Microsoft announced its first Microsoft Tablet PC in 2001, and ever since the term Tablet PC has caught up in the field of computing. Today, the term is not only used to refer to computer-like devices operated by a “touch screen”, but is also one the most widely used gadget after smartphones. Apple’s major success in the tablet market is the iPad 2, which was followed by a number of competitors including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Motorola’s Xoom, and BlackBerry’s PlayBook.
Touch screen tablets gained popularity and started their revolution when Apple launched their first iPad in 2010 and managed to sell a whopping 3 million devices in 80 days. This accounted to 14.8 million iPad’s worldwide in 2010, representing 75 percent of tablet PC sales at the end of 2010. This brought a sudden growth in the tablet PC market with companies introducing their own tablet PC around the world.
In 2011, Google announced the Android 3.0 mobile operating system (popularly known as Honeycomb), which was a tablet-oriented release that supported larger screen devices and new user interface features. Multi-core processor tablet PC’s were released and the first among them was the Motorola Xoom tablet, which went on sale in February 2011. Today, there is a number of Android Tablet alternatives to the Apple iPad 2.
Best Tablet PC in the Tablet Market
Undoubtedly, Tablet PC has made it to the gadget of the year 2010 and 2011. Here’s a list of the top Tablet PC devices available in the market from different companies. Please note that the list is ordered depending on the tablet’s rating.
Apple iPad 2
Apple’s iPad 2 is the most successful tablet PC in the market, which was unveiled on March 2011. The Apple iPad 2 runs on Apple’s latest iOS 5 featuring over 200 new features including Notification Center, iMessage, and iCloud services.
Apple iPad 2 comes in a few different models:
Apple iPad 2 TTL Rating:
The iPad 2 is definitely worth buying. The Apple App store has over 500,000+ and has got over 18,000,000,000+ downloads to date. Here are some of the essential apps available for the Apple iPad 2:
Motorola Xoom 2
The Motorola Xoom 2 is an Android-based tablet PC manufactured and marketed by Motorola. The tablet was announced by Motorola Mobility on November 3, 2011. Xoom 2 runs Android 3.2 with a 1,200 MHz dual core processor. It features a 1.3 MP front-facing camera for video chatting and a rear-facing 5MP camera that records 720p video.
Motorola Xoom 2 TTL Rating:
– OS: Android 3.2
– Processor: 1.2GHz, dual core
– RAM: 1GB
– Camera: 1.3 MP front facing and 5 MP rear facing
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1 on June 8, 2011. The tablet runs on Google’s Android 3.1 Honeycomb. It is powered by a 1GHz dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB flash memory, and a 3-axis MPU-3050 gyroscope from InvenSense.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 TTL Rating:
The tablet is light and sleek, and is one of Apple’s major competitor in the market. If the Apple iPad 2 isn’t your choice, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is. The cheapest place we found to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Tab is Amazon: Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1
Here are some of the essentail apps for your Samsung Galaxy Tab:
Sony Tablet S
The Sony Tablet S has a 9.4-inch touch screen with Wi-Fi, offers exclusive apps, elegant design, PlayStation certification for mobile gaming, and Sony Entertainment Network with unlimited Music and Video.
Sony Tablet S TTL Rating:
The tablet comes in two versions:
The tablet PC comes with Android 3.1 and is can be upgradeable to the latest Android 3.2 version, which enables users to access to the Android Marketplace with its selection of 300,000 apps.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Tablet PC
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is a low priced Android tablet PC. It runs on Android 3.2 and is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core processor. The tablet comes with a 10.1-inch capacitive display at 1280×800, full-size keyboard dock, card reader, HDMI-out, rear-facing camera, front-facing camera.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer TTL Rating:
– OS: Android 3.2
– Processor: 1 GHz ducal core Nvidia Tegra
– RAM: 1GB
– Camera: 5 MP AF rear camera and 1.3 MP front-facing
The cheapest place we found to purchase the Asus Eee Pad Transformer is Amazon: Asus Eee Pad Transformer
BlackBerry’s PlayBook is a competitor to Apple’s iPad and a number of Android powered tablets. The PlayBook was released for general purchase in the United States on 19 April, 2011, and managed to sell 50,000 units on launch day. The PlayBook’s market share is 3.3 percent, compared to Apple’s 61.3 percent with its iPad and iPad 2 (iOS), and Google’s Android with 30.1 percent.
BlackBerry PlayBook TTL Rating:
The PlayBook includes a pre-loaded app offering access to 1,500 films from the National Film Board of Canada.
Around 2,000 to 3,000 apps are available at the BlackBerry App World ewbsite, however, RIM states that as many as 3,000 additional apps have been submitted. The tablet also supports all the newest Android apps.
You can purchase the Blackberry Playbook (16GB) for $349.99 on Amazon.
The HTC Flyer was released in May 2011 by HTC Corporation. Unlike other tablet PC, the Flyer has a sing-core 1.5 GHz CPU and runs on Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread). However, it is reported that Flyer will be getting a Honeycomb upgrade very soon.
HTC Flyer TTL Rating:
– OS: Android 2.3.4 with HTC Sense UI
– Processor: 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
– RAM: 1GB
– Camera: 5 MP rear facing and 1.3 MP front facing
– HTML5 and Adobe Flash 10.3 support
– Built-in dual microphones for noise reduction
Once again the cheapest place we found to purchase this tablet is Amazon: HTC Flyer (16GB)
Tablet PC vs. Smartphones
Tablets are an extended version of smartphones. Smartphones have almost the same features than tablet PCs. However, tablets do not have the capability to make calls or send text messages.
The real advantage of tablets lies in compatibility, portability, and speed when compared to a laptop. Tablets are quick and are perfect for meetings and presentations. Third-party software, applications and tools made specifically for tablet PCs, low-heat processor, longer battery life are some of the other advantages of tablet PCs.
There are a number of tablets PCs available in the mobile market today, but be sure to choose the right tablet, which all depends on what you want to use it for.