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Latest Tablet PC buying guide

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Latest Tablets: IPAD v Galaxy v Dell v Lifebook v Touchsmart

Written 16th December 2010
Tablet PCs are the hottest new tech toys, and if you’re shopping for one, you may have some questions. Do you want the iPad that everyone’s talking about, or would the Galaxy or another tablet be better?

Price Inspector’s buying guide is here to help. We have researched the newest models, comparing features so you can choose the perfect one for your needs.

Once you select the model, we bring you the cheapest deals in the UK. We always compare prices at all the UK shops so you can shop with confidence.

 Apple iPad

Apples iPad features a 1GHz processor custom-designed by Apple to provide high performance with low power consumption. All of the apps that are built-in on the iPad were designed to take advantage of its large, multi-touch screen and the iPad’s advanced capabilities. They also work in any orientation, so you can turn the tablet in landscape or portrait mode.

The Safari web browser for iPad literally puts the power of the Internet into your hands. You can easily view entire web pages in either landscape or portrait mode. When you rotate your iPad, the page also rotates and resizes to fit the display orientation. The colour is vibrant, and the text is sharp and an easily readable size.

Navigating the web is also easy and intuitive, using just your finger. Scroll down the page by flicking on the screen. Double tap on the page to shrink or enlarge it. Pinch to zoom in and out. If you touch a link, Safari will show you the URL so you know where you’re going. There’s also a thumbnail view that shows all the open pages so you can quickly navigate between pages.

Safari connects to the Internet with a high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi connection. If you’re not in a Wi-Fi network, you can still surf with an optional 3G network. Safari supports video and audio, letting you enjoy a full multimedia experience. You can play video right on the page, or you can play it in full screen.

Take your favourite web sites with you by syncing your bookmarks from either your Mac or PC. Searches from Yahoo!, Google, and Bing are built-in for your convenience. When you want to type a URL, search for text, or fill out a form, a large onscreen keyboard makes it easy. You can even create icons to easily access your favourite web sites.

The screen measures 24.6 cm diagonally and LED backlighting. For video, it supports H.264 video up to 720p at 30 frames per second. It supports the following audio formats:

  • HE-AAC (V1)
  • AAC (16 to 320 Kbps)
  • Protected AAC
  • MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps)
  • MP3 VBR
  • Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4)
  • Apple Lossless
  • AIFF
  • WAV

The iPad weighs about 680 grams, and the battery gives you approximately 10 hours. It is Bluetooth compatible, has a dock connector port, and the Wi-Fi + 3G model has a Micro-SIM card tray. The oleophobic screen coating resists fingerprints, and the screen has an ambient light sensor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

The Galaxy Tab by Samsung has a 1.0 GHz application processor with VR S6Z540 power. It’s more mobile than the iPad, with a multi-touch, 17.75 cm (diagonal) screen. This makes it easier to slip into your pocket or bag and take it wherever you go. It provides an exceptional screen for reading books or magazines, playing games, or watching movies. It capitalizes on the experience of the Galaxy line of smartphones.

Galaxy Tab provides a full JD Video player and recorder, and it supports Adobe Flash. The battery lasts up to 7 hours, and the Galaxy Tab is Bluetooth compatible. Other features include 802.11n Wi-Fi, face-to-face video, and 16gb/32gb +MicroSD up to 326GB of memory.

With its 3G connectivity, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, the Galaxy Tab makes mobile communication easy wherever you go. You’ll enjoy PC-style web browsing, as well as email, video calls, and social networking. Although it’s designed to easily fit in one hand, it’s easy to type with either two-hand thumb type or SWYPE input technology.

It has both a front and rear-facing camera. The front-facing camera is perfect for video chats, while the rear-facing camera provides flash and 3 megapixels for capturing still shots or video. It’s easy to edit, upload, and share the images you capture. The Media Hub feature opens the world of TV shows and film to your mobile device. Once you purchase content, you can share the content with up to five Media Hub-enabled devices for no extra cost.

The Galaxy Tab provides access to the Android Marketplace, where you can download apps and personalize your device. It also provides preloaded apps. You can use services like Google Maps and Google Goggles. Search location-based services by using Standard English rather than having to enter the exact address. You can also search by voice.

Dell Latitude XT2

The Dell Latitude XT2 is a business-grade tablet PC. It has an Intel Core processor, with either 1.20 or 1.40 GHz. It provides up to 5 GB of memory, and the 30.7 cm screen makes it easy to view. The screen accepts either finger touch or mode pen input. With the finger touch, you can use natural gestures such as pinching or tapping for scrolling, rotating, zooming, or panning.

