With all this hype surrounding Apple’s new iPad tablet and my friend’s and family constantly asking me “what’s up with this iPad thing?” I figured it was about time to clear the air.
Q: What is a Tablet PC?
A: By today’s definition a Tablet PC is simply a touchscreen computer that fits in the palm of your hand(s) which is generally between 4 and 12 inches of display and around half inch in thickness and very lightweight, These systems generally only have a “Soft keyboard” (on screen touch keyboard) and/or a stylus writing device.
Q: What would I use a Tablet PC for?
A: Tablet PC’s are designed specifically for content consumption and interaction and they are not designed for content creation, Due to the size/weight and battery life of these devices they are generally a perfect fit for traveling.
In my opinion your average computer user would not buy a Tablet PC unless they already had a desktop computer or a laptop because I believe your average user would do some level of content creation that’s either going to be beyond the capabilities of a Tablet PC or it just isn’t going to feel comfortable on a Tablet PC.
At this point you should have some idea if a Tablet PC fits into your everyday life and if it does you need to know that there are many other options beyond Apple’s iPad and each one has it’s pro’s and con’s so lets go over some of these now to better understand what’s right for you.
The apple iPad to be released on April 3’rd 2010 starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version and weighs only 1.5 pounds while boasting a 9.7 inch LED backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with a 1024 x 768 desktop resolution and runs on a 1Ghz Apple A4 custom-designed low power processor, The iPad also contains an Accelerometer and ambient light sensor and is advertised as having a 10 hour active battery life which I’ll believe when I see. The iPad has a built in speaker and microphone. It needs to be said that the iPad does not run the Mac OS it actually runs a hybrid of the iPhone OS which is app based so it will be much like using an over-sized iPhone instead of feeling like your using a Mac computer it’s also important to know that the iPad does not play flash and has no plans to integrate flash in the future, This is a major issue of debate as flash is still a very heavily used web technology.
The HP Slate to be released sometime in 2010 is said to be priced around $800 not to many specifications have been released on the HP Slate yet but what we do know so far is that it will be around 10 inches it will have a multi-touch touchscreen and an integrated webcam and it will run on a custom edited version of Windows 7 OS which means yes it will play flash and adobe air but it will not have a “gameable” accelerometer such as the iPad has.
A new startup company has arrived named JooJoo and it’s first (and only?) product release is going to be the JooJoo tablet to be released in May 2010 and is priced at $499 boasting a multi-touch 12-inch LCD with a resolution of 1366 x 768 it weighs 2.4 pounds and runs off a 1.6GHz atom with Nvidia Ion processor which runs the JooJoo OS containing a webkit-based web browser and supports web-based applications which are more like simply shortcuts to web apps it has a 1.3MP camera built in and does support flash, The JooJoo for whatever reason only sports a 4GB storage unit so unless you’re streaming media good luck with storing your video library on there for future playback
The Notion Ink Adam is probably the least known of the to-be Tablet’s competing for market share against the iPad it’s said to be released in the spring of 2010 and the price is unknown but we do know that it will have a multi-touch 10 inchtransfelctive Pixel Qi LCD with a resolution of 1024 x 600 and will run the Andriod OS and will not support flash playback (yet) it has a built in 3MP camera, 16GB storage and runs off the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor giving it an astounding 16 hours web use and 8 hours of video playback (reported) while weighing only 1.7 pounds.
While I don’t believe any of these options is entirely perfect I would personally choose the iPad knowing that the hardware will be amazingly sturdy and well supported and I know exactly what to expect with the OS as I run an iPhone daily I also think that gaming on it will be astounding, I truly wish it ran a full Mac OS and supported Flash that would make this Tablet PC completely unstoppable but I don’t believe its competition stands a chance after doing my research I found that I don’t believe I would be comfortable running a windows 7 system entirely touch screen based and If I had to choose between android OS and iPhone OS I would choose iPhone every time but thats a personal choice, JooJoo is just to new to the game and unknown in my opinion and the fact that it supports no real on system storage to speak of just destroys its chances with me, If I had to pick a second favorite I would shoot for the HP Slate but would absolutely have to check it out in person before buying and I still don’t think I’d be pleased with it in comparison to the iPad. Hopefully this review is of some help to some of you debating on your Tablet PC purchase, Happy shopping 🙂
if you’re looking for more information on these devices and other Tablet PC’s check out the gizmodo tablet showdown report