How the iPad is changing the face of music

Taking to tablets to lay down tracks
How the iPad is changing the face of music

Android may be catching up fast, but it was the iPad that made the tablet a must-have piece of kit for any self-respecting gadget aficionado. For the while, at least, the iPad continues to lead the charge and, though its games, web browsing and playing about on Facebook and?Twitter are as popular as ever; it's also managed to infiltrate the music industry. We're not just talking about the fact?that the tablet can house your entire iTunes music library. It's also fast becoming a useful tool for?musical types, both professional and amateur.

The most high-profile use of Apple's tablet by a pro musician so far involves the latest album from ex-Blur?frontman Damon Albarn's hip-hop project Gorillaz, which was created largely on his iPad during a 32-day?tour of North America. The album uses real instruments and vocals combined with a good helping of?synthesizers with Albarn making use of around 20 apps including Korg iELECTRIBE, Moog Filatron and?FunkBox Drum Machine. It perfectly illustrates the convenience of being able to lay down tracks on a?device, while on the move, with no access to a desktop computer or studio.

Convenience and portability are obviously two great benefits, especially, as with Albarn, plenty of musicians spend a great deal of time on the road; however the bonus of using a tablet goes further than that, as accessory brand Griffin's PR director, Jackie Ballinger, told us.

"Technology, like the iPad enables musicians to become mobile without losing quality, now people are able?to make music anywhere without limitations and without substantial costs.

"With the iPad and relevant apps a less costly alternative to recording studios and instruments, aspiring musicians have the opportunity to produce professional recording using solely these means."

Money appears to be one of the most important factors - not exactly shocking when you consider the huge?cost involved in putting an album together. If an artist can record an album for less, then why not?

The cost?of producing a chart album is estimated to be a whopping ?250,000, so it's hardly surprising that musicians?are opting for a more affordable route, especially those who don't have a record deal and are producing the work themselves. Two-piece US indie band The Ultramods managed?to produce an entire album (entitled Underwear Party) in just 2 weeks, only using GarageBand for iPad.?

While there are plenty of music apps available for the iPad, it's been Apple's own GarageBand that really?brought the idea of the iPad as a musical tool into the mainstream. Currently the top-selling paid-for music?app on the iTunes store, GarageBand is a bargain at just ?2.99 and enables you to lay down multiple tracks?using a variety of virtual instruments, as well as recording vocals using the built-in microphone. With US?iPad prices starting at $499, along with the $4.99 for the GarageBand, that puts the basic cost of The?Ultramods's?album production at just under $505. The equivalent in the UK would be ?399 for the iPad and??2.99 for the app - ?401.99 in total, less than a five-hundredth of the cost of the pro route.

Although GarageBand for iPad has yet to be widely used by any other big-name bands in the music world (no offence to The?Ultramods), it certainly seems to be making headway. Marillion keyboard player and CEO of the Featured?Artists Coalition, Mark Kelly, recently told Pocket-lint in an exclusive interview:

"I love using GarageBand on the iPad - it's fantastic. You can touch a key and slide your finger up and it'll?bend the note up and you can do that with two different fingers on two notes at the same time and move?them at different intervals, which is something you cannot do on anything else and it sounds great. I've?never heard anything like it before. I'll definitely be using that on our next album."

It's not just guitars, keyboards and drums that have made their way onto Apple's tablet. There are plenty of?quirky digital instruments that have also been ported across. Yamaha's unusual and somewhat baffling?Tenori-on - famously used by electro-pop songstress Little Boots - has also been given the iPad treatment. This space-age electronic instrument?features a grid of 256 LED switches that can be used to produce tunes by controlling the time and pitch of?the sounds made by each button. The iPad version uses much the same system and is even a similar size?to the original instrument

Other quirky instruments that have been ported across to the iPad include the Haken Continuum Fingerboard, a MIDI instrument used on stage by prog rocker and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, which can be?used on the tablet courtesy of the MorphWiz app; while experimental musicians can also get their hands on?an iPad version of Reactable - the weird, electric blue touchscreen tabletop instrument that Bjork used on her Volta tour?(also now available for Android).

Part of the appeal here is that you can not only access multiple instruments on one device, but also use gear?that many of us wouldn't be able to afford. While most of us could stretch to a cheap keyboard?or guitar, it's unlikely that many could shell out the €9,700 asking price for the real Reactable?experience (which works out at just under ?8,500). The fact that most of these apps cost less than 20?quid make them a great option for opening up the world of music to those that don't have a bottomless pit of cash. But, the iPad music revolution doesn't begin and end with apps. Apple's touchscreen device?has also spawned plenty of accessories.

Accessory maker Griffin is perhaps the most well-known brand when it comes to music-based add-ons for the iPad. The US company produces several iPad-flavoured products including the Griffin GuitarConnect, which can be used to plug your guitar into your Apple tablet or phone. With the help of the iShred Live app, this?nifty little lead effectively turns your iDevice into a mini guitar rig. Griffin also produces the StompBox which?can be used with the same app as a controller for the virtual onscreen pedals, while the Mic Stand Mount?enables you to attach your iPad to any standard microphone stand and the DJ Cable works in?conjunction with the Djay app.

