Monday, September 6, 2010

Here They Come: The Android Tablet Invasion

Here They Come: The Android Tablet Invasion: "
If you're in the market for a tablet computer but the iPad just doesn't do it for you, then just wait for the Fall. A number of Android alternatives are ready to hit the market over the next several months and there's something for everyone.
A collaborative Google spreadsheet has been making the rounds on Reddit this morning and offers a list of nearly 20 Android tablets ranging from cheap to expensive, locked-down to hackable, and all gathered together for comparison.
The tablet in the spotlight for several months now has been, of course, the Apple iPad, which starts at $499 and comes with a 9.7-inch screen, weighs 1.5 pounds and offers up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi Web surfing, video watching and music playing. While it seems that the iPad has certainly been a success, there are a number of features we've hoped to see from competitors. From more accessible pricing to a camera to something as simple as a USB port, the Android alternatives are quickly coming to market to fulfill our wishes.
(For a full view, go to Google Docs.)
According to the collaborative comparison of Android tablets, which is constantly evolving as thousands of users add to it, there are Android tablets ranging from as little as $99 to as much as $550, if not more. There are tablets with cameras, tablets that can provide up to 36 hours of video, and tablets with as much as 11.2 inches of screen real estate.
According to the document, the creators are considering anything with a screen larger than five inches that does not require a cellular contract a 'tablet'. There seems to be some leeway, however, as evidenced by the presence of the Archos 'palm-sized tablets', which looks like the Android equivalent of an iPod Touch.
If you're looking to keep up to date on Android alternatives to the Apple iPad, this collaborative effort may be a good place to keep an eye on. As we've watched along this morning, more than 2,000 people have been viewing the spreadsheet at once and, as many note in the comments, a number more Android tablets are expected to be introduced as time goes on.