Product Reviews

What You Need To Know Before Buying A Tablet

Matt Smith 14-08-2012

buying a tabletTablets are starting to mature. Android’s new 4.1 release includes tweaks that dramatically improve the user experience. Apple’s iPad is now on its third iteration and continues to dominate the market. And Microsoft is about to enter the scene with Windows 8 RT, which is likely to inspire a range of new options.


If you’re thinking of buying a tablet you are not alone. The market has been growing and looks set for further expansion. But what one do you pick, and why? Do you want a smaller 7-inch tablet are a bigger model? Should you go with Android or iOS? These are many questions to answer, and I’ll try to address them as quickly as possible.

Form Factor

buying a tablet

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is what size of tablet would you like? Most tablets have a display around ten inches, but some 7-inch models exist, the most popular of which are the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7.

A smaller tablet has the benefit of being lighter and easier to carry. It’s often prefered for reading eBooks and sometimes for web browsing because it’s easier to hold for a long period of time. Small tablets are also inexpensive. Both the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 start at $199.

Tablets with larger displays are usually preferred for video and playing games. Having more screen real estate makes the experience feel a bit more immersive. They are also preferable for web browsing if you don’t browse for long stretches of time, as the extra heft can make them tiring to hold after a half-hour or so.


Another concern is battery life. Larger tablets usually offer better battery life because they have room for a larger battery. Most small tablets give out after 4 to 6 hours of demanding use (such as gaming or watching a movie).

Choosing An Operating System

buying a tablet guide

The operating system is an important choice. Currently the only options worth consideration are Android and iOS. Windows 8 RT will be on the market later this year.

Android is available on numerous devices, so you have some choice of hardware. It offers widget support, slightly superior multi-tasking and easy integration with Google’s services. It’s a good choice for anyone who want to tweak or customize their device.


If you go with Android I highly recommend buying a tablet with Android 4.1 or better. This new update has made some significant changes to the way the user interface is rendered that improve responsiveness. I do not recommend off-brand tablets running Android 2.x – that was designed for smartphones, not tablets.

Apple’s iOS is the perfect choice for users who want something that feels smooth and intuitive, but it’s also not a bad choice for enthusiasts who want a huge app selection. Apple’s App Store is significantly better than Google Play. This operating system also benefits from the iPad itself, which is still the best tablet overall.

Windows 8 RT, which will come out later this year, looks like a good choice for users who value compatibility with their existing desktop. Microsoft’s new OS will have a similar look and feel across desktop and tablet, and developers will be able to easily port apps between them. With that said, I can’t fully comment on the quality of unreleased products. Windows 8 RT looks interesting, but we’ll have to see how the full release works out.

I still recommend iOS first, but I’m impressed by the latest version of Android. It’s a close race. The determining factor may end up being the hardware. Speaking of which…


The Hardware That Really Matters

buying a tablet guide

Figuring out tablet hardware can be particularly difficult. While all the processors use the ARM instruction set (with a few exceptions), they vary in the specifics. Two 1 GHz processors won’t perform the same if they use different architectures.

There is some good news, however – the hardware barely matters. This may seem like blasphemy, but it’s true. The vast majority of apps designed for the iPad 3 can run well on the iPad 2 or even on the original iPad. And most new Android apps work well on older tablets. Why? Because developers like money, and people won’t buy an app if their tablet can’t run it.

There also is not a massive gap between the best and worst. A current Intel Atom mobile processor is about ten times slower than an Intel Core i7 quad, so consumers need to pay real attention to what they buy. Performance gaps of this size are not found among current tablet competitors.


What you should pay attention to is display resolution as expressed in pixels-per-inch. Having more pixels packed into a display will improve sharpness and make text easier to read. This is important for tablets because they are held close to the user’s eyes. A 1080p HDTV has a lower resolution than the iPad’s Retina Display, but it’s also usually six to ten feet away from the viewer. A tablet, on the other hand, is usually between one and two feet away.

Also pay attention to battery size. There’s no replacement for displacement. That means you want the largest battery possible.


buying a tablet

Buying a tablet may just be the start of your slate. Many users decide they want to later add a keyboard, or play games with a gamepad, or connect their tablet to their television.