The slim size, at only 2.5 cm thick, makes it easy to take on the go. The optional high-capacity battery gives you hours of work and play. Another nice feature is that it lets you work in either tablet or notebook PC mode. In the tablet mode, use the mult-touch screen for efficiency or use the pen to write and draw like on a piece of paper. The pen does not require batteries, making it convenient to take anywhere. Convert to laptop mode, and you can still use touch, but a full-size keyboard function is added. The screen provides exceptional display even in bright sunlight.

The XT2 is designed to be easy to use, cheap to own, and is preloaded with all the tools you’ll need, such as security features, Dell Mobility Services, and Intel processors. The XT2 has an optional smart card reader and a 54mm express card SD slot. The battery lasts up to 9 hours, and it XT2 has optional Bluetooth connectivity.

While it’s one of the more expensive tablet PCs, it provides some unique features. It provides a professional appearance, perfectly designed for business use. The surfaces are specially painted to give the appearance of brushed metal, but with the easier maintenance that paint provides. It resists finishes and is easy to wipe clean. The XT2 is rugged and easy to carry.

Fujitsu Lifebook T730

The Lifebook T730 by Fujitsu offers an Intel Core i3-350M processor with 2.26 GHz and 3 MB L3 cache. It provides as much as 8 GB DDR3 1066 SDRAM or memory. The 30.7 cm screen provides WXGA LED backlighting. Input is either through a digital pen, two finger touch, or full-size, 84-key spill-resistant keyboard.

Audio is Realtek ALC269 with HD audio, and there are two built-in speakers and two digital microphones. Video supports Intel® HD Graphics. It weighs about 1.7 kg, and the battery gives more than 9 hours of performance. Optional features include Bluetooth connectivity, DVD writer, and webcam. The optional GPS technology means you’ll never get lost.

It also provides the security of a biometric fingerprint sensor, Advanced Theft Protection, and a Kensington Lock. The ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the LED display’s brightness according to your environment. This gives you better performance and also increase the battery runtime.

The Microsoft Touch Pack gives you six programs and games, including:

  • Blackboard: A physics game where you solve a puzzle to create a machine on the blackboard.
  • Garden Pond: A calm game set in peaceful Japanese water gardens.
  • Rebound: Use your fingers to move Tesla balls into your opponent’s goal.
  • Surface Globe: Explore the earth in a flat 2D map or a 3D immersive experience.
  • Surface Collage: Explore and interact with your photographs, arranging them on a desktop background.
  • Surface Lagoon: An interactive water simulation screen saver, complete with playful fish and a meditative rock arrangement. Use your fingertips to manipulate the water, and the fish will respond.

Touchsmart TM2

The HP Touchsmart TM2 uses an Intel core with 1.20 GHz and provides 4 to 8 GB of memory. The 30.7 diagonal HD LED touch screen supports both Intel HD Graphics and ATI Mobility switchable graphics.

The Touchsmart TM2 has Altec Lansing speakers and weighs about 1.9 kg. The battery lasts up to 6 hours. Connect wirelessly using and Intel Wireless card. Optional features include Bluetooth connectivity, external optical drive, and external BluRay drive. It provides a fingerprint readers and HP TrueVision Webcam.

Write on the screen with your digital pen, type, or navigate with your fingertips. The versatile tablet PC lets you personalize your photos, music, video, albums, and webcam clips. Flick, pick, and craft your own video and slide shows, which you can enhance with music or voice-overs. Organize and share files, or write virtual notes on your screen. The convertible screen lets you fold the screen flat for sketchpad use or for watching movies on an airplane.

The Touchsmart TM2 comes with a two-year warranty for parts and labour, including two years of support by phone, chat, or email. Its advanced design keeps it cool during use. It provides up to 640 GB of storage for your music, video, and photos. It keeps your data safe through the use of an integrated fingerprint reader. Another security feature is built-in software to detect when the PC is being dropped. When that happens, the software locks your hard drive to protect your precious data.

 Accessories

Once you buy your tablet PC, you may find that you need some accessories. Price Inspector brings you all the gear to complete your purchase, at the cheapest prices.

Popular choices include:

  • Tablet PC Cases: These are available to fit any size tablet PC you choose. Some are leather, while others are neoprene or nylon, but they are designed to protect your screen while transporting. Nice features in some models include storage for your documents, PC cards, digital pens, batteries, or other accessories. If you travel frequently, look for a strap to attach to your luggage handle or a padded shoulder strap. Convenient options include one-hand removal, making it even easier to go through airport security screens.
  • Extra Batteries: If you find yourself working for extended periods when you can’t stop and recharge, consider buying an extra battery. This lets you keep working or playing by simply switching out the battery when one runs low.
  • Digital pens: While most of the tablet PCs offer fingertip input as well, some processes are easier with a digital pen. If your digital pen breaks or is lost, simply buy another one. Make sure it is compatible with your brand of tablet PC, and you’re set.
Buying Guide to Latest Tablet PC
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