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Tablet Evaluation, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 715

Essay

Tablet devices have been here for a while but only in the last few years, they have gained a wider acceptance. Their popularity has been aided by numerous factors such as advancements in technologies, wider embrace of wireless devices fueled by the popularity of smartphones, and especially Apple’s iPad that singlehandedly started the tablet revolution just as iPod and iPhone revolutionized the music and smartphone industries, respectively. iPad 2 offers unmatched hardware and software experience. I value user-experience as much as price, thus, iPad 2 is my unanimous choice as a tablet device.

iPad dominated the tablet market alone for a while either due to lack of competition or inferior offerings by the competitors but the competitive landscape has changed. iPad is still the leader though its share has been eroding. 75% of the tablets shipped worldwide in the second quarter of 2011 were iPads as compared to 96% during the same period in 2010 (Siwicki). Fortunately, iPad 2 more than pays for its premium price through superior features and performance that match or exceed competitors in almost all of the categories according to Consumer Reports’ Fall 2011 issue (Consumer Reports).

iPad 2 offers a far greater choice of software applications than any of the competitors though many use the Android operating system. This is because Apple is a market leader in the tablet segment and thus, holds more commercial incentives for independent software developers. iPad 2 also offers the best screen quality among the competitors but Samsung Galaxy Tab comes quite close. iPad 2’s display was found to be the only one that doesn’t diminish in quality when viewed from different angles. Samsung Galaxy Tab does beat the iPad in weight category and also offers the flash option which iPad 2 lacks. iPad 2 comes only in one screen size which is 9.7 inch but Samsung Galaxy Tab comes in 2 screen sizes which are 10.1 inch and 7 inch. The 7-inch version of Galaxy Tab costs $350 and may be more appealing to those looking for a better balance between product features and price.

iPad 2 has a proprietary video chat software called FaceTime which can be used to make video calls to other iPad 2, iPhone 4, new iPod Touch, and Mac users. Android users can use skype for video calling but that option is also available to the iPad 2 users. iPad 2 has agreements with more media publishers including The New Yorker, Time, and Consumer Reports. Many magazine including Popular Mechanics offer free iPad applications to their print subscribers. iPad 2 also offers better integration between the operating system and the hardware because iPad 2 uses the company’s proprietary iOS operating system. Apple has provided upgrades for the iOS operating system while none of the Android-based tablet manufacturers have provided any Android upgrade. Some tablets offer USB ports which iPad 2 lacks but iPad 2 users may be able to utilize optional Camera Connection Kit to connect certain USB devices such as keyboard.

Consumer Reports measured the performance of different tablets in five categories which are ease of use, display, versatility, portability, and touch response. iPad 2 scored the highest marks (excellent) in each of the categories except versatility in which only Motorola’s Xoom scored the highest marks. iPad 2 with 3G option ranked as very good  in versatility while the iPad 2 version without 3G option was ranked good. Even in terms of battery life, iPad 2 came at first with 11.6 hours while Motorola’s Xoom was second with 10.5 hours (Consumer Reports).

Thus, iPad 2 has proven itself to be the best in terms of performance and features if price is not an issue. In fact, almost all major competitors offer their tablets at similar prices and some have even more expensive versions once similarity of features are taken into account. The cheaper options mostly come in smaller screen sizes. Consumer Reports has a reputation for an unbiased reporting and thus, it can be said that iPad 2 remains the benchmark in the tablet computing.

References

Bosker, Bianca. Why HP Is Killing Its Phone, Tablet Businesses. 19 August 2011. 12 October 2011 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/18/hp-killing-phone-tablet-businesses_n_930958.html>.

Consumer Reports. “Ratings.” Consumer Reports Fall 2011: 151.

—. “Tablets.” Consumer Reports Fall 2011: 61-63.

Siwicki, Bill. Android captures 20% of the iPad’s market share, ABI Research says. 16 August 2011. 18 October 2011 <http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/08/16/android-captures-20-ipads-market-share-abi-research-says>.

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