Griffin isn't the only brand to make full use of the iPad's popularity among musicians. Samson Tech?produces the Meteor Mic - a plug and play USB studio microphone that can be teamed with your laptop or?iPad. While using 21st century technology, the product has been designed to look like an old-fashioned chrome mic,?albeit with an integrated folding tripod that allows for flexible positioning. So, there's no need for a separate?microphone stand. The company told us:

"Musical iPad accessories are proving to be enormously popular. They open up professional recording and?mixing abilities to casual musicians and talented artists that might not have had access to the equipment?they needed. People can produce entire studio-quality albums with an iPad and a Meteor Mic."

So, although costs can theoretically be reduced by doing things on the cheap with an iPad, is this really the way?forward for the music industry? While the Gorillaz album was largely created using an Apple tablet, it was still mixed and mastered at the famous Abbey Road Studios. So, it can't fully replace the musical wizardry offered by a professional studio. Taking one step back though, could the iPad and these?musical apps ever become at least commonplace among the professionals??Samson Tech told us:

"The technology and acoustics behind studio recording will always?outperform an iPad.?The apps are more likely to become the norm among DJs rather than straight musicians. Recording studios will always be preferred, but for a?musician on a budget, the iPad makes perfect sense."

So, while tablets may be the future of music for some?cash-strapped musicians who are trying to put together an album on a shoestring budget, it seems that they're unlikely to take over from the?professional studio approach anytime soon, if ever. So, what can we expect to see next?

While there are books of musical notation and guitar tablature available - including individual songs - in?the books section of iTunes, it seems strange that this is an area that Apple has, so far, not fully exploited. Muzibook offers free PDFs that can be read using iBooks or compatible sheet reader music apps, but the Cupertino powerhouse has yet to launch its own sheet music service.

We wouldn't be surprised if Apple was to introduce a separate sheet music section to the iTunes store at some point, purely because?of the iPad's increasing popularity among musicians and the fact that it's so well suited to carrying a?selection of digital sheet music around without the need for reams of paper. Develop an app that could listen to what you're playing and "turn the pages" for you, and we could be seeing tablets on music stands everywhere.

We would also expect to see more accessories like the StompBox and the Meteor Mic launching, and?maybe we might even start to see licensed products from music brands such as guitar experts Fender and?Gibson or drum maker Pearl. Whatever happens next, it seems likely that the iPad will continue to take the?music world by storm as an ever-increasing array of blindingly good apps continue to emerge.

Related links:

Tags: Tablets Apple iPad iPad 2 Audio iPad apps Gorillaz Griffin Griffin GuitarConnect Cable iShred Griffin StompBox TNR-i Yamaha Yamaha Tenori-on Reactable MorphWiz GarageBand Features

How the iPad is changing the face of music  How the iPad is changing the face of music  How the iPad is changing the face of music  How the iPad is changing the face of music 

How the iPad is changing the face of music originally appeared on on Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:49:00 +0100

Best iPad apps for musicians

Pick of the bunch for music makers
Best iPad apps for musicians

The iPad's big, friendly screen and instantaneous swipe control, not to mention its portability, make it an excellent tool for musicians, whether that's for laying down and mixing tracks, tuning a guitar or simply horsing around on a set of virtual bongos. With Blur frontman Damon Albarn recording the most recent Gorillaz album entirely on an iPad, it's clear that this isn't just for amateurs - Apple's tablet and it's associated apps have opened up a whole new world for musicians.

The selection of music-based apps available is huge so we've trawled iTunes for the pick of the bunch. Without further ado, here are the best iPad apps for musicians.


Originally a Mac OS application, GarageBand was ported over to iOS for the launch of the iPad 2 and is?probably the most well-known iPad music apps, as well as being a great all-rounder. Using a whole bandful?of virtual instruments - including piano, guitar and drums - GarageBand can be used as a virtual studio for?laying down multiple tracks. You can even plug an electric guitar in to record some genuine riffs, while the?on-board microphone can be used to capture your warblings.

The beauty of this app is that it's so easy to use, making it ideal for beginners. Priced at just ?2.99, this?one is an absolute steal.?


Pianist Pro

You might recognise this popular piano app from the Apple TV ads - it's the one that enables you to tickle?the ivories without even having to lift a piano lid, thanks to its mind-bogglingly reaslistic sound. The app also?includes a drum machine and an arpeggiator - a feature that automatically steps through an arpeggio of?notes (meaning the notes of a chord, played separately).?

Pianist Pro supports MIDI control of external synths and you can even choose from a selection of scales?(such as pentatonic or natural minor) or create your own, then swipe the screen to play back the notes in?any key. All very clever stuff and a bargain, at just ?2.99.

Piano Accordio Pro

Taking the piano idea one step further, this fun yet functional app recreates the experience of playing an?accordion, without the need to invest in your own squeezebox - all you need to shell out is ?2.49. Like the?real thing, there's a keyboard on one side and a button arrangement on the other and if you've got a?sturdy iPad dock, then you can even play the app with the iPad standing up and facing away from you, for?an even more realistic accordion experience.

The app enables you to scroll along the keyboard to change the key and you can also play along to?music in your library. Pick your tune wisely, is our advice. There are some songs that really don't need to?be heard on an accordion.

MiniSynth Pro

Ported over from the iPhone, MiniSynth Pro is a professional-grade virtual analogue synthesizer and is great?for both beginners and seasoned musicians. The app includes all sorts of technical-sounding things such as?"dual syncable oscillators" and "zero latency sound processing" but the intuitive interface helps to keep?things?manageable.

