The concept of the tablet PC itself isn’t new, but its definition has radically changed. What we used to call a tablet was just a laptop with a touchscreen that swiveled around and folded back, yielding a bulky machine that was uncomfortable to carry and awkward to use as a laptop. That unsatisfactory hybrid was simply where the state of technology took us in previous efforts to create' ‘tablet’ or ‘slate’ computers.
Things shifted thanks to advances in smartphone technology and the influence of Apple’s design team. When the iPad hit the market last year, critics quickly dubbed it a giant iPhone without the phone. That description speaks to the technology that makes possible its appealing dimensions, but it does not do it justice. In fact, the iPad altered everything we though we knew about tablets, and other hardware manufacturers and Google with Android system, are following up on Apple’s success quickly with a range of similar; but different (and in some cases, cheaper) devices.
Here are the best tablets 2012 tablets available in the market today:
1. Apple iPad 2
The one that started the craze and still the device to beat. Apple’s new iPad 2 is small, thin and light design masterpiece but Apple’s control freak nature limits the kind of apps available. It doesn’t support Adobe Flash either, so online video functionality is limited. It’s still a thing of beauty, though.
2. BlackBerry PlayBook
While everybody else is sizing up, BlackBerry is going with the smaller 7in format and is, oddly, insisting on a device that can only be used horizontally. Strange! But it’s a really good interface that makes working a joy, and with BlackBerry’s business software and BlackBerry Messenger included this could be a sleeper hit.
3. HP TouchPad
This is perhaps the slickest tablet on the market, with an extremely flick-able interface. There are a lot of clever ideas here, such as the ability to transfer files wirelessly between a HP phone and HP TouchPad by touching them together. And you can print wirelessly to HP printers.
4. Motorola XOOM
Tipped to be the one to watch. With a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1GB DRAM it runs very quickly. And the large 10in display, 5-megapixel camera, 32GB of storage all add up to a seriously powerful device. The Xoom aiming to knock crown off the iPad’s head and is a good iPad alternative.
5. Samsung Tab
Samsung’s svelte 7in tablet is the iPad’s biggest competitor to date. It comes with 3G as standard and supports Adobo Flash. Built-in twin cameras are no longer a unique feature, but it’s still surprisingly well rounded. The new 10in version features the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system.