The iPad is not the only tablet……

It has to be acknowledged that the iPad came, saw and totally conquered, but in the scramble by every technology company (and its cheaper Taiwanese uncle!) to jump on the tablet bandwagon and steal some of the iPad's hold on the market, some really good tablet computers have emerged, we have chosen our two from the pack. So before you automatically reach for an iPad, have a look about, you might save a few pounds, but crucially also you might find a tablet that offers some functionality suited perfectly to your needs.

1. Sony Tablet S

First of all, we love the way this tablet looks, Sony have designed it to ergonomically fit to your hand and, it is very comfortable; according to Sony providing a more natural angle for typing and browsing whilst sitting down – basically its kinda wedge shaped.

Sony Tablet S

The Sony Tablet S weighs in at 600g (incidentally the same as the iPad 2), its design makes it look different to other tablets out there, and it does havethat same design feel about it that for so long has allowed Sony to be considered a premium brand, it doesn’t feel cheap or, or like a iPad rip-off.

The nitty gritty:

  • dual-core Tegra 2 processor
  • processor speed – 1GHz
  • Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
  • 1 GB of memory
  • Display – TFT Colour LCD 23.8 cm/9.4”
  • SD expansion slot
  • Either 16GB or 32GB
  • Front and rear cameras
  • 1080p video capture and playback; and
  • of course with it being Sony, they have taken the opportunity to integrate and the tablet has PlayStation Certification, which means access to exclusive titles and games, and Sony created apps, and includes a universal remote for controlling all of your Sony products.

In the very competitive tablet market even Sony have had to acknowledge the squeeze on prices and what consumers will pay, so the Sony Tablet S (16GB) is price set by Sony at £399.00 but we were able to find it at £298.98.

We like it – the lack of apps is not surprising and perhaps a drawback, but for those who like the premium edge of Sony designed products and like the idea of taking some of the PlayStation fun to a tablet, we think its worth a look.

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

We choose the Galaxy as our number two, because it really does offer something different to the IPad, in that its dinky and its very light – its 7 inch screen and 344 g weight, make it a good choice for those looking for more than a smart phone, but less than a full on 10 inch tablet experience. The lighter price will also suit those looking to dip into the tablet market without so much of a sting in the pocket! BUT – inevitably the smaller size and the smaller price (under £200.00) do mean that Samsung has cut a few corners, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is good looking (if a little bland in its design), but the screen resolution is one area where the Galaxy Tab 2.7.0 struggles to keep up with its rivals, at 1,024 x 600 the display can’t match pricier compact tablets, however a pixel density of 170ppi does ensure graphics still look crisp.

The nitty gritty:

  • 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430
  • 1GB of memory
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Display – 7.0-inch TFT display, WSVGA (1024×600) resolution
  • 8GB – built-in microSD card slot
  • Camera – 3.2MP rear-facing (photographs) – VGA front-facing (video)

The biggest detractor from the Galaxy Tab 2.7.0 for us had to be the Samsung's TouchWiz interface, yes it does give the tablet a look all of its own (along with other Samsung's), we just don’t like it, it seems a little dated although as far as functionality and intuitiveness goes it works, we just didn’t feel it adds enough to the Galaxy Tab 2.7.0. But overall for a smaller more compact tablet that you wont feel too conspicuous whipping out on the train, this tablet is perfect, its great price and Samsung functionality cannot be understated. 

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