The app also includes USB MIDI support for external controllers. The price tag is currently reduced by 50%,?making it just ?2.99, so get in quick.


This clever app is based on the famous Korg ELECTRIBE-R drum machine, which first appeared in 1999.?Converted for use on the iPad, the tablet version is known as the Korg iELECTRIBE and will set you back??13.99. The retro-tinged graphics mean that the app looks like the real thing to make it as intuitive as?possible. The 16-step sequencer can be used to build your very own tune using up to eight different layers.

The best part is that you can share your finished work on SoundCloud (provided that you're a registered?user).

Drum Meister Grand

This one is fairly self-explanatory - it lets you play the drums from your Apple tablet without the need to?find the space to house a drumkit or to soundproof your home. Priced at just ?1.49, Drum Meister Grand?offers four different drum kit sounds - rock, jazz, dance and electronic - with a straightforward visual?interface that puts you in the drummer's seat. There are 10 basic drum components and you can play 12?different sounds simultaneously.?

You can add, remove or even resize components to find the most comfortable setup for your fingers and?there's also an optional metronome to keep you in time. There are 40 pre-recorded beats or you can?record and save your own concoctions.


This wacky app was partly inspired by the Haken Continuum Fingerboard, an equally bizarre MIDI?instrument used on stage by Jordan Rudess - best known as the keyboardist from prog rockers Dream?Theater. Like the real thing, the app is essentially a vertical grid-based instrument that assigns audio?waveforms as visual shapes on the grid. These can then be morphed by tapping the screen, while you can?also control the initial pitch of any note (you can control up to 10 notes simultaneously). You can also?control lots of other elements such as vibrato and tremolo and choose from different scales and chords to?assign to the playing surface.

All this can be yours for ?6.99 and the good news is that even if you have absolutely no idea what you're?doing, MorphWiz is still great fun to play with.


The iPad version of Yamaha's baffling Tenori-on instrument - famously used by electro popstrel Little Boots -?looks very similar to the real thing. The 16 x 16 grid of buttons can be used to create tunes with?the horizontal lines controlling time and the vertical lines dedicated to pitch. You can record up to 16 layers?which combine to form rhythms and melodies. What's more, each sound makes the corresponding button?glow, so you'll end up with a virtual light show that plays in time with your tune. On top of that, there are?various modes that can be fired up to alter the results.

As well as being a tool for serious electro-tinged music, this one is also good fun to tinker with, even for?non-musos and at ?13.99, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than the real thing, which will set you back several?hundred quid.


Another app inspired by a weird musical instrument, this one is based on the Reactable - a round tabletop-based touchscreen invention, famously used by Bjork on her Volta tour. Like the real thing, the iPad app?version combines sampling with modular synthesis, digital audio effects and combines them via multi-touch?control. The app offers lots of flexibility from uploading your own loops and choosing from a large range of?instruments to creating distortion, compresson and reverb.?

You can also control basics like tempo and tone or delve further into the world of LFO (low frequency?oscillators) with differing waveforms. Yours for ?6.99.

Looptastic HD

If looping is your thing, then look no further. Looptastic HD (?10.49) enables you to create your own?remixes using a catalogue of over 900 existing loops from styles including hip hop, dubstep and trance. The?loops can be downloaded over the web from the Loop Store or you can record your own using the built-in?microphone or import AIFF, WAV, or OGG files over a web connection.

You can also record your performance and export to Mac or PC as 16-bit stereo AIFF files or share your?remix on SoundCloud. All loops are automatically time-stretched to fit the master tempo, so it really?couldn't be any easier.

Studio Track

Studio Track is essentialy an eight-track recorder, in iPad form, meaning that budding songwriters can lay?down tracks while on the fly. It's got all the usual bells and whistles that you'd expect, such as a?metronome for keeping time and the ability to monitor and record playback levels.?

Audio can be imported into the app via email attachment or by dragging them into StudioTrack's file sharing?area under Apps in iTunes - WAV, MP3 and AIFF file formats are supported. You'll also be able to add effects?such as reverb and delay to your vocals and instruments, making recording demos an absolute piece of?cake. Not bad for ?13.99

iShred Live

Designed for use with the Griffin GuitarConnect cable and the Griffin StompBox, this app enables you turn?your Apple tablet into a portable guitar rig. The basic offering includes a pedal board sporting a Q-36?space modulator, HK-2000 digital delay (with tap tempo) and buzz kill. You can also switch between clean?and overdrive channels and there are six preset effects along with the option to create up to 48 of your?own, which are split into eight colour-coded banks.The app is free to download, and you can beef up the?basic offering through a selection of in-app purchases including a super fuzz pedal, variable waveform?tremolo and a compressor pedal.

This is a great app for indulging in a little bit of guitar time without having to setup your full-size rig and it's?worth downloading for the guitar tuner alone. There's also a four-track loop recorder on board.

REVIEW - GuitarConnect

HANDS-ON - Griffin StompBox


Not to be confused with Griffin's StompBox iPad accessory, this app enables you to turn your Apple tablet?into a digital effects unit for your guitar. Along with a guitar tuner, metronome and loop recording tools,?StompBox also includes a rack of 17 stereo effects, along with seven types of distortion effect (including overdrive and fuzz). Once you've built up your own library of patches, you can switch between?them using the virtual pedal.

