Input Requested: Are Android Tablets As Good As The iPad?


UPDATE: As a result of the great feedback that many provided to me, I bought an ASUS Transformer tablet and I have never looked back. Great price (about 1/2 the cost of a new iPad), stunning graphics and a blazing Tegra2 processor have made me fall in love with my tablet all over again. More details to come with a post specifically on the Transformer.

Cheers!

–Sean


Are Android tablets better than Apple iPads? What makes them better? Who will be the winner in the tablet wars?

This fantastic graphic is courtesy of The Daily Mobile Forum

It’s rolling around to that time again. You know…Black Friday. And with Black Friday, comes Cyber-Monday, the consumer spending free-for-all that allows us techno-geeks to let our credit cards do the talking. This year, my wife has made it clear that she is very interested in having her very own tablet, which places me in a bit of a predicament.

You see, I’m an “Android guy”. I love the openness that Android represents and I’m not a fan of the closedness (is that a word) that Apple represents. So, I should just buy an Android tablet, right? Wrong! I purchased an Android-based tabled a while back and it was crap. Granted, I literally bought it from China and had it shipped to the US since there weren’t any Android tablets on the market here at that time. Also, it was running Android 1.5, which was designed for phones, not tablets.

And then there was the shoddy quality. So basically, it was a bad experience that drove me to buy an iPad, which I have LOVED until the recent iOS 5 iPad update crashes which basically turned it into a digital brick. And then there was the terrible “customer service” provided to me by Apple on their online forums. Talk about souring me on the Apple experience…

So…I’m looking to you, my readers, to share with me why you love your Android tablet. Win me over, help me love Android tablets again. Let me know which model you have and why you feel it excels over the iPad. I already have visions of micro SD slots, dual processors, and the open Android market on my mind, but what else really makes the Android experience worth it??

Apple iPad and iPad 2 users, don’t be shy! Chime in with your experiences, as well. I am already a big fan of the iPad (iOS 5 aside) and it will be a tough fight to get me to give up the styling, beauty, and stability of my iPad.

So which is it? iPad or Android? And if Android…which tablet?

Thanks, in advance, for sharing and helping me through this crisis :)

–Sean

  • nicole

    .It was a bad experience that drove me to buy an iPad, which I have LOVED until the recent iOS 5 iPad update crashes.I’ll report back as I continue to use the device, but so far it’s been worth every penny and I’m excited to see more Apple alternatives hit the market.

  • http://www.socmedsean.com Sean R. Nicholson

    Thanks for the feedback, Nicole. I was the same way. I had a bad Android experience, which drove me to the iPad. Now, iOS 5 is driving me to think about an Android tablet again. I like the iPad, but Android Market has a broader range of apps, and Android tablets have micro SD capabilities to expand storage and just about every feature that iPads do for less money.

    Would love to hear if switch to one of the alternatives.

    –Sean

  • Pingback: Apple Support Discussions – A Great Example Of Community Management Gone Bad()

  • Tom Campbell

    I just purchased an Asus Transformer Android tablet. After a week I took it back. In some ways it was a great machine. The optional keyboard/touchpad with additional battery promised to turn it into a road warrior’s dream netbook.
    But it also has a lot of quirky things. The chrome related browser is not very user friendly. The address bar disappears when you scroll down. Favorites are on a separaate screen. You have an email client but if you are using Gmail it loads a second one. Auto text comes on randomly even if explicitly turned off. Typing and editing controls are imprecise. Sometimes the back button changes to a delete key (there is no delete key) for no apparent reason.
    I still have the iPad and will most likely keep using it for business on the road purposes.

    FYI – the IOS 5.0 “upgrade” slowed it down tremendously and the cloud fix did not solve all problems. Is Apple sliding into corporate denialism now that Jobs is gone?
    I’m still looking for the ideal tablet. I may go back to 11″ notebooks.

    • http://www.socmedsean.com Sean R. Nicholson

      Thanks for the input, Tom! I’m surprised to hear that the Chrome/Gmail integration aren’t better on an Android-based tablet. I haven’t completely given up on my iPad yet, but am really unhappy with the keyboard lag and consistent crashes after the iOS 5 upgrade.

      I’m happy as all-get-out with my Samsung Galaxy S phone, so I’m going to be looking at the Galaxy Tab, as well as the Toshiba Thrive as possible options. I’ll report back what I think on both of these options.

