Are you a Mac agnostic? An iPod hater? Do you refer to the iPad as the “iPants”? Never fear: if you don’t fancy shelling out for Apple products, there are plenty of decent alternatives on the market. What are they? Read on...
iPhone 4 – Samsung Galaxy S
£Free on contract, www.samsung.com/uk
If the idea of owning an iPhone 4 leaves you cold, the Android 2.1 (soon 2.2) powered Samsung Galaxy S is probably the closest another manufacturer comes to matching what Apple has delivered. The Galaxy S boasts a fantastic Super AMOLED screen and TouchWiz 3.0 interface, and its camera is, like the iPhone 4’s, capable of capturing super-sharp 720p HD video. And because it runs Android you’ve got a huge range of apps at your fingertips.
iPad – Dell Streak
£Free on contract, www.o2.co.uk
There are plenty of small tablet PCs capable of competing with the iPad for your mobile media and web browsing affections, but the Dell Streak is a standout for a number of reasons. First, it’s smaller than the iPad, with a 5-inch multitouch screen, and it’s actually dinky (and slim) enough to slip into your trouser pocket. Sitting somewhere between tablet and smartphone, it features a 5MP camera, GPS, up to 32GB of storage via microSD card and Android for running apps. It doesn’t quite match the iPad for media playback, mind you.
MacBook Air – Dell Adamo XPS
Aimed squarely at dislodging the MacBook Air as the world’s go-to skinny laptop, the Dell Adamo XPS is a true thing of beauty and only 9.99mm in depth. Its lid automatically swings open at the swipe of a button, revealing a high quality 13.4-inch LED screen and a superb, well-spaced metallic keyboard. The battery life is worse than the Air’s, giving up the ghost after just 2.5 hours of mobile use – but seeing as it doesn’t look or feel like it has a battery at all, we can’t get too upset about it.
iPod shuffle – iRiver T8
From £40, www.iriver.co.uk
The shuffle is Apple’s most diminutive iPod, but it’s far from the only option for music fans seeking something truly tiny. The iRiver T8, for instance, sports either 2GB of 4GB of storage (just like the shuffle), 15 hours of music playback per charge, a mono OLED screen (the shuffle has no display at all), a voice recorder and an FM radio – and yet it’s no bigger than a USB memory stick. It’s a few quid cheaper than the shuffle (which starts at £46) too.
Apple Mac Mini – Shuttle X27D
From £200, global.shuttle.com
With a similar footprint to the Mac Mini, the Shuttle offers Windows fans a tiny desktop that looks stylish and small, and yet delivers a pretty impressive amount of power via up to 2GB of memory and a dual core Intel Atom processor. You can hook it up to your HDTV, projector or monitor via DVI or VGA cable. We still think the Mac Mini is the best-looking computer of its type, though – sorry Apple haters!
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