The built-in media player enables you to load up your favourite MP3s to play along to and you can even?slow them down, without changing the pitch. You'll need to attach your axe with an iRig, which will set you?back about ?26, while the app itself has a price tag of ?13.99.

Guitarist's Reference

An invaluable point of reference for any guitarist - beginner or pro - this useful app is a one-stop shop for all?your axe-related musical theory questions. There's a guitar chord encyclopedia?containing over 3000 of the?most commonly used chords, including easy to read diagrams, as well as a guitar scale reference with 42?scale types - major, minor,?pentatonic, or diminished - they're all here. You'll also find a guide to arpeggios?along with a list of the most popular alternate guitar tunings.

On top of all that, there's a reverse chord finder tool for finding out the names of the chords that you've?come up with and there's also support for both left- and right-handed players. An absolute bargain at just??3.99.

Related links:

Tags: Mobile phone apps iPad apps Tablets Apple iPad iPad 2 GarageBand Pianist Pro Piano Accordio Pro MiniSynth Pro Korg iELECTRIBE Drum Meister Grand MorphWiz TNR-i Reactable Looptastic HD Studio Track iShred Live StompBox Griffin Griffin GuitarConnect Cable Griffin StompBox

Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians  Best iPad apps for musicians 

Best iPad apps for musicians originally appeared on on Tue, 16 Aug 2011 14:51:00 +0100

Best gadgets for kids

Kit to keep the nippers happy
Gadgets for kids

While children growing up 50 years ago might have been happy with a set of Bayko, a spinning top or a hobby horse; the kids of today are almost as savvy as adults when it comes to gadgets which is only too evident the moment they get hold of an iPad or smartphone.

One thing's for sure, wrangling over-excitable kids is a hell of a lot easier when they've got their own gadgets to play with rather than making a grab for your fancy (and expensive) tablet. That's why we've rounded up some of the best gadgets for kids around, to keep the little'uns happy as well?as ensuring that your kit stays out of harm's way.

LeapFrog LeapPad tablet

Kids seem to gravitate towards tablet like wasps around a jam sandwich on a hot summer's day, but if you?want to keep the nippers and their grubby mitts away from your iPad or Galaxy Tab then it might be?worth getting them a LeapFrog LeapPad to play with. At just ?80, it's a fair bit cheaper than a proper tablet,?and sports a robust, child-friendly casing along with a 5-inch TFT resistive touchscreen with a 480 x 272?resolution, a tethered stylus, 2GB of storage and a webcam for stills and video. There's also an?accelorometer for games along with a cartridge slot for playing any LeapFrog Leapster Explorer?games that you may have.?

The LeapPad sports an iPad-esque UI, based on a grid of apps and additional apps can be loaded onto the?tablet using dedicated PC or Mac software from LeapFrog. Aimed at four to nine year-olds, the tablet?doesn't have Wi-Fi or any other connectivity on board so you won't have to worry about the kids straying?onto any dark corners of the web. The LeapPad (with green detailing) will cost ?79.99 when it launches on?15 August, while the pink-trimmed version will land on 15 September.


Griffin MyPhones headphones

The range of headphones on offer nowaways is huge, and there are even a few models around to protect?the hearing of your little angels and make sure they don't go deaf by the time they're in their teens. The?Griffin MyPhones?sport a volume limiter so that the kids can't turn the volume up beyond?85db. To put that into perspective - normal speech is around 60dB, while an MP3 player will typically play at?around 120dB.

The big, comfy cans are available in pink or blue and there are even two blank sets of inserts included that?be coloured in, giving your kids some extra scope for putting their own stamp on things as well as avoiding?the usual colour-based gender stereotyping. Yours for ?15.99.


VTech Kidizoom Twist digital camera

This 2-megapixel snapper offers kids the chance to take their own digital snaps and it even twists round so that they can take self-portraits. It's got a 4x digital zoom,?built-in flash, a small colour display and dual view finders. It's also loaded with five different games and?enables the nippers to spruce up their snaps with a selection of frames, stamps and fancy effects. It's also?got a voice recording function with different voice-changing effects, including 'robot'.

Aimed at age three upwards, the camera is available in the usual pink or blue options and will set you back??49.99. Money well spent if it means keeping your DSLR safe from tiny hands.?

Alba 16-inch LED DVD combi TV

Most kids know how to work the TV and DVD player by the time they can walk and some of them are even more at home with the technology that their parents. If you can't cope with watching the latest Disney movie for the millionth time then it might be time to reclaim your home cinema system and invest a TV for the kids' bedroom. This 16-inch panel from Alba incorporates a a DVD player and is availble in pink or black.

The ?119.99 price tag gets you an HD-ready LED panel with an integrated Freeview tuner along with a basic range of connection including an HDMI, a Scart, Composite and S-Video. There's also a PC input so that the screen can double up as a PC monitor and there's also a child lock so to ensure that the sproglets don't take up all night watching cartoons.

Sony children's TV remote control

Along with the bright green, friendly design, the Sony children's TV remote, which first launched in the US in 2010, has large, colour-coded buttons in child-friendly?shapes such as a star, a heart and a diamond. A hidden panel reveals more buttons that you can use to programme in up to seven 'parent-approved' channels so that the kids' young, innocent eyes aren't?exposed to any channels that they shouldn't be. The remote is universal, so it should work with any TV.?

