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Home  /  geekspeak  /  Which Tablet Is Right For Me?

Which Tablet Is Right For Me?

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Apple’s iPad made a big splash when it was released earlier in the year, but up until now there hasn’t been a lot of competition in the tablet form factor. With new release products from Samsung and Telstra, though, there is finally a modicum of choice in the Tablet space.

It’s worth knowing what a Tablet can and can’t do before you plunk down your hard earned cash. They’re not exactly notebook replacements, generally being less powerful than the kind of notebook you can get for the same money. At the same time, the touch-specific interfaces they sport can be great for quick work and especially media consumption on the go or comfortably around the home. That being said, let’s take a look at the field of contenders.

Apple iPad

Price: $629-$1049 (depending on memory and 3G capability)

Why you’d want one:

Apple’s Tablet still leads the market in terms of available touch-specific applications, and if you’re already an iPhone owner, your applications can be shifted across at no charge — although some will look rather pixellated if they’ve not been iPad optimised. The 10″ screen is clear and works much better for content creation than the smaller Samsung and Telstra tablets.

Why you wouldn’t:

Apple controls all things “i” branded with an iron fist, and this means certain application categories get knocked back. There’s no direct file system access without specific hacking, and the Windows iTunes client isn’t always the most stable. Unlike the Telstra or Samsung tablets, there’s no inbuilt camera or phone functionality.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Price: $999 or on contract

Why you’d want one:

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is smaller than the iPad with a 7″ display screen. It runs Android 2.2, giving it a wealth of applications, has internal cameras and phone capability. The Australian released model will come with Navigon’s GPS software built in, as well as e-reader capabilities and a dedicated application for the Australian newspaper.

Why you wouldn’t:

The outright price is comparatively very high, considering you could buy the 10″ iPad in almost every configuration for the cost of the Galaxy Tab. There should shortly be contract options for the Tab from most carriers, taking some of the sting out of pricing.

Telstra T-Touch Tab

Price: $299

Why you’d want one:

Telstra’s entry level tablet is priced to go, and the price is the key appeal. It’s an Android 2.1 tablet with plenty of Telstra specific applications, inbuilt camera and an excellent inbuilt mobile Foxtel client, although that will cost you extra to access. If you just want a consumption device, it’s adequate.

Why you wouldn’t:

The T-Touch Tab uses a resistive screen that’s much harder to use than the capacitive screens found on the Galaxy Tab or iPad. Any application that requires a lot of touch will bring with it a lot of frustration, marking this out as best used for passive consumption activities, and certainly one we’d suggest you try before you buy. Some users simply cannot get on with resistive screens without the use of a stylus.  Battery life is less than a quarter of the competing pads, and it’s comparatively a little heavy.

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