The tablet market is beginning to boom following the iPad’s release earlier in the year, and doesn’t show any signs of quietening down just yet. So with that in mind, let us take a look at five Android tablets that you should be keeping an eye on…
The Archos 101 is a relatively new player on this list, as it’s only just seen the light of day. This, of course, also makes it one of the strongest competitors to the iPad as well. It has a 10.1″ display, the perfect size for being able to efficiently browse the web, check email and take advantage of the plethora of apps out there. It’s also got a front facing camera, which is yet to be seen in even the Apple iPad, and is capable of HD video playback thanks to the 1GHz processor inside.
Archos says that this thing is good for 10 hours of web browsing, which is certainly a match for the iPad’s capabilities in the power department. Oh, and did I mention it’s running Froyo Android? Yeah, this one’s a winner… Upon its release in the coming weeks, it will be available for $299.99 (8GB) and $349.99 (16GB). Expect similar pricing for the UK, too.
Velocity Micro’s Cruz Tablet offers something a little different to the Archos that we just introduced you to. Firstly, it sells itself as an e-reader rather than a tablet, but with a weight significantly greater than a device such as the Amazon Kindle, I don’t think many people will use it mainly for this purpose.
Spec wise, it’s packing a 7″ capacitive touch screen at a resolution of 800 x 480 (compared to 1024 x 600 on the Archos 101), and although we don’t know what CPU it’s packing, it has 512MB RAM and Android 2.1 being driven by it. It also has SD card support for storage expansion. $299.99.
In my review of the Dell Streak, I said that it was having an identity crisis and couldn’t make its mind up about whether it wanted to be a phone or a tablet. We ended up with something in the middle, but it isn’t all bad. With a planned upgrade to Android 2.1 this month, and a 5″ capacitive touch screen, the Streak could be an option for someone looking at smaller devices, as opposed to 10″ tablets such as the Archos 101 and the iPad.
In the UK, it’s available on O2, on data-only plans as well as full phone plans. If you don’t want to be tied down, you can pick it up without a tariff for around £400 direct from Dell.
MSI Windpad 110
The MSI Windpad 110 was released alongside the Windpad 100, which has one key difference: it runs Windows. If Android is more your thing for your work on the go, the Windpad 110 offers a 10″ display, and a NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip running everything smoothly behind the scenes. Unfortunately, the tablet only runs stock Android, not a customised tablet version.
Engadget got a look at the device, and reported a possible $399 market price if the device makes it to market. The version that they saw was running Android 2.1 as well, so fingers crossed!
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Saving what is probably the most exciting item on this list until last, the Samsung Galaxy Tab was properly unveiled only a few days ago, and runs Android 2.2 with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on top. Spec-wise, the Tab has a 7″ display at a resolution of 1024 x 600, the same 1GHz processor that’s found in the Archos 101, and a front facing camera to make video calls, too.
The Tab isn’t available yet, but it will be hitting Europe before the US, so hopefully a release will come around sooner rather than later.
Hoping to study Computer Science at University in the near future, you’ll seldom see John without a computer in touching distance! His interests include building computers, reading all sorts of literature and of course writing for Zath to keep you updated on all the latest in the world of tech! You can follow John on Twitter as @british_geek.