It's got a range of up to 11m and there's also a volume limiter so you won't have to worry about the kids?blasting the volume out and knackering their hearing. It's also splash-proof so it should be able to survive the?inevitable?soaking in Ribena/Coke/Sunny Delight. Not bad for ?15.99.

Oregon Scientific Fun Movie Cam

Any gadgets intended for the under tens need to be pretty robust and they don't come much tougher?than the Oregon Scientific Fun Movie Cam. This sturdy camcorder has been designed to withstand the sort?of punishment that goes hand-in-hand with outdoor play, boasting waterpoofing (up to 3m) and shock?resistance. It also comes with two handy attachments so that it can be fitted to a bike helmet or?handlebars.?

Aimed at the 5+ market, the Fun Movie Cam is priced at ?49.99 and has a built-in 32MB memory that can?be boosted up to GB via SD card, but you'll have to shell out for that separately. The gadget records at?640 x 480 VGA resolution at 30 frames per second and includes cables for for playback on PC or TV.?

VTech InnoPad tablet

Along with the LeapFrog LeapPad that we've already mentioned, there's another kiddie-friendly tablet on the horizon in the form of the VTech InnoPad. This one has a 5-inch LCD touchscreen along with tilt-sensor?controls for games and the tablet will also switch automatically from portrait to landscape view. The device sports a rear-mounted stand, a stylus, headphone socket and a built-in MP3 player,?video player and various other basic apps such as calculator, calendar and notepad.

You'll be able to add?new content such as interactive books and games from VTech's Leaning Lodge Navigator by rigging up the device to a PC. The first three apps will be be free after which they'll cost ?2.99 each. What's more, a proprietary cartridge slot can be used for licensed games bundles bearing familiar names such as Cars 2 and Scooby Doo.

There's 128MB on on-board storage, while an SD card slot is included so that you can top up the memory. Like the LeapPad, there's no connectivity on board so there's no need to worry about the little ones accidentally accessing any dodgy websites. The InnoPad is due to hit the US on 15 September at $79.97 and will also come to the UK in the same month, priced at ?80. A pink-trimmed version will be available exclusively through Argos.


Disney Pixar Cars 2 portable DVD player

Where better to watch Cars for the billionth time than on a portable DVD player that's emblazoned with images of Lightning McQueen? This portable DVD player is ideal for keeping the younglings quiet on a long journey and has a rotatable 7in LCD screen with a resolution of 480 x 234. As well as DVD, the player also supports DivX, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, JPEG, MP3 and MP4 playback.?

It also includes headphones along with an AV output, a mains adaptor, car adaptor and a rechargable battery pack, along with a remote control. You can pick one up for ?99.99 and if you're looking for something a little more girly, then check out this pink Hello Kitty model, also ?99.99.

Zoostorm Fizzbook Spin

Building on the success of the original Zoostorm Fizzbook Bang - part of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project - the Zoostorm Fizzbook Spin is the latest laptop designed specifically for children and sports a?10.1 rotating, resistive touchscreen. Built with the classroom in mind, this notebook is lightweight and?durable and the screen can also be rotated to transform the Fizzbook Spin into an e-reader.

Packing an Intel Atom N450 Single Core 1.66GHz processor, the laptop sports Windows 7 Starter along?with a built-in memory of 1GB, a web cam and Wi-Fi connectivity. At ?479.80, it's the most expensive?gadget in our round-up but probably the most educational.

Samsung TicToc YP-S1AL

Aimed squarely at the younger market, the Samsung TicToc is available in 2 or 4GB version with a choice of pink or blue, both of which come with a removable, clear plastic case that's decorated with a pattern. If you can't afford to splash out on a PlayStation Move or Xbox Kinect, you might just be able to distract the nippers with this tiny motion-controlled gadget. As the look suggests, this is a fairly basic player, but you should be able to cram around 10,000 tracks onto the 4GB version so it's certainly worth a look.

The TicToc supports playback of MP3, AAC, WMA, Ogg, FLAC and WAV audio files and at just ?27.99 for the 4GB version or just ?16.98 for the 2GB model, this one won't break the bank.


Related links:

Tags: Tablets Toys LeapFrog Audio Headphones Griffin Griffin MyPhones Cameras Home Cinema Televisions DVD players Camcorders Laptops MP3 players Features VTech VTech Kidizoom Twist Alba Sony Sony childrens TV remote control Oregon Scientific Oregon Scientific Fun Movie Cam VTech InnoPad Disney Cars 2 Disney Cars 2 portable DVD player Zoostorm Zoostorm Fizzbook Spin Samsung Samsung TicToc YP-S1AL LeapFrog LeapPad VTech InnoTab

Gadgets for kids  Gadgets for kids  Gadgets for kids 

Best gadgets for kids originally appeared on on Tue, 09 Aug 2011 15:48:15 +0100

Jessops debuts tablet for in-store printing

To sit alongside existing printing kiosks
Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing

Jessops is set to introduce an exclusive tablet that will sit alongside its in-store kiosks in order to make?printing your snaps even easier.

Produced by software company Lucidiom - which provides the software for Jessops' printing kiosks - the tablet runs on Windows 7 and will offer all the same photo?printing options as the kiosks. The tablets will feature a USB port so that you'll be able?to bring your USB stick or storage device into store in order to edit and prints your snaps. You'll also be able?to prints pictures from SD card, or simply transfer snaps from your Bluetooth or Wi-Fi-enabled portable?devices.