The connections available depend on the tablet you buy. Android tablets are known for offering better variety. Many of them come with USB ports, HDMI-out and an SD card slot for additional memory, but not all do. On the other hand, Apple tends to limit connectivity – whatever you add will have to go through the proprietary port, which means you need to purchase purpose built peripherals or expensive adapters. However, because Apple currently dominates the market, there are many products designed to work with specifically with the iPad.

Windows 8 RT will likely be similar to Android. These tablets will probably include HDMI and a USB port. It’s not clear how well standard Window compatible devices will work with RT, but I’d wager they’ll only work well (or at all) with drivers designed specifically for RT.


The Apple iPad 3 is still my default tablet recommendation, but the new Google Nexus 7 is impressive and starts at just $200. It’s a the obvious choice for a budget tablet and for users who prefer the 7-inch form factor.

No matter what you buy, you should focus on the basics above. The extras that are often advertised, such as free cloud storage or keyboard docks, are usually relevant to a niche.

The average consumer should focus on buying a tablet with a form-factor they find comfortable, a great high-resolution display and a large battery. Connectivity can also be an issue, but tends to be all-or-nothing. Either a tablet has the connections you want, or it doesn’t.

What’s your favorite tablet? Do you think the iPad still reigns, or has Android caught up? How will Windows 8 RT impact the market? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Brian Sawyer, George Thomas, Camillo Miller, Kai Hendry, Gadjo Sevilla

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  1. Barbara
    November 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I need a little guidance! I want a tablet to quickly access apps., check mail & read a little news. No games, no cameras. Why do you see tablets for $99 at Sam's?

  2. Su
    November 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    HMMph - no mention of the Blackberry Playbook - Has this review been paid for by Apple?

  3. Hardik Gajjar
    October 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

    hello there ! i am eyeing for a tablet & my budget is around 7K maximum. plz suggest me the best 1 that fits my budget.

  4. Nikhil Gupta
    September 29, 2012 at 7:15 am

    if any body wants to buy a new tablet then they can wait because microsoft's surface will be launched on 26 oct 2012 ...
    >it would be a new revolution in tablet market...
    >it works on windows 8 operating system.

  5. ALi Azizeh
    September 4, 2012 at 7:26 am

    very good article ... i think android is a real enemy for apple OS
    and will be no difference between them soon.

  6. anree
    August 30, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Love this review! I have a BBPlaybook which sucks bigtime -.-

  7. Adam Davids
    August 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Hello Matt,

    Firstly good guide to buying a tablet,

    Its not easy when you do not know much about computers to choose the right one for you,

    Best advice is to simply go to a shop where you can try for yourself, many mobile shops or computer shops will have them in for people to test.

    I run [Broken URL Removed] website and own the nexus 7 so obviously am biased, but acknowledge it all depends what you want it for!

    7 inch is portable and fits in your 'big' pockets, 10 inch is better for web surfing.

  8. sigits Sigit
    August 20, 2012 at 11:11 am

    nice info..i'm use an ipad and looking for android tablet to compare my works in 2 different tablet platform..

    August 20, 2012 at 4:40 am

    nice piece of cake for a newbie .

  10. Kylee Kanavas
    August 20, 2012 at 2:00 am

    I want a tablet. They are soooo expensive. Are there ANY good ones for $100?

  11. Benjamin Glass
    August 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I like Android better because it's based off of Linux

  12. Kannon
    August 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    The ipad is just a Fad. just like the iphone is just a Fad. Personally for me i didn't jump the gun to get myself an iphone or an ipad because i have to have one so i can be cool like everyone else. I choose an Android device because it fits my needs, useability, features and preference. I can say 90% of the time people by the iphone or an ipad because they see other people have one and want to be cool. so its like they have to have it. it's nothing but a FAD. all smart phones and tablets do the same thing as in most features.

  13. Kannon
    August 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    The ipad is just a Fab. just like the iphone is just a Fad. Personally for me i didn't jump the gun to get myself an iphone or an ipad because i have to have one so i can be cool like everyone else. I choose an Android device because it fits my needs, useability, features and preference. I can say 90% of the time people by the iphone or an ipad because they see other people have one and want to be cool. so its like they have to have it. it's nothing but a FAB. all smart phones and tablets do the same thing as in most features.

  14. Glenn Ishibashi
    August 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Here are our reasons for really liking the iPad.

