We’ve finally seen the emergence of some viable competitors to Apple’s iPad. They’re not all brilliant, but each has its charms…
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Sammy’s seven-incher is the closest we’ve seen anyone come to matching Apple’s tablet experience. It’s pocketable (just), runs Android 2.2, supports microSD and Flash 10.1 and doesn’t rock about when you type on a table top, so in many ways it’s better. You can also make calls and there are front and rear cams (3MP on the back). Let’s hope rumours it will cost up to £700 are unfounded. Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab
Toshiba Folio 100
It’s not the messiah, it’s a very naughty tablet. Well it was a bit niggly when we got our hands on it at IFA. Still, there’s no reason Toshiba can’t polish it up a bit before it hits the streets, in which case this 10-inch Android 2.2 tablet could be exactly what Apple dodgers have been waiting for. Lack of on-board storage could be a problem, although there is USB. And there’s a 1.3MP webcam on the front if you want to use it as a really expensive mirror.
Viewsonic ViewPad 100
Another 10-inch tablet making the rounds at IFA is the dual-booting ViewPad. You’ve got Android on hand for quickly checking your emails, or full-on Windows 7 Home Premium for heavy duty stuff. It’s got a 16GB SSD, GPS, twin USB ports and a 1.3MP webcam, too, all of which sounds good, but Android 1.6 is well past its sell-by date.
Short arms? Long pockets? You won’t be invited to the Android tablet party unless you’re willing to splash out a good £400, right? Wrong. Binatone (they of landline phone, er, fame) is banking it all on a low price for its 7in and 8in tablets which start at just £130. How does it make the HomeSurf so cheap? Resistive touchscreens (with styli), last-gen Wi-Fi , 2GB of storage and we can only assume these babies are packing Android 1.6, too. Still, £130 is hard to argue with.
Dual-core 1GHz processor, 1080p video, capacative multi-touch screen, Android 2.2, Wi-Fi, HDMI and USB… are we dreaming? Possibly, though that’s the pretty full-on spec list novelty kids’ TV maker Hannspree is claiming for its entry into the tablet market. For £335? Now we’re definitely dreaming.