      Cheers!

      –Sean

  • http://www.socmedsean.com Sean R. Nicholson

    Interesting article relating to this topic. Could Apple’s lawsuits against Android table manufactures limit the availability of Android-based tablets?

    Steve Jobs’ legal war on Google, Android rages on
    http://ow.ly/7n6bh

    –Sean

  • ju

    Was considering the Asus Transformer, then read about the upcoming Transformer Prime and decided to wait for that cos it looks great with awesome specs. But somehow ended up buying an iPad2 instead – can’t say I’ve any regrets though. Anyway, it’s still on iOS4.3.5 and I’m not planning to upgrade to iOS5 just yet until I read more reviews.
    Now looking at getting the iPad camera connection kit which allows transfer of photos from memory card to ipad – the non-Apple version even has usb port and different memory card slots. Google for it, I think it’s selling at about USD30.
    P/s Anyone knows for sure which tablet (Android or otherwise) with 3G that actually allows us to use it for normal calls/sms instead of VOIP?

  • L’aura

    @Ju: Google the Samsung Galaxy Note. It’s a phone/tablet hybrid with a 5″ screen. It released in Europe last month and it’s anticipated in the US after the beginning of the year. I plan to replace my iPhone 3GS and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ with the Note.

    Regarding Android vs Apple – I’m a huge fan of what apple has done to the phone and tablet industry, but at the moment I’m an Android fan. In my house we’ve had iPhones, my girlfriend had an iPad, and I purchased the 7″ Galaxy Tab. I love the Tab over iPad because of the SD ports and openness. The clincher for me is managing media content. I recent reinstalled the OS on my laptop and now dread syncing my iPhone because it’s all reliant on the laptop’s iTunes. With Android it’s is a stand alone device. I’m even able to play from the Amazon Cloud.

    At one point I would have argued that my Galaxy Tab was a little less stable than the iPad, but with IOS 5 out I think that’s changed for awhile.

    I love that Apple challenged the industry with i’s great devices. and Samsung and Google have responded well.

  • Ren

    The Samsung Galaxy Tablets are truly superb. Shame you can get them yet in the USA due to Apple’s lawsuits. The tabs are wonderfully light, slick devices. Great sharpness and colour, awesome battery life. And even though the UI is different,if you’re a Google fan you’ll have no issues whatsoever crossing over.

    Our workplace trialled a few tablets. Motorola Xoom … Dreadful. Asus? Wouldn’t touch them with a biohazard suit and a twenty foot barge pole. Lenovo? Tantamount to a brick cellphone from the eighties – hideously heavy, clunky and ugly. Of course these are all relative to the Samsung: if there were no Samsung tab, then Apple would be your only real choice. It still wins in terms of design. But this iOS5 crashing is driving me nuts!

  • ju

    @L’aura I’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy Note – over here price is similar to a 64gb wifi iPad2. All these gadgets can leave a big hole in our pockets!

  • http://www.socmedsean.com Sean R. Nicholson

    Interesting note, here, I bought the Nook Color for my daughter for Christmas and, after doing a little digging, found that you can install Android on an SD card and then boot from the SD Card into Android. The beauty of this comes in the fact that she can revert back to the Nook reader and OS build just by removing the SD Card.

    For $199 for the tablet, $15 for the SD Card, and 1 hours work this is an outstanding value for a 7″ tablet. Blog post to come with these details.

    –Sean

  • http://digg.com/Mark_Silet Mark Silet

    Does anyone know if you can tether any of the Andriod tablets to the original Driod for internet access?

    • http://www.socmedsean.com Sean R. Nicholson

      Mark,

      I think it’s generally carrier-specific as to whether you can tether or not. I know Sprint charges an extra fee to allow for data tethering. Some folks have had good luck with an app called PDANet but there is a big debate going on as to whether using the app technically violates some carriers Terms of Use.

      Cheers!

      –Sean

      • http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/300697249 Mark Silet

        Thanks Sean.

  • Matt Schweigert

    Acer Iconia 510 . Quad core goodness. Had this tab for about 3 weeks now and love this machine. Super fast web surfing, great multitasking tablet, decent screen resolution and incredible battery life. Ipad begone !!!!

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