    Very intuitive. Compatibility with my PC and iMac is terrific - using iCloud, Dropbox, or iTunes. It's very easy to move files and Word docs, Excel spreadsheets and PDFs are natively supported - or there are a ton of Apps to improve the usage; Pages, Numbers, PDF readers.

    Speaking of Apps, there's a very rich community and library of apps, free and fee. The reviews on apps are honest and give an excellent idea of what the app will and will not do without having to download. However, downloading and deleting if not wanted is easy as well.

    Lack of ports is an advantage - no cords to deal with. Bluetooth connectivity works great with several Bluetooth keyboards that also serve as hard covers. With a keyboard we can use the iPad as a laptop replacement for just about every use with the exception of no Flash support.

    The iPad 3 speech recognition is better than earlier generations of PC speech recognition and if you want more, there are speech recognition apps, e.g. from Dragon. This capability only gets better with the iPad 3 inclusion of SIRI with IOS 6.

    Retina display doesn't make much difference from the iPad 2 for us, however, the iPad 3's camera has great resolution - the 2, not so much.

  15. Bud Mulqueeney
    August 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Bought an Apple iPad 2 recently to have while I was on vacation and thinking I could connect with chat friends around the world. Tried downloading a few messenger services only to discover they were new versions for iPads and NONE of them worked, I even synched it with my Apple iMac and couldn't easily connect to my ISP mail server, without going through "loops!" To me it's an over-hyped, way over-priced piece of an electronic waste of money! I'm 70 years old, my eyesight is good wearing glasses, but did experience a lot of eye-strain trying to read the fine print. Sure, I could zoom in, but then I'd have to constantly scroll left to right and up and down, a real pain in the butt! The virtual keyboard typing with fingers caused a lot of typos and using a stylus was even more tiring! For older people, you can get a decent notebook or laptop for a lot cheaper price. Obviously my rating for the iPads is ZERO!!! Apple does have a decent O.S., but the 3rd-party software is lagging AND I found too many intrusions of Apple trying to sell me stuff via their "bookcase" app. Just another electronic gimmick, which has really affected my overall outlook on Apple products, but I'll stay away from Windows as long as I can.......

  16. Seishun Kyosoukyoku
    August 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks for the article! XD

  17. Efi Dreyshner
    August 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I am using Motorola Xoom Wifi,
    and I am happy with it (:

    I am thinking on getting the new Xoom 2.
    Is it worth?
    Or should i get other tablet

  18. Arron Walker
    August 17, 2012 at 7:24 am

    The iPad has always seemed like a solid, fantastic piece of kit... it's also never seemed any where near worth the ridiculous price tag to me.

  19. Enim
    August 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Only APPLE is allowed to make gadgets such as tablets, phones, etc., as we and MICROSOFT got ALL the patents and we'll soon put other pretenders out of business thanks to the current APPLE versus samsung trial...
    After that, you cheapskates better be prepared to dig deep into your pockets for your slates and phones when our lawyers win the JIHAD against android...

  20. mukhi
    August 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    i don't think android is ready for business purpose. my company does not support android, and i see many other companies don't either. nevertheless, the office apps in ipad are not great either. i am waiting for win8 and RT releases. if any of these 3 does support lotus notes, and have good office apps like MS office (supposedly, iOS and win8 will have it), i am probably sold. not to mention, i would possibly go for 7" since i will use it mainly for reading (including ebooks). videos an games are too much to be handled in tablets.

  21. Edward Bellair
    August 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Useful info when it comes to the tablet mess.

  22. H G
    August 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I think the iPad still reigns, but my experience with a tablet with Android is better in terms of direct connectivity with other devices, and I think the iPad is still a little expensive.

  23. Macky
    August 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Nice info there. Did we have a slight review of the First generation tablets before the popularization of IOS and ANDROIDs

  24. Naveen Kumar
    August 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    ipad r nexus 7 which the best?????????

  25. sonnylim
    August 16, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Whilst choices are important, what's relevant for me is the overall user experience and functionality to user's needs of the device. I am using an iPad2.

