Tablets, tablets, tablets – buyers’ guide

Tablets, tablets, tablets – buyers’ guideThey’re finally here, dudes. The spanking new big-name tablets we met at CES and Mobile World Congress have arrived. Ok, most of ‘em. As such, I decided to have a wee (virtual) shop around and see what’s what.

The iPad 2 is the undisputed King of the Tablets, so its competitors are all a tad cheaper, right? Well, no. As we’ve observed several times in the past couple of weeks, the done thing seems to be pricing one’s tablet identically to the iPad 2. What the…?

I've mostly gone with official prices, and had a quick gander at Amazon and Play and the likes for sneaky deals. If I've missed any whopping great bargains, hit us up with a comment below.

iPad 2

Let’s start with the big cheese. The iPad 2 sets the bar with the following menu:

  • 16GB – Wi-Fi only: £399, 3G: £499
  • 32GB – Wi-Fi only: £479, 3G: £579
  • 64GB – Wi-Fi only: £559, 3G: £659

The iPad 2 is a safe bet. It’s here to stay, and has plenty of app support and what not. I guess the lack of Flash is a bit pants, but whatever.

HTC Flyer

Ahh, we had such high hopes for the HTC Flyer when it first appeared in February. Alas, taking on the iPad 2 with a 7in Gingerbread-running tablet seems like a taller order than even we’d imagined.

Tablets, tablets, tablets – buyers’ guideHere are the official prices (from HTC Flyer Store):

  • 32GB – Wi-Fi & 3G: £599.99
  • 16GB – Wi-Fi only: £479.99

So the 16GB Wi-Fi only HTC Flyer is the same price as the 32GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2. That’s hardly aggressive pricing. Suicidal is perhaps more accurate.

It’s absolutely worth mentioning that the HTC Flyer is a little cheaper from Amazon. The 32GB 3G model is £567.99, while the 16GB Wi-Fi only chap is £441.65. That’s a bit more like it.

HP TouchPad

I wrote about this guy the other day, so I won’t repeat myself. Essentially the prices are identical to the iPad 2.

BlackBerry PlayBook

Fancy some QNX tablet action? The BlackBerry PlayBook has received decidedly mixed reviews, but, y’know, some people like RIM. Brand loyalty and all that.

Here’s how much the BlackBerry PlayBook will set you back at The Carphone Warehouse:

  • 16GB – Wi-Fi only: £399
  • 32GB – Wi-Fi only: £479
  • 64GB – Wi-Fi only: £559

Tablets, tablets, tablets – buyers’ guideAgain, as with the HTC Flyer, the BlackBerry PlayBook is cheaper from Amazon, with up to £70 off those prices from The Carphone Warehouse. Furg it; let’s list them:

  • 16GB – Wi-Fi only: £329.98
  • 32GB – Wi-Fi only: £414.99
  • 64GB – Wi-Fi only: £510.63

This is where I’m tempted to bring my hugely over-used phrase “significantly sexier” into play. A 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook for a slither under £330? Not too shabby.

Motorola Xoom

The Motorola Xoom has the honour of being the world’s first Honeycomb tablet. True story. It’s also, uhm, pretty heavy, at 730g. That’s the first thing you’ll notice when you pick it up.

Tablets, tablets, tablets – buyers’ guideThere are all sorts of 3G tariffs for the Motorola Xoom. Same as smartphones, you can pay less up front and more per month and what have you. Straight to Amazon this time:

  • 32GB – Wi-Fi only: £448.95
  • 32GB – Wi-Fi & 3G: £579.99

The 32GB Wi-Fi only model is usually £479.99, so again it’s a case of “same as the iPad 2”.

It goes without saying that a Motorola Xoom 2 is thought to be in the works.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

I figured it was worth throwing in a mention for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, it being the biggest selling tablet behind the iPad ‘n’ all. Well, according to Asus.

Tablets, tablets, tablets – buyers’ guideIf you’re contemplating the keyboard dock for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, it’s a good idea to grab it along with the tablet. Sold separately, the keyboard dock is around £100.

At the time of writing, the standalone Asus Eee Pad Transformer is £359.99 from Amazon. Throw in the keyboard and you’re looking at £429.99.

A 3G version is coming soon (August, I believe), and the Asus Eee Pad Slider is due in autumn.

Read more about: Apple iPad 2ASUS Eee Pad TransformerBlackberry PlaybookHTC FlyerMotorola Xoom MZ601

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