Now, we're going to annoy some of you with this one. Choosing the year's best tablet is easy. Picking one that'll appeal to the more vocal Reg readers is easy too. Selecting a different one because you think it's right is another matter, however. But let's say from the outset: all of the five tablets that follow are ones we'd …
Mr Shitpeas frequently has a point, regardless of whether there's a full head of steam being cooked up as it is made.
Continually naming and shaming the guy when his right to reply is obviously curtailed somewhat - if he cuts too close to the bone, you'll just nuke his comments - is pretty gutless and juvenile. Register article writers get several pages to push an agenda (wonder who I'm thinking of), and the comments section is the place where the readership gets to call them out in a pretty limited fashion. If the article writers can't take a bit of criticism, they shouldn't be writing their stuff in the first place.
> thanks to iTunes
I'd rather slit my own wrists than have one...
been there tried that, my feelings about this excuse for SW are unprintable. I can't have anything else apparently so no choice, no buy.
iTunes does actually suck
It's true. iTunes is abominable
Didn't do THAT much research, eh?
There are many ways to get files to/from and installed on an iPad besides iTunes. The best is probably iFunBox for Windows, which is free. If you take your iPad jailbroken, then you have even more choices of apps on the iPad itself - GoodReader is essential to me, but there are others that are good.
The point is, only the uninformed take iTunes as the only way to get stuff onto an iPad. This is El Reg after all...
Still don't really see the point
I keep going round in circles on this one, I start out looking at ebook readers because I haven't enough space to store all the books I want. Hmm, a kobo touch at £99, or a kindle, at £149 would be good, but for a few quid more I can get a tablet, I could then use an ebook reader, but I'd also be able to watch youtube videos and look at colour content on the interwebs, but I have a netbook already, and that has a keyboard, what am I getting with a tablet?
Then I twig I don't need any of it, and I wonder why I wanted it in the first place.
Then I realise I'm being upsold and it's all marketing hype. THANKS el REG and to think I trusted you!
So I've placed an order for the basic kindle wifi at £89 after a lot of uming and ahing about other ebook readers, I'm going to give it to my wife.
Meanwhile I'll keep reading books until something comes along that does everything I want and has some advantages over existing technology.
Colour e-ink, decent refresh rates & decent battery life.
Re: Still don't really see the point
If it's any help, I use an e-book reader for books, and a tablet for stuff that matters in colour, ie. comics, web, video, magazines.
Yes, I have one of each. But I do use both. Haven't needed a new laptop in years.
Sony Power Brick
The thing that really put me off the Sony was the propriety power supply, meaning that if you wanted to charge it round a mate's house you'd have to pack the charger, which makes it rather less portable, surely a big part of the point of a tablet.
Well charge it before you leave your own house then. If u were at your mates house long enough to run the Sony flat u would be packing a lot of stuff anyway.
I'll stick with my TouchPad...
Although you do allude to the TouchPad not being purchasable any more (Sunday sees a US-only HP eBay sale of refurb'ed TouchPads, so it's not 100% true), the title says "2011's best...Premium Tablets" and doesn't say whether or not they can bought any more. Hands down best value for such a tablet in 2011 was indeed the HP TouchPad.
Not only that, but the TouchPad can dual boot between webOS and Android (2.3.7), with Android 4.0 likely to turn up some time early next year. All for 89 quid (16GB) or 115 quid (32GB)...but El Reg ignores it because it's now discontinued (hint: some of the tablets listed here will be discontinued in 12-18 months time I suspect, if not even sooner).
Having said all that, my Dell Mini 9 still gets far more use than any tablet would - it runs Fedora Linux which already makes it massively more scriptable/programmable (far more than any iOS or Android device) and it has an actual hardware keyboard to, you know, type on. In fact, one of my Xmas presents is a replacement battery for the Mini 9 - it's a shame that the 9"/10" netbook has gone out of fashion because they're so much more useful than the equivalently-sized tablet. I just made sure my netbook was 100% solid state like tablets are - again, SSDs on netbooks seems to have vanished completely :-(
Dell Mini 9 rules
It's always handy to have a proper computer when you want to do something which the tablet makers think you shouldn't want to do.
The 9"/10" netbook hasn't gone out of fashion - they've stuck a SSD back in it with a quad core processor, trebled the price and will now up-sell you an Ultrabook.
So I went & got one when the price dropped by £50. 2yr gtee with John Lewis too.
Its great in places, bit lame in others.
Main bad is that AdHoc wifi is not available so cant tether to a phone (Rooters dont seem to be having much luck either). Wifi also very keen to turn off when the screen locks, despite telling it to keep it on.
Shape is truly great though & whilst there is no glass to be seen, it feels solid enough. Proper screen size for video too, also taken a decent drop with no hint of damage. Battery life is a non issue.
I/R remote app is brilliant & works my Tivo box better than the std remote with no lag between key press & screen action. Swype has also added a far better input method than the stock keyboard that just looks way too big after being used to typing on a phone.
As a web consumption device its a great bit of kit, with Opera of course, altho the stock browser aint half bad when it comes to playing flash video in full screen.
Most important of course is that there is no i on it anywhere & thats good.
Toys for the workshy
apple are the only one's that got the screen ratio right with 4:3 for all round use.
16:9 is just a fad on a device like this. Who watches films on one of these. You sit in front of your TV or got to the cinema.
Its only loafers that have any time at work ,and yes there are a lot of them.
iPad is probably the best for work...