  26. Mitch
    August 16, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Those with plenty of money almost always recommend Apple anything.
    Give the a flat budget or 25% less than Ipad cost and then listen to them.
    I have the ASUS and my rich brother the Ipad and you should see the envy when I show him all the apps I have and all they do.
    You can bet your last dime these tools are using and Iphone and an Apple computer and they are all brainlessly synced for them...hurray for the rich boys!
    It may come as a shock that the bulk of us can't afford even the cheapest smart phone or anything more than pay as you go phones.

    You ask the rich if they prefer a Corvette or some italian sports car and they will ALWAYS say the one that costs more. And the Vette can still eat most of them on the road. And cost WAY less to keep going and modify as well.

    Reminds me of the filthy rich DEMs pretending they're "one of us"...
    Or the incredibly rich Matt Damon saying he'd like to shoot the 1% on sight!?!

  27. Tim
    August 16, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Love the article AND the comment thread!

    I'd like to add to the hardware section though. I think we're getting to the point where ppi won't matter as much. What I mean is that if we have a phone or tablet with 1080p screen resolutions, soon we're looking at not having the ability to see the pixels anyway. Keep making them smaller if you want, but the user won't be able to see the difference.

    When it comes to screen technologies, we will be looking for better viewing angles and better viewing in the sunlight and stuff like that and not necessarily pixels per inch numbers. That's where superamoled and hd lcds and whatever the next technology will be.

    Btw, for me the nexus 7 is what's tempting this tech writer!

  28. Peter
    August 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I have settled on the Galaxy Tab2, have been in a position to use most of the current tabs out there, as a pensioner the lure of Android and the plethora of useful free aps was the game changer for me. I do not like the lock in you have with Apple.
    As a Linux user for the past 20 years I am comfortable with Android.

  29. Larry Johnson
    August 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I think the android tablets are the better bet, currently. I believe Apple is too restrictive and will eventually lose market share because of those restrictions on hardware compatibility. Especially the change in "master" cord jack that is coming.

  30. Aleks Djosic
    August 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I love my Blackberry PlayBook.

    The hardware and OS are formidable,and it has industrial strength encryption.

    The apps are sufficient to my needs. I don't need 100,000's or millions to choose from;that is just plain overkill.

    I wish you would do an honest assessment of the lovely BB Playbook.

    • John "Loose" Kannon
      August 16, 2012 at 1:35 am

      I agree. We need more BB PlayBook supporters on here. People need to stop under estimating this great tablet. come on now people it as true multi tasking that no other tablet can do. The PlayBook tablet has "government level security" and with its encryption algorithms.

    • Mr. Algorithm
      August 16, 2012 at 1:44 am

      Diffidently love the playbook with its real multi tasking capabilities.Can the Nexus 7 do that? Nope I can't wait to get the LTE 4g playbook, it has a much faster processor too.

    • John "Loose" Kannon
      August 16, 2012 at 1:54 am

      Looking forward for BlackBerry 10.

  31. Maureen2c
    August 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Matt - Thanks for this tablet report - I am giving serious consideration to buying one before the end of the year as I can see more choice. I am not an Apple user, having a Samsung galaxy s11 phone. Can you please comment on the performance of the new Samsung Note 10.1 tablet out this week?

  32. T'drinker
    August 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    First I think this is a pretty good article. I go back to Define your needs. What are you going to do with this. Forget about all the designing the next Space rocket I think most people it's flipping through Facebook and the Web while on the couch. It is for me with the 'puter. But that gets heavy and I get tired of turning it on/off and my face turns into the Blue screen of boredom.I love my I phone where it's click ,click whiz and I can see all my E mail or check the weather. I want that in a tablet. I want apps that can do stupid stuff for me but really help around the fringes of my life. On the I Phone I have an IP scanner that helps figuring out which printer is which IP address, a good calculator, a little quote program that I can send quick crude quotes to customers, currency conversions, all the travel stuff , better banking than the web site,
    So I would want that, I would want battery life of plug in every 3 days. Good readabilty and easy font adjustment and phot zoom. I really have concerns about the retina display, a lot of pixels to power so the battey was vastly increased. Do I need that resolution or wouid I get the older model and have better battery life.
    I just stepped up to the 4S as my old 3G was dying from old app starvation. One by one they were being upgraded and taken away from me. So product lifespan is a concern in the Apple world. As it is in the Android with apps not fitting with each slice or sandwich. The Win 8 Surface intrigues me because of it's design with the keyboard, but when has MS ever topped Apple for ease of use and systems that work without interruption? If I had to do it today I would vote for the present I Pad

  33. steveb
    August 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Just to rephrase part of your conclusion - The average user should focus on buying a tablet which meets their pocket and their needs and not buy 'features' they will not use.