The screen size wasn't confirmed, but the tablet on show looked to be around 12in. However, this is just?the initial model, so it could well be slightly different by the time it reaches stores and the company intends?to move with tablet trends as they develop, so we could well be seeing tablets sporting different screen?sizes turning up in stores in the future. We found the tablet itself to be a little on the heavy side, so we?wouldn't be suprised if a slightly smaller device replaces the somewhat chunky device that we saw.?

The UI was very simple to use and is basically a newer version of the kiosk software, ported over to the?tablet. The device itself didn't feel quite as responsive as the top tier tablets like the iPad, but the touch operation was still fairly impressive.

Lucidiom's European marketing manager, Michael A. Clayton-Gale, told us: "People are making more and?more use of tablet devices and that's a trend that we're keen to get involved with. While we expect to keep our kiosks in-store, the?tablet will offer people the flexibility to move around the store or sit down while they deal with their snaps -?ideal for those who have their hands full with shopping or who've got the children with them while they?shop. The tablets are due to hit stores a selection of stores, initially in Manchester , in September 2011.?We're keen to see how customers react - and we'll be taking note of any feedback for future versions of?the software.?

"We expect the tablets to be available in a large number of stores by Christmas and we would hope that they would be?in all stores by early 2012."

Tags: Tablets Cameras Jessops Lucidiom

Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing  Jessops debuts tablet device for in-store printing 

Jessops debuts tablet for in-store printing originally appeared on on Thu, 21 Jul 2011 16:57:27 +0100

Hannspree HANNSpad

Does this budget tablet deliver?
Hannspree HANNSpad

Tablets may be the gadget of the moment, but their relatively high prices still put them out of reach for many tech fans who simply can't spare the funds for what is, essentially, a toy for grown-ups. Even those that turn their noses up at Apple products because of their notoriously steep price tags will have noticed most of the top-tier Android tablets are just as pricey if not more so. That's why is nice to see Hannspree - best known for its PC monitors and novelty TVs - offering a reasonably priced Android-based option for just ?250.

The Hannspree HANNSpad sports a 10.1-inch screen that puts it up there with tablets such as the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, in terms of display size at least. Measuring in at 260 x 171 x 13.9mm, the HANNSpad is a slightly chunky beast, so it is no surprise that in tips the scales at 750g. However, to be fair, it's only marginally heavier than the Xoom so we can't make it down too heavily. It may be a minor point, but the power adaptor is also rather on the heavy side.


The fascia itself is glossy black, with a silver trim that bleeds round to the edges of the device. Needless to say, the shiny black portion (along with the screen) is something of a fingerprint magnet, but then that's pretty much the same for most tablets. The slick aesthetics don't quite make it round to the back of the chassis, which is made from black plastic, unlike some of the fancier models around.

The device is clearly designed to be used for the majority of the time in landscape mode, as hinted at by the Hannspree logo along the longer edge. It will automatically switch to portrait mode when tipped, although the fact that the border along one side of the screen is bigger than that on the other side makes it slightly distracting as it makes it feel as though the tablet isn't designed to be viewed this way. You can turn off the auto-rotate in the settings menu if it bothers you.

Naturally, most of the fascia is taken up with the screen, but you'll also find the familiar Android-themed Home, Menu and Back touch-senstitive controls on the upper right of the display. These are well placed for navigating around the menus and for web browsing as they're located where your thumb naturally sits when holding the tablet. However, we did find that we accidentally knocked the home button a few times when holding the tablet to watch videos. At the bottom left of the screen are indicators for power and charge (red during charging and green when fully charged), along with a Wi-Fi indicator. The power button is logically placed on the right of the top edge of the tablet, while the volume up and down controls are over on the left-hand side.


In terms of connections - the HANNSpad is fairly well equipped, and features a Mini-USB, mini-HDMI (with 1080p support), along with the obvious power and headphone ports - all located down the left-hand edge. There's also a microSD slot next to the power jack, so that you can top up the on-board memory. There's no 3G support, so this is a Wi-Fi-only device, albeit with Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity.

Like a number of other budget (and non-budget devices) the HANNSpad is powered by a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz CPU, along with 512MB of RAM. Operation is generally speedy, although there was a slight delay in loading up pages when browsing the web. Other than that, surfing the Internet is a fuss-free affair, and the multi-touch support means than you can easily pinch-zoom pages for easy reading.

The HANNSpad has 16GB of built-in storage, which isn't a bad basic offering and will be more than enough for a lot of users. However, if you intend to store a lot of multimedia files, then you might want to upgrade the memory. Like most other Android tablets running Froyo, Hannspree's device offers expandable memory up to 32GB, via microSD card.

The HANNSpad has no camera capability whatsoever, so if you want a tablet to use for video calling then this is probably the end of the line for you. If taking snaps and video with a tablet doesn't bother you, then obviously this won't be a deal-breaker.

A Froyo affair

If you're expecting to find the tablet-centric Honeycomb version of Android, then you'll be disappointed. Hannspree's tablet runs on the decidedly smartphone-flavoured Android Froyo (2.2). There won't be a Android 3.0 update for the HANNSpad, but Hannspree is set to launch a new, Honeycomb-flavoured, version around September.