I've got a JOBY metal case for my iPad 2, which allows me to flip it open and have a firm rest to type on in a second. It also allows me to carry it everywhere and have it fully protected. With this combo, I've given up carrying paper to most meetings during my day...I type notes in Notes (funny enough), and can pull up my emails to refer to anything else. Typing on screen has two important features: it is silent, unlike a keyboard, and I find that it makes me think of how to summarize the info better, as I am slightly slower than on a real keyboard. I never expected my tablet to be much of a work tool, but it turns out that is mostly what it has been used for recently. And yes, the 4:3 screen makes that a whole lot easier to do...
The only downside with it being such a work tool is that you REALLY want to have any games and personal photos put in folders off the front screen...
"16:9 is just a fad on a device like this."
Good luck fitting a 4:3 device in your pocket at any viewable size.
Whereas this old Tab 7 with a case+built in bluetooth keyboard works quite nicely when using RDP on the bus (Remote RDP Free Edition, by the way). Granted the case makes the pocket size requirement more gargantuan than most, but it's still vastly more portable than anything Apple have come up with so far.
Now all I need is a stylus. Windows Server 2003 is really not finger-friendly.
Business or Pleasure sir?
As a Samsung Galaxy user, for business use it's great and getting files onto it is quite easy. For a start there's no iTunes and no faff. A simple windows shared network drive works.
However if I was buying a tablet as a present and the person in question wanted to use all the latest apps then the iPad is probably a better choice.
As much as I love my Galaxy, the Android app choice is quite poor especially when you consider many of the apps are designed for phones and often work badly on the tab. How delighted was I to download a Spectrum emulator so I could play Manic Miner on the move. How miffed was I when it turned out that the entire control system was buggered on the tablet. And that happens all too frequently when I download an app.
Once they get the app situation sorted the Galaxy would win all round. But at the moment it's a case of horses for courses.
i've got one, dont think its ugly. and nobody has said anything like that, just been impressed by it.
the ability to have to the keyboard clip on (with extra battery) is the killer feature. yeah its ok to dick about reading emails and watching videos of lolcats being petted by hipsters, but if you've got to do some work in a reasonable time, a real keyboard is unbeatable.
How soon those writing forget......
Is it just me?
Or is anyone else thinking; yup, nice idea, fancy one of those, but not at a price anywhere close to the current offerings thanks? Unless there's a reason for "must have" rather than "fancy" that I've managed to miss, of course.
ASUS SL 101
Why is not the SL 101 Slider Tablet ???
As the owner of an iPad and an Asus Transformer. The Asus beats the iPad hands down on looks Where Tony Smith comes from in calling it ugly, I've no idea. I've seen aluminium frying pans with more style than the iPad. Anything principally made of plain, uncoloured aluminium is going to look cheap. I'm not even sure that Asus have made the right choice in having a metallic finish case on the new Prime. I think that the textured black coffee coloured case contrasts beautifully with the metal bezel on the original Transformer.
~1500 new or updated apps every day on iPad...
...so that's quite impressive if you're looking for applications. In fact it's quite amazing how much developer support this thing's got.
It always seems to be the hardware that gets reviewed and compared, not the content.
I haven't used my Kindle 3G ...
...since I bought an early Transformer with keyboard.
Now, I'm just waiting for the Prime to arrive so I can give my partner a late Xmas pressie.
iPad/iTunes? No thanks. Just because it's thinner?
Steer clear of the Galaxy Tab 10.1
My work bought me one of these a few weeks ago. It's dreadful. The hardware is fine, but every single part of the software is buggy to a point somewhere between irritating and unusable. For example ... the browser crashes constantly, forgets bookmarks, doesn't synchronize properly and has no means of navigating to the home page ... the email client puts deleted mails in a recycling bin which is then never emptied unless you open it, select the mails there (maximum a day's worth at a time) and delete them all again ... the flash player is slow, buggy and unreliable ... it only reports about 10% of available free space when connected by USB/MTP so transferring large media collections onto it is impossible.
That's all beside the deliberate design limitations: the gmail client can only attach images, Polaris office can only open one file at a time, that sort of thing.
My only hope is that Android 4.0 will improve things.
My iPad2 is wonderful and bad at the same time. It looks and works very well but:
* I cannot do things like uploading pictures to websites, which is baffling!
* It is very difficult to hold for anything other than a short time. I would love to use it in bed but it is almost impossible as it is too heavy to hold up for long. Instead I have to prop it up somewhere, somehow, which is often not possible. This means that watching videos, playing games or reading in bed or anywhere where there isn't a surface to put it on is not feasible which sort of negates the purpose of having it.
* The lack of a handle of some sort makes it rather awkward to hold.
* Editing text is quite difficult without cursor keys, having to guess and poke and fiddle just makes hard work of something that should be simple and easy.
* I wish it had stereo speakers built in.
I guess these criticisms apply to most tablet computers though.
Get that Shiite off the list if it's anything like my Samsung Android phone. The sync software is Shiite and you are locked into old original shipped (already behind and out-of-date) Android. If you upgrade your phone Android you no longer get sync support and are SOL. Give one to BS and see how he likes it. Especially getting that Shiite software off of Windows.
On iOS I have found no jail breaking necessary anymore. Software that edits your backup directly let's me edit my hearts content the configuration files or even hex edit my game files of I'm feeling like it. I can pull all media off the iOS device no iTunes required.