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Which Tablet?

Blog post   •   Nov 09, 2011 19:40 GMT

One thing which has increased the use of social media recently is the tablet.

Billed as an ultra portable computer, slightly just too big to fit in your pocket, but giving you a lot of the facilities of a mac or pc.

So which one should you buy?

Lets have a look at your options!

Android

Firstly there is the huge array of Android tablets. Android is an open source platform which means that anyone can write software for the many devices on offer and this also means that there is much less regulation that on the other operating systems. Android is operated by Google and it is supported by around 80 other companies that support the system. Most of these are massive household names: Sony, Motorola, HTC and Samsung for example.

Due to the fact that Google owns the OS, a lot of the other Google products work really well on the Android devices, You Tube, Google maps and even new features like Google+ work better on Android tablets (and phones for that matter) than on any other device.

There are many different tablets on offer which run Android, a few examples include, The Motorola XOOM, The Samsung Galaxy Tab, HTC Flyer, LG Optimus Pad and the Dell Streak. It is absolutely essential that you check the features and memory on the tablet before you buy it. Most tablets include a camera, but unless you’re planning to do video calling its not really essential. The two things you really do need to make sure you have is memory and wi-fi.

Memory is the one thing right now holding tablets back in their aim to remove the pc from our homes. Presently the maximum memory you can get in a tablet is 128Gig. Not bad, but even the most basic laptops now will have 500!

Another reason for going Android is the amount of free apps out there. Most apps are free and a lot of the ones you’d pay for on an ipad or Blackberry are either available completely free or at a greatly reduced price.

You can also organise your music more easily using memory sticks rather than having all of the memory controlled and stuck on the device itself. It is also possible to transfer apps from one device to another simply by switching the SD card. Android also supports flash, so you can watch videos from nearly any website! A word of warning though, make sure you download some anti-virus software!

So, if you like a lot of flexibility, want a choice of manufacturers, want a lot of free apps and don’t mind shopping around for the best deal, go Android. Plus if you want to be pointed to a tablet a little more carefully, go for the Xoom or the Galaxy, the newer the better and make sure you have plenty of memory!

Blackberry

Blackberry came fairly late to the tablet market, only launching the playbook in June 2011.

It is a much smaller tablet than anything else available, but boasts true multi-tasking, flash player (although Blackberry failed to mention in their ads for the playbook that their phones still don’t!)  and true full-on web browsing.

The playbook has only got a 7 inch screen, which means it should be able to fit in a (slightly large) pocket.

Blackberry rushed out the playbook in order to take advantage of the huge uptake in its smartphones through 2010-2011. The deals available for the playbook are absolutely first class however and the tablet will eventually support all Android applications once the blackberry operating system is levelled out across all its tablets and phones.

At the moment there is very little Google support for the device, which may cause it a problem moving forward given the amount of things Google has in the pipeline over the next year or so.

HP Web OS

An operating system that is only available on the HP TouchPad. This was solely introduced by HP and then within a few weeks HP decided it wasn’t for them and made the entire product line obsolete.

Sounds like I would recommend to stay well away from this then? Well, no, if you can find one, or were one of the lucky ones to buy one at the massively knocked down price in August, you could load Android onto it. You’ll find this will work superbly well and you really have got the deal of the day!

Finally the other tablet operating system is…

Ipad

Basically this is the tablet to be seen with. This is a slightly unfair appraisal as the ipad is a fantastic piece of kit. All apps are pretty much available across iphone and ipad, the user experience is pretty much the same in that if you can use an iphone, you can use an ipad. With the recent addition of the iOS5 operating system, this tablet is as slick as you can get in spite of the fact it doesn’t support flash!

That said, I would imagine that if you get an ipad, you would need to look at going for at least 32GB of memory, with a view that even 64GB probably still isn’t even enough.

The ipad will sync easily with your pc through itunes and software updates are easily done with this in mind.

Rumour had it that there would be a new ipad(3) due out this Christmas, but with the ipad2 still selling really well, the suspicion is that the ipad3 will be held off until the scheduled release in June/ July.

This can be the biggest issue when buying a tablet, because the market grows and changes so quickly you’re always going to be stuck with a tablet that is not current and given the large purchase price involved, thats not really acceptable for something with the same features as your mobile phone!