How To Choose? iPad versus Android Tablets

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How To Choose?  iPad versus Android Tablets

Erick R Williams (2012)

There are very, very strong opinions among the Technorati about the iPad and Android tablets.  There are Apple fans that simply will not consider a non-Apple product and there are people who will not buy an Apple product no matter how good it is.  Both positions strike me as a bit irrational as they are based far too much on emotion and much less on more rational and logical choices.

Let's start with the iPad.  The Apple iPad is an elegant tablet that is well engineered and has good, solid specification.  It does not have the best specifications in all areas (i.e. processor, memory expansion, ports, etc.) but it is so good at so many specs that many people are very happy with the iPad.  The iPad and iPad 2 are the current choices with the iPad 3 due out soon.  The iPad 3 is forecast to have the Retina display which will boast very high resolution and a very crisp display.  Only Apple makes the iPad so there is great consistency in the hardware.  Another advantage to the iPad is that Apple very tightly controls the quality of 3rd party applications (apps) by setting very stringent standards and enforcing them.  Many people feel that the learning curve for the iPad is much easier than non-Apple tablets. 

Android tablets (tablets that use the Android operating system) are made by a great many manufacturers.  The hardware from manufacturer to manufacture can vary tremendously as can the quality.  Google, developer of the Android operating system, is not quite as stringent about 3rd party apps though they are moving in that direction of late.  Android tablets come in many size while the iPad comes in one screen size (about 10").  Some Android tablets have both rear and forward facing cameras.  Android tablets come with slow processors and cutting edge processors that are more powerful than Apple's processor.  Finally, the Android is an "open" operating system so the user can modify a great deal of the operating systems.  There are groups such as Cyanogen Mod that provide all flavors of Android with new "skins" and features that the base operating system does not have.

Apple provides a very consistent product and the apps are consistent in quality and how the use the operating system as well.  Android tables vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Those who like to tinker with their pad might enjoy an Android tablet as the Apple tablet is very "locked down."  The Apple iPad comes with one operating system while the Android tablets might come, for example, with 2.2 or 2.3 or 3.0 or even the very new 4.0. The open nature of Android tablets has an advantage as new features can be developed and added to your tablet very quickly.  That same advantage can be tricky if your particular tablet doesn't have the hardware to handle the new feature.

If you prefer a very predictable hardware/software combination in your tablet and a very elegant design then I would suggest the iPad.  It is also very intuitive in terms of use.

If you prefer cutting edge technology, tinkering with the operating system an the apps, and a very wide choice of hardware the I would suggest an Android tablet.

For many people it may simply come down to price.  The iPad is fairly expensive and you may not have the disposable income for an iPad but you do have $200 (or even less) to buy an Android-based tablet.

As always, it is hard to write a brief article, such as this one, and not miss features that are very important to ardent fans of either camp.  And, some simplification is necessary to keep the article a reasonable length.

My final recommendation is to simply go out and buy a tablet.  I have seen very nice tablets such as the 10" Coby I bought for my son for Christmas for for $250.  He has loved it and used it a lot for Skype.  The price was great.  Is it an iPad?  No.  Is it a great tablet for the price? Yes. 




erick99 posted Feb 23, 2012
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3 Comments
gangstabarbie
I can't afford an iPad :( I will have to settle for the kindle fire.
gangstabarbie (rep: 9.68k) posted Feb 25, 2012
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erick99
You can't go wrong wit a Kindle Fire. It's worth about $350 but Amazon is subsidizing it at $199 with the hope that you will buy content from them. It's a great tablet for watching videos, reading books, and running Android apps. You won't be disappointed.
erick99 (rep: 17.8k) posted Feb 25, 2012
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WholesaleOnePiec
i think ipad is better than android tablet,but ipad is very expensive.if you want buy the cheapest of tablets, you can choose China Android tablet ,how about it ?http://www.wholesaleonepiece.com/zenithink-zt280-c92-cortex-a9-102-inch-android-40-capacitive-1g-ram-8gb-rom_p4266.html
WholesaleOnePiec (noob) posted Jul 28, 2012
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