Little over three years ago, we’d never heard of an iPad. Now, it seems a top-notch new version is brought out faster than you can blink and instantly commands the tech world’s attention. However, the world of tablets goes way beyond Apple and it’s worth investigating some of the Android versions out there, as some of the best specs and value are often found in more unexpected corners of the market. Here’s a quick rundown of what to watch out for in Android tablets right now.
Starting with the best of the mid-range Android tablets, there’s no doubt that the Google Nexus 10 has a screen resolution to rival the iPad’s much-lauded retina displays, and the 16GB version retails at around £319, a healthy £80 less than the iPad 4. Having said this, it doesn’t have a card slot to enable memory expansion which may be off-putting for some.
Those on more of a budget can always opt for an Ainol, with their Novo 7 Venus available on deals as low as £89.99. Considering the price, it still represents a sound purchase if you want something affordable, with a quad core processor and IPS Screen of 1280×800.
You can get more features within the budget range however, with the Nexus 7 by Asus as proof. Operating via the latest ‘Jelly Bean’ system from Android and demonstrating good battery performance, the Nexus 7 still comes in at under £200, even for the maximum 32GB model. Value for money in a diminutive package, which promises a lot more than the eye can see.
The top end of the tablet market gives the consumer a few good options, one being the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, which is certainly one of the most slimline designs you’ll find, weighing under 500g. It also boasts impressive waterproofing and the option to expand on the fairly modest 16GB storage. With the upfront price tag at £399.99, you may be tempted to go for something slightly lower-cost, with faster network and loading speeds, such as the Nexus 10, though some broadband providers are offering Xperia bundles starting at £199.99.
If you’re happy to spend a bit more for the slickest hardware, a whopping 64 GB memory-bank and a 5MP front-facing camera, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 sits proudly on top of the pile. Of course, specs like those don’t come cheap, at around the £350 mark, but if you’re intending it for business use, the precision of the stylus is great for spreadsheets as well as for graphic work.
One of the advantages of the Android system is the open access network and the choice it affords you in terms of products, as oppose to the Apple-only iPad range. So whatever you’re after, there’s enough variety in the Android market to satisfy everyone from the professional networker to the casual user.