    Many reviews focus on irrelevances eg: the size of the app store as any appstore is big enough if it contains the apps you will use; the processor speed / memory size - again, as long as it will meet your needs it is sufficient and there is no such thing as future proofing !

    When reviewing hardware it would be much more meaningful if it was compared against real world usage ie: mail, web, video, office, photo manipulation, games.

  34. techie786
    August 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Matt seems to be biased for iPad. How come you didn't mention the BlackBerry PlayBook?

    • Emmanuel
      August 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      I agree. The PlayBook is still a very good tablet. You can't go wrong with it. You will never find another tablet priced at 200 bucks with dual HD cameras that record in full 1080p. And you will never find another tablet on the market that does TRUE multi-tasking just as like your using a desktop computer. The OS powering the PlayBook based on QNX Neutrino RTOS runs apps simultaneously all at once without pausing any apps in the background. Android and iOS can't achieve that. That's the power of QNX. Nexus 7 can have the fastest processor it wants but does it do TRUE multi tasking? No

    • Emmanuel
      August 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Not to Mention The BlackBerry PlayBook is the most secured tablet on the market as RIM is the first and only to past certifications.

    • Emmanuel
      August 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Don't be fooled by people saying BlackBerry having only just a few thousand apps. Right now currently there is over 90,000 apps in the BlackBerry Appworld and it is growing twice as fast as Apple Appstore and Google Play.

      BlackBerry actually has more apps then Windows phone 7 currently right now.

  35. Mr. T
    August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    My biggest concern with Android devices are the apps. I've used an iPad in a K-6 school setting and in my personal life. The apps for education are SO much better than Androids (I searched for the effective iPad apps and didn't find equivalents, and I also did a search in the top educational apps in the Android Marketplace).

    In my personal life, the main apps were mostly the same, but I could always find great free games on the iPad. In my experience, it seems like Apple has all of the programmers.

    Due to this post, I am definitely going to wait until the end of the year. With Windows 8 and MS Surface coming out, I want to see how good it will be. Especially since a main concern has always been MS Office - a huge gap when dealing with computers. That might bridge the gap between computers and tablets (to a small degree). And I saw that engadget post... Surface for $199... no way!? That's insane. If it's $300 and under, it will be HUGE! :-)

  36. D H
    August 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I'm Android all the way but the Nexus 7 is a pass for me. Deal breaker? No additional memory card capabilities.

    I've got a no-name 7" tablet with a low res screen and maybe not the fasted processor in the world, but it has Android 4.1, 4G onboard with an additional 32G micro SD card with my photos, books and movies, etc. as well as a host of productivity tools. WITH a USB keyboard/case it still cost me less than the Nexus 7 would have.

  37. Jose Fernandez
    August 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I have Android Tablets a 7" and a 10" and both are great. I have seen and used Apple but will not pay $400 or $500. Compare to $169 and $75 for my android tablets that do the same and more of apple ipads. I have family who have apple ipads and when they have seen my android tablets they are impressed with them. Where I was not impressed at all with the apple ipad.

  38. Violet Smith
    August 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I have both an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy SII X Smartphone which is also like a tablet. I do like the iPad, however the variety of games available to play on it is limited as it does not have flash. When on Facebook, I cannot enter many of the contests as the platform is not supported. Many of the things I do on facebook cannot be done on either of them as they are not set up for mobile applications. I do prefer a windows environment for doing many things and android is also very good and has the flash ability. I guess it all depends on what you are going to be doing with the tablet most of the time to be able to choose. I won my iPad and my children love it as they have downloaded many games to play.

  39. Mark Ryan
    August 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Usage model ought to drive the decision. Laptop replacement dictates a different set of capabilities than casual couch reader while watching TV. The iPad is king market share but if you want to replace the Windows desktop, I'd look at the Asus Transformer. There are keyboards for the iPad but the video-out options for the iPad do not allow every app to be externally viewable. Let's face it, single connector for everything limits any device. Personally, I am on the fence having seen the IBM Tablet 2 videos. I do NOT like Metro as a GUI and believe the Atom CPU will be slower than the Tegra 3 but I want to see the actual devices first. iPad mini may end up beating everyone. XMAS season ought to be very interesting this year.

