Ten ten-inch tablets
When only five-sixths of a foot will do
Product Round-up Does it make sense to own both a smartphone with a 5-inch screen and a 7-inch tablet? Arguably not. I can’t think of anything that I can do on my Nexus 7 that I couldn’t do equally well on a Samsung Galaxy Note II. Granted, the Nexus 7 makes a perfect partner for my Motorola Razr i, but if I used a Note II as my ‘phone’ I’d want a Nexus 10 as a tablet. In short, a big phone dictates a bigger tablet.
So, following on from my recent look at the current crop of monster phones, it’s time to have a quick shufti at the best big tablets to go with them.
Big here means a tumescent ten inches of technology to stroke and fondle. Before I take a kicking from the pedants, yes, I know none of these tablets are actually ten-inchers. Two have a third of an inch too little between the corners, and eight have a tenth too much. But what’s a fraction of an inch between friends?
Putting this list together today rather than six months ago was made a lot easier by the long overdue demise of the Apple-Google tablet OS duopoly. After the misfires that were the BlackBerry PlayBook - if it had sold then, pound-to-a-penny there’d be a 10-inch version by now - and the HP TouchPad, a third alternative was sorely needed.
So say what you like about Windows 8 and RT, at least Microsoft’s new swipe-enhanced operating system means that round-ups like this no longer need consist of one iPad and nine Android tablets. Finally some real choice for those who don’t like what’s on offer from either Cupertino or Mountain View.
Acer Iconia Tab A210
Acer has knocked out so many lookalike 10-inch Android tablets over the years it’s well nigh impossible to keep track. The A500, the A510, the A580... how many of you actually spotted the last isn’t an Acer tablet but a road linking Manchester and Liverpool? I rest my case. The A210 is, on the face of it, another par-for-the-course 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 Android tablet but it has two things going for it: price - the 16GB version can be found for £250 if you look hard enough - and a full-size USB 2.0 port.
Personally I like the ability to plug in a USB stick or external HDD to watch my video collection without having to worry about adaptor cables and such. There are a couple of other useful hardware touches too, including a physical screen lock switch and covered Micro SD slot. The 3260mAh battery is a bit gutless - you’ll get five hours of video playback but no more - and as a device it’s a wee bit thick and heavy. But if the price is right, that USB socket makes it worth a look.
More Info Acer
Apple iPad 4
Unimpeachable build quality, a selection of tablet-optimised apps that’s second to none, epic battery life, a screen that you can’t level any serious criticisms at, and bricks and mortar support from your local Apple Store that redefines what what we Brits understand by ‘customer service’. It really isn’t hard to understand why world+dog+fleas wants one of these things even if all they use it for is ebook reading, social networking and browsing the web.
In the negative column, it’s locked down tighter than a Tory MP in a massage parlour, it’s hugely expensive - prices start at £399 for the 16GB version, though that does at least represent much better value for money than the £269 iPad Mini - there’s no storage expansion and Apple’s iCloud looks limited to anyone used to Dropbox, Google or Microsoft cloud services. There’s no GPS radio in the Wi-Fi version either, though to be fair it’s not something Windows tablets offer.
More Info Apple
Next page: Archos 97 Titanium
I think you're being unfair. How can there be a conclusion? He's gone through 3 different operating systems, and 2 of those also have a stylus option (which allows even more possibilities). So, for example, at the end of the Samsung Galaxy Note he says, this is great if you want a stylus, otherwise go for the Nexus 7.
There is no right answer here. The Android tabs are now pretty good. Assuming the Windows 8 ones are as well, it's all now a matter of horses for course (Mmmm lasagne...).
I bought the iPad 3, at the time I got that, I would have said it was by far the best tablet going - with an honourable mention to the Asus Transformer - although as I recall that was going through one of its periods of stock non-availability at that precise moment, or maybe the radio problems on the previous version.
If I was buying a tablet now, it would be a far harder choice. There's Nexus to save cash, Windows or Samsung for stylus-lovers (of which I'm one). The iPad is still excellent (if locked down) and still has the best designed-for-tablet apps, unless there's something specific you need that Apple won't let you have. Although full-fat Windows has the whole lot of programs that run on that, so it's the only plausible option for a laptop replacement - if the Lenovo keyboard is really that good. The Asus Transformer is good for getting some typing done, but from everything I've read it's not quite up to being the only laptop (unless you only have very limited use for one).
In conclusion they're mostly very good, so pick on the features that are most important to you. Choice is good.
10 inch Ainol Hero (snigger)
I've got a 7" Ainol Fire (snigger) and it's the perfect size. Fits in the inside pocket and bridges the gap between my Huawei G300 and 13" laptop. It's cheap and Chinese but actually solid build, decent battery life and reliability. Great screen res as well. It was this or a Nexus 7 but the Nexus 7 didn't have an SD slot.
There's also the 10" Ainol Hero (snigger) which you might want to check out.
Someone in Ainol's marketing department is either a genius or an idiot (slogan, top right)... http://www.ainol.com/
Re: Life's too short for indecision and dithering
Actually l would never use cheap stuff like an iPad. That's a mere china made toy for those who can not afford a proper tablet pc or convertible made in Japan
Re: 10 inch Ainol Hero (snigger)
"enjoy life, enjoy ainol" lol
Another big selling point for the Nexus range is the regular updates from Google.