Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tablet Wars - How to Research buying the Tablet that is right for you

Just a little research can help you find the perfect tablet that fits your lifestyle...

I have been eyeing tablets for a while now. Ever since I reviewed the Motorola Xoom back in March, my fascination has grown toward possibly owning one of my own. I own a smartphone, a laptop and a netbook, but there is something about a tablet that fills that in between space where checking email and streaming Netflix movies are just a better experience.

But there are so many tablets on the market, at varying price points and features, how do you find the tablet that is right for you? Research. Research. Research.

I found all the specifications of each tablet on the Internet
The Candidates are...
The tablets that I have been eyeing are the Apple iPad2 16GB, the Motorola Xoom 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. These tablets have all received good overall reviews. Each is around the same size with a 10 inch screen which is a good size for watching movies and checking mail while on the go. But the only way to find out all the features of each is to get some specs from the manufacturer - and I always like to start my search on the Internet.

Target is one of my favorite stores and while I was walking through their electronics department, I found that Target sells all three of these tablets. So I decided to start my search for specs on, where I found all the spec information that I needed.

I also wanted to see the tablets up close and personal so I went to both Target and Best Buy to handle them all.  Based on all my research, here is what I found out -

The Motorola Xoom has a brilliant resolution
Resolution: Motorola Xoom 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Win
I want a tablet with a beautiful screen resolution so that I get a great picture while watching movies.  The Motorola Xoom 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 win with a 1280x800 resolution. When I reviewed the Motorola Xoom back in March, I remember playing Angry Birds and being awe struck by the beauty of the colors and graphics. The Motorola Xoom has WXGA high definition LCD display with Anti Glare coating and Gorilla Glass. The iPad2 has 1024x768 resolution on a LED display.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a super fast processor
Processor Speed: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 wins 
A fast processor makes for a more enjoyable overall experience and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 wins with a 2.4Ghz processor. The Xoom and the iPad both have 1.0 Ghz processors.

Motorola Xoom has double the storage and is $100 cheaper than the others..
Data Storage Capacity: Motorola Xoom 10.1 wins
I wants apps, lots of apps which means I will needs lots of storage. The Motorola Xoom 10.1 wins with a 32GB hard drive while the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 has a 16GB Hard Drive. I can get an iPad2 with a 32GB hard drive, but that will add another $100 to the $500 price. Ouch!

Apps: iPad2 wins
The Apple Market Place has tons more apps available than the Android Marketplace which makes the iPad2 the clear winner in this category. Since the Xoom and the Galaxy are Android tablets, they will continue to lag behind the iPad in sales until more Android applications are released for tablets. One of my requirements is to be able to check my email while on the go. One of my email accounts is through Comcast and there is no Comcast Infinity Mail app available for tablets in the Android Market place. Boo!

Flash: Motorola Xoom 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 win
One thing that Apple has said will never be included on an iPad is support of Abobe Flash while both the Motorola Xoom 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 support this feature. I think it would be annoying to want to view a website that includes flash and not be able to do it.

Wifi-only or 3G/4G ???
Another feature to consider is if I want to have a Wifi-only tablet or a tablet that is locked to a wireless carrier like Verizon or ATT so that I can have a data plan with the tablet. Buying a 3G/4G tablet usually adds another $125 to the price of a tablet depending on the model. Since I am very price sensitive, I really don't want to pay for this feature. I would rather buy a 4G hotspot from a wireless carrier like Verizon and share the data connection with all my devices including my tablet, laptop and netbook.

Motorola Xoom can be found for prices up to $100 cheaper than the competition...
Price: Motorola Xoom 10.1 wins
I am very price sensitive and Motorola Xoom 10.1 tablet can be found at stores like Target for only $399.99 verses paying $499.99 for a iPad2 16GB Wifi or a Samsung Galaxy 10.1.

Weight: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 wins
I want to carry my tablet with me in my purse so weight is very important.  When I reviewed the Xoom, I remember how heavy that tablet is to carry around. At 1.6 lbs, it is a real heavy weight. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 weighs in at 1.2 lbs and feels like a feather is comparison to the Xoom.  The iPad2 weighs in at 1.33 lbs.

Xoom or the iPad2?
So which tablet is good for me?
Deciding which tablet to buy has been very hard for me because frankly, I want it all. I want the high number of apps that come with the Apple iPad2, the price, storage space and resolution of the Motorola Xoom 10.1, the light weight and processor speed of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the flash support of the Motorola Xoom 10,1 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10,1. The perfect tablet for me would be to buy two: The Apple iPad2 Wifi 16GB to carry around in my purse for on the go and the Motorola Xoom 10.1 for me and my son to use at home.

The Motorola Xoom is currently the best bargain for the money
But of the two, the best bargain is the Motorola Xoom 10.1 and everyone knows how much I love a bargain. I guess I will just have to find a way to win the other two tablets or maybe Santa will bring me all 3 for Christmas :)


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