Feature Articles

Tablets Round-up (Q3, 2011)

By Sidney Wong - 16 Aug 2011

Tablets Round-up

Tablets Round-Up

2011 is no doubt the year of the tablet. Even just a year ago, the concept of a tablet was foreign to many consumers. Tablets were seen as bulky and expensive mobile computers used by business professionals for serious work. However, Apple ushered in a new era for tablets with its highly successful iPad, which also spawned the equally successful iPad 2. Other brands also begun jumping onto the bandwagon after seeing how lucrative the tablet market was. Today, tablets have become more powerful and portable, thanks to design and technological advancements. Brands also invest in technologies, user interfaces and services to differentiate their offerings from the crowd. With so many choices available, we believe consumers are going to need a helping hand on what to take into consideration when deciding which tablet to get. Here's a quick video guide on what to look out for when purchasing a tablet:-


We have also come up with a list of tablets that are currently available in the market. Videos, preview and review articles from HardWareZone have been included to help you make a more informed choice of your preferred tablet. Without further ado, we start of the considerations alphabetically:-

Acer Iconia Tab A500 Review

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 runs on NVIDIA Tegra 2 1.0 GHZ dual-core processor and Google Android 3.1 Honeycomb platform. Thanks to the brushed aluminium casing, the Iconia Tab A500 has a solid build quality. The large 10.1-inch display makes viewing multimedia content a pleasure. Audio experience is also enhanced with Dolby Mobile. The Iconia Tab A500 also features Acer clear.fi. system to allow seamless organization and sharing of media among different devices in your home network.

Apple iPad 2 Review

The first iPad was a runaway success. Building on the momentum set by its predecessor, the iPad 2 comes in a slimmer, lighter and faster package. It packs a powerful dual-core A5 chipset that makes navigating the user interface a breeze. The user-intuitive iOS 4.3 makes it easy for anyone to use the Apple iPad 2. The iPad 2 is equipped with a front facing camera which is designed for FaceTime video calling between Mac devices. More importantly, the iPad 2 has the best battery life among its class, ensuring that there is enough juice to last you a day on a single charge.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Review

While the other brands compete in terms of processing power, ASUS decides to innovate on a different level with the inclusion of an optional keyboard docking station, which also doubles as an external battery pack. Within seconds, the Eee Pad Transformer changes from a tablet to a full-fledged laptop. You do not have to worry about finding a power outlet as the keyboard docking station boasts the Transfomer's battery life up to a whopping 16 hours. Specs wise, it runs on the latest Android 3.2 platform and is powered by a dual-core 1.0 GHz processor. Under the hood is 1GB of RAM which gives you smooth multi-tasking on the Transformer.


BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook is powered by the industry leading QNX operating system, which is used in space stations and in-car systems. The PlayBook has a generous 7-inch screen which incorporates swipe gestures on its bezel to navigate the user interface. The PlayBook brings multi-tasking to the next level by allowing you to switch between apps faster and easier within a few swipes. Being the world's first professional grade tablet, the PlayBook integrates seamlessly with BlackBerry smartphones via the Bridge app, which establishes a secure connection between the two devices for data transfer. It also currently has the best battery life among the seven-inch tablets.


HP TouchPad Preview

The highly anticipated HP TouchPad has finally arrived on our shores. The main highlight of the HP TouchPad is its webOS, which is renowned for its simplicity and multitasking capabilities. Instead of looking at a static row of active apps, you can use a combination of gestures and card stacking to interact with apps. Similar to the Apple iPad 2, the HP TouchPad comes with a 9.7-inch display of 1024 x 768 pixels. In addition, it is one of the fastest tablets in the market at the moment with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. 

HTC Flyer Review

HTC's foray into the tablet scene is a truly exceptional one - the HTC Flyer scores a number of firsts for tablets. It is the first tablet to be running on a 1.5GHz single-core processor. It is also the first tablet to incorporate an input device, known as the HTC Pen, which works in conjunction with its indigenous HTC Scribe technology. You can write notes, sketch graphs and doodle in a more natural way. In addition, the HTC Flyer comes with Timemark, a feature that allows you to record audio from meetings and conversations at any point you want to. Powering the HTC Flyer is Google Android 2.3 and HTC Sense 3.0 user interface, which enhances the user experience with its active lock screen and 3D view of home screen panels on its 7-inch screen.

Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 Preview

Positioned as the ultimate entertainment tablet, Lenovo is set to make a spash in the tablet scene with more than 30 preloaded apps in its IdeaPad Tablet K1. Paid apps such as Documents To Go and Kongregrate Arcade give you a headstart in enjoying the tablet experience right out of the box. Moreover, Lenovo's special "Launch Zone" app gives you instant access to your favorite apps and functions without having to go through several steps and layers of menu. With Lenovo's exclusive SocialTouch app, you will be updated with the latest happenings on your social networking sites. The IdeaPad Tablet K1 runs on Google Android 3.1 and is powered by a dual-core 1.0GHz processor.

Motorola Xoom Review

Being the first Honeycomb to ship with Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS, Motorola does a great job in setting high benchmarks for others to follow. It has a solid build quality that give good handling in the hands. The experience of watching movies and internet surfing on the Motorola Xoom is excellent, thanks to the gorgeous 10.1-inch HD display of 1280 x 800 pixels. Equipped with a 1.0GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, navigating the Honeycomb interface is a breeze. The in-built Flash support ensures that you can view almost anything on the Web.

Upcoming Tablets

Tablets are going to permeate across many users' modern lifestyle and capitalizing on this trend, there are going to be many more tablets launched one after another for quite a while to come. Couple that with the ongoing OS progression, that's yet another reason for manufacturers to plan various SKUs along the timeline. Here is a quick look at few confirmed upcoming tablets that you can look forward to really soon.

ASUS Eee Pad Slider 

If you have difficulties deciding whether to get a tablet or a laptop as your next purchase, ASUS might have already solved your dilemma. The ASUS Eee Pad Slider comes with a built-in QWERTY keyboard that provides a more comfortable typing experience. When not in use, you can slide it back beneath the tablet. The keyboard also contains the USB port, microSD card reader and a mini-HDMI port. The Eee Pad Slider is equipped with a 10.1-inch display that is made up of scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass. Besides running on Android 3.1, the Eee Pad Slider has ASUS's own user interface, Waveshare, which makes it easier for you to launch software, manage your content and connect devices in a few simple steps

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 

With the ThinkPad Tablet, Lenovo may be the first company to give RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook a run for its money. The ThinkPad Tablet is outfitted with the renowned security, reliability and manageability features of the ThinkPad branding. Layered data security and a range of business partner solutions such as anti-theft software ensure that data on your ThinkPad is secured. Targeted at the business professionals, the ThinkPad Tablet is equipped with a full-size USB port, a full-size SD card support and mini-HDMI port. Users can also purchase the optional digitizer pen and ThinkPad quality Keyboard Folio Case with optical TrackPoint to increase productivity on the go. The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet runs on Android 3.1 OS and comes with Adobe Flash support for a wholesome Internet browsing experience.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Preview

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is probably the year's most anticipated tablet as it is amazingly thin at 8.6mm, edging out the Apple iPad 2. Besides being the thinnest tablet in the world at this point of time, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is also the lightest of the 10-inch tablets, weighing a mere 595g. The 10.1-inch display of 1280 x 800 pixels let you bask in the full glory of the Google Android 3.1 operating system and with Flash support, you can enjoy the best of what the Internet has to offer. Under the hood, you will find a dual-core1.0 GHz processor which offers you a speedy user experience on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.