15 Comments

Summary:

Consumers have never had more tablet options and more reasonable prices for slates. With so many manufacturers in the game, it comes down to which platform and ecosystem you prefer and which tablet maker you trust to make a good product.

lots of tablets

The news of Amazon’s new Kindle tablets reminds me how many great choices are currently available in a market that essentially didn’t exist until 2010. It’s just 3.5 years since the original iPad launch and here we are with dozens of tablet choices in every shape and size and for practically every budget.

There are $129 options for a decent Android tablet from Hisense. Google and Amazon are fiercely competing in the small-size and reasonable cost market: You can get either a Nexus 7 or the new 7-inch Kindle Fire for the same $229 price. Jump up $100 a more and the iPad mini is an option. Step up to $399 and Google’s Nexus 10 or wait and see what the price of Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition will cost. After that, you’re in full-sized iPad territory or a Surface 2 in terms of price.

I could go on and as there are numerous other players in the tablet game: Think HP, which just announced four new slates, LG, Sony and many others. Again, there’s no lack of choice in today’s tablet market. So it comes down to: Which platform or ecosystem interests you the most and which hardware maker has earned enough of your respect to earn your purchase?

We can’t list every option here, but jump into our poll and let us know which tablet maker’s products has piqued your interest.

  1. It would be interesting to see if results differ if you were to conduct the poll next month after the iPad 5 and new mini are announced.

    Share
  2. You should also add the Intel Bay Trail based Windows tablets to this list. I think Bay Trail will be the way back for Microsoft in the tablet game.

    Share
  3. I’m still not happy that Amazon Prime benefits are only applied to Amazon Kindles and since I can easily foresee wanting to read books borrowed from the Kindle library, I always lean a bit (unhappily) towards the Amazon products. With that said, I think I’d rather go google or surface (based on absolutely minimal research).

    Share
    1. I’m right there with you. I hate not getting the fullest benefit of Prime because of what you said and because there’s no Amazon Instant Video app for Android. :(

      Share
  4. I’m waiting for a 7-8″ Win8.1 tablet with a Bay Trail chip and a Wacom digitizer. If I can’t get that combination I will upgrade my ThinkPad Tablet 2 to a ThinkPad Tablet 3 (assuming it has everything above but the size).

    Share
  5. My next tablet will be a Windows one. I have an iPad and I have a 1st generation Kindle Fire and 1st Generation Nexus 7 and they are all great for what they are, but I have a very good idea of what their limitations are and the newer, faster options, while nice, do not really address these.

    A Windows tablet on the other hand seems like it will have some real advantages for my productivity needs. So, the question now, for me, is if I go with a Surface or wait to look at some of the upcoming options from Lenovo and Dell.

    Share
    1. You and I are both different and the same. We’re different in that I would not buy so many relatively similar tablets. I have a 1st Gen N7 and have little interest in getting any of the tablets mentioned in this article. Just too much the same.

      On the other hand, I could see myself someday getting a tablet that does much more, and that perhaps might even be a desktop replacement.

      Share
    2. I am not sure there is going to be a future for surface. Developers are not going to produce the apps like they do with iOS and Android.
      If you can’t get the productivity out of Android or Apple tablets it might be best to stay chromebooks or macbooks…

      Share
      1. I think it’s important to factor in just how fast these markets are moving right now. It really is a horse race and I personally don’t think it will take very much to either propel a relative laggard like Microsoft right now ahead of Apple or vice/versa. We are upgrading products so quickly now that these companies really have to work hard to keep earning our loyalty….and that upgrade. For instance, I’m haven’t upgraded my iPhone since iPhone 4, and when it broke down I’m using my old reliable 3GS. I’m finding that I have less and less use for a phone since I can get the iOS experience on the iPad. I really like Apple products, but they are really falling behind when it comes to integrating basic commonsense features. I’m not really sold on the parlor tricks like the psychedelic colors of 5c or the parallax effect. Either Apple is so stuck on themselves they are stupid or either they have something going on internally where a lot of good ideas get shot down because of egotistical, subjective reasons perhaps. I think they need to go over to Microsoft and share a piece of humble pie. Now, I really think Microsoft is actually flexing some innovation muscles since they already have a fully integrated desktop/tablet OS. Apple’s product line is getting too spread out. They need to make a bold step, figure out how to cut some products out and refocus…Just like what Steve did when he came back to Apple.

        Share
  6. I replaced a junky Acer tablet with an iPad mini several months ago. Vast improvement.
    I’m very happy with the iPad and plan to use it for a long time – it would take a lot to make me switch back to Android.

    Share
    1. J. Dean Doherty Friday, September 27, 2013

      Bruce, I’m curious… Was your move to the iPad mini mainly a hardware quality issue (you mentioned the Acer product as being “junky”), or is it that you now prefer Apple’s OS over the Android system?… Just curious, because I was recently given an Android-based tablet and have only previously experienced Apple’s system/products (iPhones 3GS & 4s). I guess I’m looking for specifics from experienced, multi-platform users so I can improve my knowledge on what I’m getting into with the Android system… Thanks!

      Share
  7. My Nexus is great for reading Game Of Thrones. I’m not sure that I’m utilizing all the advanced functions.

    Share
  8. Even though I love my (new) Nexus 7 hardware I still think Windows and Windows RT are infinitely better tablet OSes. Wish I could port RT to the Nexus 7.

    Share
  9. Apart from all the usual jazz about the utilities of tablets, would like to know which brands handle MS Excel, ppt. the best.

    Share
  10. Since iOS 7 gives me headaches, the nexus! also, I’ve used one quite a bit lately and For me it’s better than the competition by a good margin right now. rI have an iPad and iPad Mini, I have no interest these devices after the ios7 upgrade. It’s been a real disaster for me. It’s basically made two really expensive gadgets that I have useless to me.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post