, these are truly the best Android tablets.  Do you have one of these three?  If so, how do you like it?

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18 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Mark Pavlik

I’m looking to get one very soon.  Next few weeks actually.  My vote is the Sammy Tab. I’m a name brand kinda guy.  I just wish I knew more about the Puccini of when that will release.  I love HTC and can imagine how that would stack up to these three.  Any thoughts on that? 

James Bruce

Yes, I hear the iPad is quite good ;p

M.S. Smith

I wouldn’t count on HTC tablets being great. The Flyer is already out and it’s quite average. Though frankly, at this point in time it’s hard to say anything for sure until the product is actually out.

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Jeffery Fabish

I wipe my ass with iPads.

Mark O’Neill

Thanks for the best laugh I’ve had all day :-)

Trevor Lenten

That must get expensive…

Tina

Pictures or it didn’t happen!

Reply

Mei-mei

What about the upcoming Archos tablets?

M.S. Smith

*shrug* Archos tablets have been poor in the past I don’t think anyone is overly excited about what’s coming from them next.

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Cell Travis

Most people have been talking about Samsung Galaxy Tab as the closest Android alternative to the iPad. I feel that Asus Eee Pad might be something worth looking at over time. It seems to have the best of both worlds — the ease of tablet computing and the familiarity of a laptop thanks to the keyboard dock.

Mark O’Neill

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has been banned from sale here in Europe (with the exception of the Netherlands) after Apple managed to persuade a judge that the SGT was ripping off the iPad. Absolutely unbe-fricking-lievable. And how does the Netherlands get a free pass? 

Although my wife told me today that she heard a rumour that Apple told rather big lies to the judge to get the ban. If that’s so, Apple will have shot themselves in the foot and the insane ban will be lifted.

Tina

There is another lawsuit pending in the Netherlands and until that one is decided, Samsung may continue selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 there.

Reply

Thud424

anyone try the $259 color nook with the $32N2A chip?

Reply

Icanlike

I have owned both the IPad2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
In my opinion the Samsung Galaxy outdoes the Ipad2 hands down, the main reason IPad2 is so popular is because of the market domination (from millions spend on marketing) – but as we can all see, once a product outshines the IPad2 (with performance / useability) it starts getting noticed and IPad2 (with all its marketing) starts taking strain in the markets.

Reply

Matrixcrayon

The ASUS transformer connected to a mobile phone acting as a “WIFI HOTSPOT” provides the necessary 3G/4G data connectivity (depending on provider) without forcing a consumer to jump into bed with a cell phone provider for life. I bought the ASUS Transformer because it gives me total internet connection flexibility with out costing me the earth. I use a non contract pay as you go unlimited data plan on a phone running Android with WIFI tethering for my Transformer, my laptop and other wifi capable devices while on the road.

Reply

Khayeschapman

I am using the Galaxy Tab as we speak and loving every second of it. The ipad2 has nothing on this bad boy other than an apple with a bite out of it on the cover. Apple can sue all it wants, but Samsung has offered us PC users an option we can be proud of. Besides, not all of us like fruit.

Tina

I love fruit…in my MĂĽsli. I prefer to work on the Galaxy Tab. :)

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