In the meantime, the HANNSpad doesn't offer the the familiar customisable Android homescreens as Google's OS is pretty much hidden by an overlay of the Tap UI, previously used by ViewSonic on its ViewPad 10s. It's fairly basic, but is well suited to tablet use and makes navigating around the settings menus nice and simple.?The screen is pretty responsive and although not quite as instant as some of the more expensive tablets around, it's decent enough not to be annoyingly sluggish.?

It's also worth noting that the browser supports Adobe Flash, an advantage that Android has over its biggest rival, iOS. The QWERTY keyboard is also a nice thought - it uses the whole width of the screen so it's comparable in size to a netbook. However, it's split into two halves for some reason and is pretty difficult to type on. It's ok for tapping in a URL (although we had to use the delete button quite a bit), but you'd need to have the patience of a saint to type out a full document on it.

Home screen

The home screen has a basic array of functions - you'll find all the usual suspects along the bottom of the screen, including icons for News, Web, Clock, Contacts, Mail, Photos, Music and Video. The News app works particularly well, offering a selection of headlines from a wide variety of sources, such as Reuters, The Financial Times, BBC, The Telegraph, Wall Street Journal and Al Jazeera. Clicking on each headline will bring up a page from the source's website, then you can skip straight back to the headline round-up or continue browing around your chosen website.

There's also a To-Do list icon (self explanatory) along with a Grocery icon that will let you create and store shopping lists. Other apps include the Libreka! ebook store (pre-loaded with a copy of Robinson Crusoe) which displays your books on a virtual wooden bookshelf, similar to Apple's iBooks, although most of the content itself was in German, so of limited appeal. You'll also find ES File Explorer - a handy place for accessing the files that you've got stored on the built-in memory and on your memory card. It's a logical folder-based widget that's easy to use, although why Hannspree has chosen a background image of Father Christmas and his sleigh in the night sky, we may never know. You'll also find that Angry Birds has thoughtfully been pre-loaded for you.

However, one huge disadvantage of the HANNSpad is the lack of access to Android Market, as is often the case with these budget?tablets. Instead you'll find the rather lacklustre App Center, which offers a ring-fenced selection of apps - both free and paid-for. We tried to search for a random selection of well-known Android apps and couldn't find many of them at all. We also found that several apps that we downloaded failed to install, while Tweetdeck was installed but crashed as soon as we tried to open it. Having said that, we did manage to successfully install some apps including Twitter client Plume.

The tablet lets you create up to six different user accounts for different members of the family, although these are very limited. It doesn't even let you log in under different passwords, making the concept of separate profiles a bit of a nonsense.


The 10.1-inch screen sports a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels (117ppi) which isn't that much lower than what's offered by the likes of the iPad 2, although it's still not quite up to the same standard and it's also lower than the resolutions offered by the other 10.1-inchers from Motorola and Samsung.

Viewing the screen straight-on offers a decent picture although images do tend to look a tad soft, particularly on high-def footage. Although the quality of the screen isn't fantastic, but it's more than good enough to watch a film or catch up on some TV. However, the viewing angle isn't very wide at all and we found that moving even slightly to the side has a relatively dramatic affect on the picture quality.

The audio offered by the built-in speaker in the back of the chassis is pretty lame and it sounds very tinny if you crank the volume up. When watching videos, we switched to headphones, where the audio performance is much better and easily good enough to enjoy sitting through a TV programme or film. The HANNSpad supports a selection of video files comprising WMV, MOV, MPEG1, MPEG4/ H.264. Along with video files, the tablet also supports JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP photo files as well as MP3, MPEG1 and WMA audio formats.

The HANNSpad features a 3650mAh battery that is quoted as offering around 8 hours of running time. It's not quite up to the 10-hour mark set by the iPad, but it's still a considerable time for a budget tablet and puts it way ahead of HTC's Flyer and its rather paltry 4 hours.


Overall, the Hannpree HANNSpad isn't a bad tablet, especially considering its budget price tag. The screen is a decent size, and while the quality isn't perfect, it's certainly good enough for watching a films. However, there are a number of niggles that could put you off buying Hannspree's tablet. Along with the lack of Android Market, there's also the absense of any kind of camera, along with the limited viewing angle from the screen, so it doesn't really progress on any number of existing budget devices we've seen.

If you want a tablet for web browsing, checking the odd email, tweeting or watching videos then the HANNSpad is a great choice, especially if you haven't got a massive amount of cash at hand. However, if it's apps and a slick, well-rounded tablet that you're after then you might want to look elsewhere and the extra investment needed for a Honeycomb tablet would serve you well.

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Tags: Tablets HANNspree Hannspree HANNSpad Android Android 2.2

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Hannspree HANNSpad originally appeared on on Fri, 27 May 2011 11:26:39 +0100

HTC Flyer available now on Three in the UK

Online now, in store on 20 May
HTC Flyer available now on Three in the UK

The HTC Flyer is now available to order online from Three and will be in Three stores in the UK on 20 May.

Despite a new Three catalogue spilling the beans last week, the official rate on a monthly contract has been officially confirmed as ?30.99, rather than the ?25 initially stated.

Three's head of mobile broadband, David Kerrigan,? commented, “Three is the mobile network that carries the most UK data traffic so it’s important that we offer the best connected devices. HTC smartphones are well loved by our customers, so we are pleased to be offering the HTC Flyer from today.”

