2011 is indeed the year of the tablets. CES and Computex were bombarded by tablets from every major consumer goods manufacturer and even some not-so-popular brands. The first wave has already hit our country starting with the iPad, followed by the iPad 2 which took everyone by surprise. While the iPad attracted the elite crowd and the Apple fanboys, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab was the only other real option for a tablet. The sub-25K price bracket suddenly witnessed a surge in cheap Android based tablets, most of which were quite bad to be even called a tablet like the HCL Me AE7, ZingLife E-Pad and Creative’s ZiiO 7. Plus, the Motorola Xoom and the HTC Flyer have only just started rolling out, giving you even more choices. It doesn't stop here, let’s take a look at some of the tablets that are yet to arrive in 2011.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
The successor to the Galaxy Tab P1000, the Tab 10.1 will go up against the Motorola Xoom and the Acer A500 3G variant (if Acer actually launched this). Specification wise, it’s practically identical to the other two, so the deciding factor will have to be the user experience and ergonomics of the tablet. Acer has done little to no customization with the A500 (apart from some widgets) and we’ve not reviewed the Xoom yet, so we can’t comment on that, we really hope Samsung delivers on their TouchWiz user interface. Now I know their UI hasn’t exactly got them many fans when compared to HTC’s Sense but if they can pull off something like they did with the Galaxy S II, then we have some competition. No word on the price yet, but I guess it would launch at around the 35K mark.
Bigger and slimmer
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 Features -
- 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen with Samsung’s PLS display technology
- Supports resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels
- 3G, Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi only model to be available
- Bluetooth v3.0 + EDR
- GPS with A-GPS support for Google Maps
- 3.1MP rear AF camera with LED flash and 720p video recording capability, 2MP forward facing camera for video calling.
- 1080p HD@30fps video playback, DivX and Xvid support
- Stereo speakers
Available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB editions with micro SD card support up to 32GB.
While we rarely see many Toshiba products in India, other than a few notebooks and portable drives, it's hard to say when or if, will this ever come to India. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t ignore this 10.1-inch slab of glass, as it has some very unique features not found in the other tablets. For starters, this is the first Android tablet to have a removable battery and will launch with Android 3.1. It will also feature an SD card slot capable of handling 128GB SDXC cards and will come with a ExFAT driver enabling it to handle up to 1TB external hard drives over the USB port. Hopefully, Toshiba realizes the growing tablet market in India and will launch this quickly.
Stands out from the crowd
The Toshiba Thrive also features -
- 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen with 1280x800 pixel resolution
- Wi-Fi 'n' support
- Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
- GPS with A-GPS support for Google Maps
- 5MP Autofocus rear camera, 2MP front facing camera
- Available in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB editions with micro SD card support up to 32GB
Dell Streak 7
Dell’s next stint with tablets comes in the form of a slightly larger version of their first Streak phone. Called the Streak 7, the dimensions are more in line with BlackBerry’s PlayBook which will be their first target. The tablet is powered by Froyo and an Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU along with a 5MP auto-focus camera and buttons on the bezel which we don’t see on other tablets. The HTC Flyer which also sports a 7-inch screen should provide stiff competition once this releases. Once again, nothing on the India availability or pricing as of now. The Streak 7 will appeal mostly to people who liked the form factor of the PlayBook, but wanted the flexibility of Android. Sadly, Dell has no plans to launch the Streak 7 in India anytime soon so you'll have to import one if you want to get it.
BB PlayBook, beware!
The Dell Streak 7 features -
- 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels
- 3G, Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
- GPS with A-GPS support
- 5MP rear AF camera with 720p video recording capability, 1.3MP forward facing camera for video calling
- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV video playback
- 16GB built-in storage with micro SD card support up to 32GB