  40. RealUser
    August 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    As someone who has actually used the iPad2 and iPad3, as well as the Google tablet and Samsung Galaxy, I can tell you which one is hands down best for work use: the Blackberry Playbook. Yes, it may not have a billion apps and it may lack internal 3G or 4G wireless capability, but as a real, useful business tool, it blows all of the others away. Seamless 2-say connection to my office email, calendar and contacts, every app I could actually want (and need), the best security in the business, and I don't have to pay yet another monthly fee to the phone company for my wireless access, since it just piggybacks on my Blackberry phone's connection. The screen is also as good as, if not better than, all the competition. Also, the QNX operating system is simple, fast and intuitive. Overall, the pad just WORKS like you'd expect it to. The failure of this product in the market was the reponsibility of RIM's apparently awful marketing team; the software and hardware is flawless.

  41. Vicky Gregory Moss
    August 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I am really looking at getting a Nook Tablet. So many choices.

  42. Pat J P
    August 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    My Old Galaxy Tab 7 , Still work for me , My old eyes see it jest find.
    With bluetooth and all the other over the air hookups , networking with
    my Laptop make my day. Iam over 70 , what new under the sun ?

  43. Bill Seashols
    August 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Have both Ipad and Android. Android quicker, less cost and alot less hassle. Ipad has better screen.

  44. Fuddzie
    August 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I have an orIginal iPad and the New iPad .

  45. Bill Seashols
    August 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Have both Ipad and Android. Like the Android better because I get results quicker, less cost and with alot less hassle.

  46. Dee Wheat
    August 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Voice of experience NOT waste your money on a generic tablet, and do not buy one of any brand from . The tablets are crap.....I went through several before I got one that worked more than a few hours, they wouldn't accept a return until I threatened to spread my story all over the internet, and they sent me to the manufacturer, who sent me to some idiot in Kentucky who is/was their US rep who was working out of his garage and quit answering emails and phone calls as soon as he got the last one in a string of dead ones.

    He finally sent me two after I sent the police to knock on his door....I was REALLY annoyed by then.....and one of them was DOA! The other one still works, but it's slow, balky about connecting to my wireless even when sitting right next to the router, and a general PITA....and don't even get me started on the battery life issue and the fact that the power inlet is and always has been loose and will only charge the @$^*^$# thing if you hold it in just the right spot, which is far too much to ask for a charge that lasts, at best, for two hours.

    Actually, I wanted it primarily as an EReader, because with my arthritic hands I can no longer hold even a large paperback for very long without severe pain, much less a hard backed book and I have been a lifelong avid reader.

    That's one of the many reasons that I absolutely LOVE the Kindle Touch I won in the MUO giveaway not long ago! It's a low end tablet to a lot of you youngsters, but for old folks like me who are avid readers but who have both physical and financial limitations that prevent us from enjoying a lot of activities that we have enjoyed for many years, it's amazing!

    • Emmanuel
      August 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      when talking about about cheap tablets and budget priced tablets, you will never find another tablet on the market priced at $200 with HD dual camera’s that record in full 1080pi as the camera’s on the PlayBook front facing 3mp and rear facing 5mp blows the Nexus 7 camera out of the water. you cant beat that for 200 bucks.

  47. Marcel
    August 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I don't personally like tablets, but this would aid my selection when giving one as a gift.

  48. Petey Pabler
    August 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I have been working in an IS department for over 11 years now. My opinion is the iPad is a toy, and Android/WIndows are much more capable of business needs. iPad doesn't agree with Microsoft CRM or SharePoint, and until they do, they won't ever meet the demands for business use. If Apple could, then they would REALLY dominate the market.

  49. Larry Rowan
    August 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    When it comes to using the Tablet as a serious Real Estate Business Tool and not a toy or book reader, the iPad is still on top. The reason is simple - Apps, Apps Apps. Ipad has had all of the essential apps to use the iPad to sign contracts with a stylus, etc. Many essential real estate related apps have been slow in coming to Android devices....Yes, they are catching up but iPad has such a dominance, it will be a while before Android does it all as well as the iPad. Android devices will eventually be neck in neck with iPads, but we can assume that Apple still has a few tricks and improvements up their sleeves yet to be seen.

