Attack of the tablets – part 4

Attack of the tablets – part 4I briefly considered calling this feature “2 non-iPads” – which, incidentally, would make a great (i.e. rubbish) name for a band – but remembered a little series called "Attack of the tablets" from back in March. Jeez, that was ages ago.

In said series I looked at 10 tablets in total, so there are obviously another billion or so that I haven’t mentioned yet.

And what were those 10 tablets? I was hoping you’d ask that. Here comes one of my patented lists (after this bonus sentence which I'm throwing in to push the list neatly below the image):

  • Apple iPad 2
  • HTC Flyer
  • Motorola Xoom
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • LG Optimus Pad
  • HP TouchPad
  • BlackBerry PlayBook
  • Fujitsu Stylistic
  • ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro
  • Toshiba Tablet

In this fourth instalment of Attack of the tablets, I’m going to look at a couple of glaring omissions. Let’s do it.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer sold out almost immediately in the UK. Asus explained: “initial demand for the Eee Pad Transformer has been far beyond our expectations. Please accept our sincere apologies for the difficulties regarding stock availability with our retail partners.”

However, there were suggestions that Asus was attempting to mask supply shortages with the implication that consumers had gone Transformer crazy.

In any case, a quick google search for the tablet yields a host of 4 and 5-star reviews. Pocket-lint said: “we love it” (4.5/5) and Tech Radar reckons the Eee Pad Transformer is “without question, the most attractive Android tablet yet to hit the shelves.” (4.5/5)

Attack of the tablets – part 4Its USP (sorry, I hate that term) is its keyboard dock, which instantly transforms the tablet into a Honeycomb-running netbook. It’ll set you back an extra £50, but you can still use the Asus Eee Pad Transformer without it.

I think I kinda want one.

Screen: 10.1 in (1280 x 800)

Processor: 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2

OS: Honeycomb (Android 3.0)

Cameras: 5MP rear, 1.3MP front

Storage: 32GB

Weight: 680g

Price: £370 tablet, £50 keyboard

Advent Vega

The 16GB HTC Flyer, 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook and 32GB iPad 2 (all Wi-Fi only) will set you back around £400. You’re looking at an extra £70-80 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only Motorola Xoom. That’s pretty steep, man.

Incidentally, you’ll notice that those smaller 7in tablets are priced the same as the iPad, but with less internal storage. Meanwhile, the weighty Motorola Xoom is simply more expensive. Is it any wonder that Apple continues to dominate the tablet scene?

Anyway, if the above guys are a little out of your price range, you might fancy the Advent Vega. You can pick one up for under £200. You heard me.

At less than £200, the Advent Vega must be cheap crap, right? Not so. As Expert Reviews notes: “a decent tablet doesn't have to cost the earth.”

Advent keeps the cost down with a plastic body, a modest 512MB of internal storage (with an additional 4GB via Micro SD) and the omission of a rear camera. But who the hell walks around taking pictures with their 10in tablet?

On the plus side, the 10.1in display has a decent 1,024 x 600 resolution, there’s a 1GHz processor, Flash support, and even USB and HDMI ports. Not too shabby for less than £200, huh?

Attack of the tablets – part 4Screen: 10.1 in (1,024 x 600)

Processor: 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2

OS: Froyo (Android 2.2)

Cameras: no rear-facing, 1.3MP front

Storage: 512MB, 4GB Micro SD

Weight: 700g

Price: £199.99

Read more in Attack of the tablets part 1, part 2 and part 3.

Read more about: ASUS Eee Pad TransformerAndroid

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 1 comment

Stelph  Jun. 3, 2011 at 13:45

I have the Vega which is essentially to tablets what the ZTE is to smartphones, the device that shows manufacturers and customers (who are paying attention) that it is possible to create a good, cheap device well below the price of the "big names" that will then sell out whenever it comes on the market. Plus with projects to update the ROM (check out XDA Devs') and to port Honeycomb to the tablet the Advent looks to be a solid budget alternative to something like the Xoom (tho does require the knowledge to update it!)

Really hoping there will be an Advent Vega 2 in the future, and maybe even a 7" version


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