Friday, December 17, 2010

iPad alternatives

The Apple iPad is widely accepted as the first successful tablet computer. It has sold 7.5 million as of 30 September 2010 according to Wikipedia. This figure is well above any of it's competitors. The iPad built upon the success of the iPhone and uses the same iOS operating system. It is only recently that there has been any real threat to the iPad's dominance and the release of the iPad 2 may seal the iPad's dominance in the tablet computer market.

But are there any real alternatives?

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab
This 7 inch Android powered tablet is currently the iPad's strongest competitor. It has many of the same features as the iPad and is around the same price. It's a well designed, professionally built tablet featuring, Wifi, 3G connectivity and a very responsive touchscreen. However it is powered by Android, an operating system created for much smaller devices. It also has very few apps that run on it as many Android developers have not embraced it. Although it is better than the iPad in some ways (it's smaller and lighter and has a micro SD card slot) it hasn't seen anything like the success of the iPad.

2. RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
Research in Motion (RIM) are a company which has seen little success in the touchscreen phone market. They seem very attached to the physical qwerty keyboard when all other manufacturers are moving to newer technology. Despite this fact they have decided to produce a touchscreen tablet known as the BlackBerry PlayBook. The PlayBook have joined Samsung in creating a 7 inch tablet which is also significantly smaller and lighter than the iPad. The PlayBook has front and rear facing cameras, a big advantage over Apple; on the other hand it will not feature 3G connectivity. The PlayBook is due to be shipped in early 2011.

3. Motorola Honeycomb Tablet
This tablet, which will be powered by the forthcoming , Android Honeycomb has just been announced. The name of this this tablet has not been announced by there are 3 possibilites: Stingray, Everest or Trygon. The hardware on this tablet will include a decent 32GB of flash memory and  1GHz Tegra 2 T20 processor. This is a real iPad competitor as it will be the first tablet to use a version of Android created specifically for tablet computer.s
 HP Slate.

There are other tablets on the market but they simply aren't up to the standard of these tablets. While the Galaxy Tab is a great product, it is ahead of Google and the operating system it's using just isnt suited to the larger screen size. The release of the PlayBook and the Android Honeycomb next year will cause some major shifts in the Tablet computing market.