Tablet Buying Guide

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Tablets have actually been around for quite some time, and have long been predicted to be the future of personal computing. Many manufacturers have released them to little fanfare, and then Apple changed all that with the iPad. Tablets are now at the forefront of many gadget hounds’ minds.

In the years since the iPad’s initial release, other manufacturers have done a good job of creating products that can go toe to toe with Apple’s juggernaut. So which tablet should you choose? Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Apple iPad (iOS)

The iPad is still top dog in the tablet market. The most recent iteration features greatly improved graphics, due to the upgrade to Apple’s extremely high resolution retina display. Apple’s tablet has the edge when it comes to providing a streamlined and intuitive interface that performs reliably and is a pleasure to use, right out of the box.

While it’s no longer the lightest nor thinnest tablet available, it’s still extremely portable. The fact that the iPad does not support Adobe’s Flash (whereas Android tablets do) is quickly becoming a non-issue, as even Adobe has acknowledged that HTML5 is superior for mobile content.

The iPad is available in Wi-Fi only and 4g versions which feature mobile network connectivity. Overall, the iPad is a great device and while the gap is rapidly closing, it is still deserving of its position as the top-seller.

Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Android)

There are more Android tablets than you can count these days, but Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Tab 10.1 is among the best currently available. Its display boasts excellent contrast and color reproduction, and while it doesn’t match the resolution of the iPad, it’s still no slouch in the graphics department.

One thing that gives the Galaxy an edge is the fact that it has the ability to utilize micro SD cards to expand its memory, so if you max it out, you won’t be forced into deleting some of your media to make room for more. It also has a better front-facing camera (2 Megapixel) and its main camera sports a flash, which isn’t found on the iPad.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is Android-based, so if you are a fan of Google’s services (Docs, Maps, Gmail, Calendar, etc.), their seamless integration is bound to be a selling point for you. Android devices also offer a higher degree of customization than their Apple counterparts, so if you’re the type of tech-geek who enjoys tweaking everything just so, then Android has a lot to like.

Windows Tablets

Windows tablets have been on the market for nearly a decade, and while there have been some excellent devices (HP’s Slate 500 comes to mind), none have really cemented their position as a sexy, must-have gadget. That could soon change, though, as there is big news on the horizon in Windows land.

We will soon see the release of tablets running Windows 8. This hotly anticipated operating system will change the way many of us think about Microsoft’s ability to produce a slick and intuitive mobile OS.

The version of Windows 8 will feature the metro interface, which has the live tiles and minimal style that has been causing such a stir and garnering rave reviews on the recent crop of Windows Phone handsets (Nokia’s Lumia series, for example). Even if Android and iOS are getting all the attention these days, you may want to give Windows 8 a look, as well.

So, there you have it. As you know, there are plenty of tablets on the market right now. Which one do you use? What do you like about it? Are there any upcoming releases that you’re lusting after? Let us know in the comments section below.

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