As the idea of tablet computers is now firmly in our conciseness, I thought id take a look a look at the latest offers which are certain to be found under many a Christmas tree this year.
The four fondle slabs I shall be looking at are the IPad Mini, the Google Nexus 7, the Microsoft Surface and the Kindle Fire HD.
No need to go into too much detail, it is what it says it is. The iPad mini is a 7.9” version of the massively popular iPad. All the features of the full sized iPad are here so it works how you would expect with all iPad apps. The reduced size has called for a few technological advancements, not only is the screen smaller, but the whole thing is thinner too. This requires a new A5 chip to be used which increases performance whilst reducing power consumption (10 hours claimed use). The iPad Mini also boasts improved Wi-Fi connectivity claims up to 5Ghz speeds (router dependant).
Google Nexus 7
Part of the new range of nexus devices, the 7 sits between the 10 and the 4. The Nexus features the latest Android Jellybean 4.2 OS and an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core processor giving very high performance. The nexus 7 has 32gb of internal storage and connectivity through Wi-Fi and mobile networks.
It is lightly thicker than the IPad Mini with a slightly smaller HD screen with a 4,325 which by my calculations will give 24 hours use. A colleague of mine who has the Nexus claims it will last a full weekend with careful power conservation.
Kindle Fire HD
My thoughts on the Kindle are mixed, it appears that Amazon are trying to force their way into he tablet market with the Fire HD. I’m not at all against it, it’s just that I don’t see what the Fire HD offers more than the iPad Mini and the nexus 7. The Fire HD uses a custom skinned variant of Android which naturally promotes the user to buy their content from the Amazon family of service providers. The tech specs on the Fire HD don’t really come close to that of the Nexus although they are similarly priced price. I think Amazon must be hoping to pick up the popularity of their range of original Kindles; the thing is though it was the lack of full tablet features that was the source of the first Kindle’s popularity.
This one is interesting, the Surface is Microsoft first foray into the tablet market using a tablet specific OS. The Surface comes with Windows 8 RT which is a tablet friendly version of the desktop OS. Interestingly the table comes with a version of office installed which along with the HDMI port and ability to connect external USB storage gives the Surface a unique place in the tablet wars. I think the Surface is aimed at the gap point where tablets and laptop merge, the Surface can in realty perform as either and it is this flexibility that could see it be a massive success.
All four offer the latest cloud based service to store and share your information between your devices, all boast great quality screens and good battery life. They are all handily size and therefore extremely portable, not much in it you say? Well yes there is actually!
I really can’t see how the Kindle can challenge the iPad or the Nexus, the kindle app is available for both of the other two so if you wish to use Kindle then you can. I suppose due to the flexibility of Android you could un-kindle the kindle to get a more familiar Android table experience but why would you? For the money the nexus is the way to go, its specs are unbeatable. If a kindle is what you are after then go for the original so you can read your e-books as before and save yourself a load of cash. I think the Surface is aimed at a new sector of the market that is yet to emerge. It is more expensive than the others but does have a greater range of features and can be used in a business / office environment.
If a tablet is what you are after then avoid it, there is much better value to available. If you prefer Apple products then go for the iPad mini.