  50. Emmanuel
    August 15, 2012 at 2:04 am

    The BlackBerry PlayBook is a different beast from all the other tablets as it runs a "Real-Time" operating system instead of a "general purpose" operating system like Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, WebOS and Android. Unlike other tablet's the BlackBerry PlayBook can act as a network shared drive natively, as you can transfer files from you computer via blue-tooth or Wifi with out a single wire. Another major thing that separates the PlayBook from any mobile device on the market is TRUE multi tasking. still as of today there is no other tablet or smartphone on the market that doe's real-time multi tasking but RIM's PlayBook tablet. Why? Because it runs QNX Neutrino RTOS. If you own a PlayBook you will also notice that you have the best security because RIM is the only and first to be certified for high level government level security. It's a reason why President Barack Obama still uses a BlackBerry device as of today because of security.

    I'm not trying to advertize or get people to buy the PlayBook but just describing the major features that separates it from other tablet's. You can't go wrong with a PlayBook tablet as it's like having an Android tablet and BlackBerry tablet all in one device as it runs Android apps, how ever it also runs Adobe AIR apps aswel. There are over 90,000 apps currently on the BlackBerry Appworld don't be fooled by people saying there are only a few thousand blackberry and playbook apps. Appworld is growing twice as fast as Google Play and Appstore.

    All and all the PlayBook is still a very good tablet along with the Google Nexus 7.

    • Matt Smith
      August 15, 2012 at 4:55 am

      The Playbook is also slow, has less apps, has a fairly poor display (though it is bright) and has poor battery life. And the OS isn't good if you aren't in need of good security.

      It really wasn't that great when it was released, and it's in far inferior to the Nexus 7 now.

      • Emmanuel
        August 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm

        Hmm, its seems your information is dated as the PlayBook runs the new 2.0 OS I'm assuming your going by the old 1.0.8 OS. There are a lot of apps now as I "stated over 90,000 apps now!" There's not that much when you compare far as hardware. Sure the Nexus 7 has a quad core CPU and a high resolution display but that's it. But the PlayBook still kills the Nexus 7 tablet on Web browser experience and implementaion. The PlayBook tablet still beats every single tablet on the market on HTML5 and other web technologies implementation as the PlayBook score the highest in web test's. Another thing you will never find on a tablet priced at $200 is HD dual camera's that record in full 1080pi. the camera's on the PlayBook front facing 3mp and rear facing 5mp blows the Nexus 7 camera out of the water.

        Also don't forget you will never ever find another tablet device like the BlackBerry PlayBook with true multitasking running apps y simultaneously all at the same time with out pausing any apps in the background while another app is open. The Nexus can have the faster processor it wants but can it do true multi tasking? No because the apps pause in the background when you open up another app. You can record a full 1080p video, browse the web, playing music, running Facebook app, email and playing all at the same time in real time without pausing any apps or process in the background on the PlayBook. It takes power to do all that wilth a "Real-Time" Operating system. Not to mention that QNX is a real time embedded operating system found in military equipment, medical equipment, aerospace defense equipment, GPS, running and controlling nuclear power plants around the world, cruise control in your car and Cisco routers and switches.

        Besides all and all the PlayBook is only in its first generation while the LTE/4G PlayBooK has already been announced with a slightly faster processor. BB 10 will soon be released in early 2013. So the PlayBook is improving.

  51. gzylo
    August 14, 2012 at 11:56 pm


    I have experienced Ipad but I went an Android route and got myslef Nexus 7, and by getting this I says no to Ipad :), everything is there and works no need to pay extra for company logo unless you like too :)

    I am thinking about getting another one for my wife that's 2 in price of 1 :)

  52. John Swiman
    August 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Here is a question for you which you did not cover in your article. I am planning to introduce tablets for use in our company that is in the aviation industry. These tables are going to be use to replace manuals and maps for flight crews, also for manuals and documents for our staff in customer services and in maintenance services. I know that the iPad has Jepp maps etc but then again I am looking for tables that can be interconnected with our computer system.

