Tablet Showdown – Which Tablet to Buy this Holiday Season

Posted by Mayank on November 13, 2011 in Review

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Tablet shoppers have a good news and a bad news. The good news? You have more choices at the same or better prices than ever before. The bad news? More choices make it difficult to decide. There are so many tablets available now that they cater to every price, feature that it becomes difficult to reach a conclusion.

We’ll try to make it simpler for you – there are really 3 tablets, which are worth you time and money : Apple iPad 2, Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook. iPad 2 is the priciest and is pretty close to being a computer itself. Kindle Fire and Nook are more of e-Readers with a few more features built-in.

Here is a basic comparison chart between the three tablets (click to enlarge):

2011 holiday season tablet showdown

Which Tablet is Easiest to Hold?

iPad 2 weighs the most with Fire and Nook being almost identical in weight. Mind that even iPad 2 weighs a meager 1.33 pounds. Both Kindle Fire and Nook are pretty easy to hold with one hand. iPad 2 definitely needs both the hands. It’s important to realize that when you hold the tablet, you are essentially holding it one-handed because your other is essentially being used to operate the tablet.

Which Tablet Has the Best Screen?

A close call amongst the three because all of them have got damn good resolutions – iPad 2 has a display size of 9″ and is supported by 1024 x 768 screen resolution, while Fire and Nook have got a 7″ display size supported by 1024 x 600 screen resolution. Images on iPad 2 display looked evenly and accurately saturated and balanced — better than Fire and Nook.

Which Tablet Has the Best Keyboard?

Because of a larger screen size, my fat fingers work best with iPad 2.

Which Tablet Is Best for Data Transfers?

Fire and Nook take the lead here because they are Android-based tablets and your PC will recognize them as mass storage devices when they are connected via USB. As a result, you can drag and drop files onto your tablet without converting them to a different format and without using special software.

Which Tablet Is Best for Multimedia?

Hands down – iPad 2 (except that Flash won’t work there).

Which Tablet Is Best for Gaming?

Apple’s iPad 2 enjoys the clear advantage here. Today, Apple’s iOS has a bigger selection and a bigger commitment from content makers than Android does, though more Android games are catching up. Millions of people use iOS devices already, and third-party benchmarks indicate that the new A5 chip has much more graphics muscle.

Which Tablet Is Best for Web Browsing?

Kindle Fire introduced a new browser “Silk”, which is the fastest browser in the world. The iPad 2 and the Nook are both stuck in the dark ages of Web browsing. Both tablets permit you to access only one page at a time, so you must exit one page before you browse to another. In addition, both models limit the number of windows you can have open at a time.

Which Tablet Provides the Best Notifications?

iPad 2 was a clear cut laggard in this category. However, with iOS 5, they’ve made made Notifications fun and easy to manage.

Bottom Line

If you are price conscious and want a tablet, which can be more than an e-Reader — go for Kindle Fire. It pretty much does what you need. If you want to stick with “just reading” – reading books and maybe newspapers, magazines and browsing the web — you can go for Kindle Fire or Nook. If you’re looking for a tablet, which can keep you away from your computer — go for iPad 2. iPad 2 without doubt is the best full featured reading tablet. If you own other Apple products like iPhone, Mac etc — you should definitely go for iPad 2 to keep things in sync and make your life much more simpler!


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