    So here is my question for you? Which is best overall - the IPad or possibly an Android system. Forget costs. I am n=more interested in functionality .

    • Matt Smith
      August 15, 2012 at 4:56 am

      I don't know, that's a rather specific question. Also, it depends on what your computer system is.

  53. Zenphic
    August 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I look forward to how Windows 8 RT performs. I've been using Android for quite some time, but I still prefer how Windows works as a whole. I doubt we'll be seeing low prices on Microsoft tablets compared to Android tablets though.

  54. Jamie
    August 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    The Apple iPad is still the king. However, I am glad that competition can push it along to new heights. In September, the gap will widen with a significantly upgraded IOS. A smaller iPad model is also rumored, but there is no confirmation yet.

    Other points... The compatibility and consistency between the iPad, the iPhone and a Mac is superior to other platforms. The hardware is simply better engineered and more reliable. As noted, there are often conflicts or, at least, inconsistencies with the Android OS and the various hardware choices. It may not be practical, but it would be nice if Android would customize its OS for particular hardware and make it 100% compatible. Apple has an advantage here in that it creates the whole widget... the hardware including processor and the OS.

  55. Reý Aetar
    August 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    so in word we have to see everything nothing can be left out... :D

  56. Mary Burns Prine
    August 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    OK, I have both (well, older iPad). I agree that the iPad has the advantage for production and newsletter reading, the Nexus is great for social networking, email on the go and books. With the quick loading, nice display, smaller and lighter size and half of the price tag, it would really make a fine second device (after your laptop or desktop). Love the seamless coordination with Google!

    • Tug Ricks
      August 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      As an impoverished college student, the price tag for the Nexus is much more reasonable than an iPad. However, I'm thinking I'll wait until the next round comes out, with the hope that Google will try to one up the new Kindle Fire.

  57. Jason Williams
    August 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    i having been toying the tablet concept around for quite awhile, but keep getting hung up on the very items you stated. huge help in solidifying my decision on which tablet to buy. thanks.

  58. fizzbin88
    August 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I still like the iPad, but will take a good look at the Nexus. Thought provoking article!

  59. Mihovil Pletikos
    August 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    the recent news are that ms surface rt will be $199 so that could cause seismic changes in tablet world :)

    • Matt Smith
      August 15, 2012 at 4:57 am

      That would be a crazy low price. I'll believe it when I see it, but let's hope it is true.

    • Vipul Jain
      August 15, 2012 at 5:59 am

      i really think that's just a rumor. Surface can no way be less than $350-400 :o

      • Petey Pabler
        August 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

        The hardware installed in SURFACE alone is worth $400, even in the RT. If Microsoft were able to sell it at that $200 price, it is going to be bogged down with tons of bloatware ( AT&T, 60 day trials, etc.)

      • Bill Scriven
        August 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        Look at M/S stock and current price of $39 for Win8. I think M/S has realized they have missed a market and are trying to catch up.

      • Tom Sobieski
        August 17, 2012 at 11:36 am

        You Think.
        They have to compete, not just with Apple, but Google also. If a 16 GB Nexus is $199, they HAV to hit somewhere near that price point.

        • Vipul Jain
          August 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm

          well then i hope they are ready to cover their losses, and they actually should be after years of ripping pockets.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      If true it will be stunning, and truly shake up the tablet market. I just can't see it though, I'm thinking $399 at least for the RT version.

  60. Truefire_
    August 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    The new budget-yet-quality Android tablet is the Nook Color. They just dropped in price, and are compatible with CyanogenMod:

    • Jose
      August 15, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Hear hear! It is and always has been very tiring to see the media always responding to the "big" guys, while ignoring the Nook products from Barnes & Noble. Those products have often preceded others in the market and consistently get excellent reviews. As of Monday, Nook Color and both Nook tablets have seen a substantial price cut, which should make them all even more attractive to prospective tablet buyers.

  61. Burhan Ahmed
    August 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Apple Ipad is still dominating the market. But android tablets have more flexible options. I already have a 10 inch android tablet and this form factor is good for home use and bedside reading. For on the go 7 inch tablet is way better. Wish apple releases a more portable tablet than the Ipad

    • aaron sadoff
      August 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      The are supposedly apple is announcing a 7 inch ipad in the coming months