The HTC Flyer is the latest Android tablet to hit the shops in the UK and is the manufacturer's first foray into the tablet world. Packing a 7-inch screen, the Flyer runs on Android Gingerbread, along with HTC's Sense UI and includes 32GB of on-board storage.

The HTC Flyer will cost ?169 on a 24-month contract with monthly payments of ?30.99. This includes 15GB of data, which should be more than enough for most users.

Tags: Tablets HTC HTC Flyer Three Mobile

HTC Flyer available now on Three in the UK originally appeared on on Thu, 19 May 2011 16:12:42 +0100

HTC Flyer vs Motorola Xoom

Android tablets go head-to-head
Motorola Xoom vs HTC Flyer

HTC has finally stepped into the tablet arena with arrival of the HTC Flyer?onto our shopping shelves but how does it measure up to its competitors? We've already put it head to head with Apple's iPad, but how does it fare against another Android tablet and a bigger one, indeed, in the shape of the impressive Motorola Xoom? Keep reading to find out.

Form Factor

1st: HTC Flyer
195.4 x 122 x 13.2mm, 415g
2nd: Motorola Xoom
249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9mm, 730g

The dimensions of all the tablets on the market vary hugely, mainly dictated by screen size. It's no suprise that the Motorola's 10.1-inch display means that it has a substantial 249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9mm to house it in. By contrast, the HTC Flyer with its 7-inch screen is much smaller at 195.4 x 122 x 13.2mm, albeit very slightly thicker.?At just 415g, it's also much lighter than the hefty 730g Xoom.

Obviously, in this case we're not comparing two tablets with identical screen sizes, so one is inevitably going to be bigger than the other and it really comes down to a trade-off between the size of the product and how big you want the screen to be. Looking purely at specs, we have to award HTC the win in this round, because it's far more portable and a lot lighter. What's more, it's also ergonomically and aesthetically better with that familiar HTC machined metal designed that makes it just that bit more solid and pleasing to have in your hand.



1st: Motorola Xoom
10.1-inch, 1280x800px, LCD, 149ppi
2nd: HTC Flyer
7-inch, 1024x600px, LCD, 170ppi

Display is what it's all about for tablets. If it doesn't look any good then people simply aren't going to buy it. The Motorola's 10.1-inch LCD screen has already impressed the critics with its 1280x800-pixel resolution. However, despite its smaller 7-inch screen size, HTC's Flyer isn't too shabby either. Sporting 1024x600 pixels, it in fact has a marginally better pixel density although whether you can really detect the difference with your eyes is another matter. Both displays are near enough 16:9 aspect for decent widescreen viewing but, with little else to call it, you'd really have to go for the tablet with more display real estate to enjoy. Round 2 to the Xoom.


Engine Room

1st: Motorola Xoom
NVIDIA Tegra 2, 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM
2nd: HTC Flyer
Qualcomm MSM8255 1.5GHz CPU, 1GB RAM

While most of the latest top-tier tablets feature dual-core processors, HTC has stuck to a single-core chipset for its Flyer, albeit one with an impressive clock speed of 1.5GHz. The CPU is a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 with the Adreno 205 graphics chip, which more than doubles the performance of the Adreno 200. Based on the ARM Cortex-A9, the Xoom's NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset puts Motorola's tablet firmly in the dual-core camp. The 1Gz processor is joined by a ULP GeForce GPU, designed for ultra-low power consumption. Both tablets offer the same 1GB RAM count. Although the Flyer puts up a good fight, the lack of a dual-core processor means that Motorola has the edge.



Tie: HTC Flyer
32GB + microSD
Tie: Motorola Xoom
32GB + microSD

Storage is pretty important when it comes to tablets, as you'll need space for your apps, tracks and videos. There isn't that much between most models on the market (except of course for the iPad, which doesn't offer any expandable storage). The Motorola Xoom and HTC Flyer are pretty much identical in this respect as they both come with 32GB of on-board memory, along with the option to updrade (by another 32GB) using a memory card. Obviously the fact that you can swap cards in and out means that you can effectively have more than 32GB worth of content stored on card - you just won't be able to have it all available at the same time. The SD card slot on the Xoom won't work until a software update arrives soon, but as soon as it lands, it'll be fully operational, putting it neck and neck with the Flyer.



1st: Motorola Xoom
Up to 10 hrs video playback
2nd: HTC Flyer
4 hrs video playback

The quoted four hours of video playback on the Flyer isn't a very compelling reason to buy it. Apart from web browsing, the most likely uses for tablets are gaming and watching videos. If you're intending to take your tablet on a plane for some in-flight movie entertainment, then you won't get more than two sub-two hour films out of HTC's device. Meanwhile, the Xoom's quoted 10 hours of video playback will be more than enough for a transatlantic travel's worth of films and you should be able to take it out for the day without having to worry that the battery will conk out before the day is out, which, if you're using the Flyer a fair bit, is a distinct possibility.



1st: motorola xoom
Android 3.0
Tie: htc flyer
Android 2.3.3 + HTC Sense (3.0 update due)

A lot of people get very upset when we compare one OS against another, but thankfully these two tablets are both packing Android (albeit different versions), so there shouldn't be too many tears or angry comments. Motorola's Xoom runs on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) which is Google's first OS that's been designed specifically with tablets in mind. There are several benefits including the fact that it offers a full browsing experience, along with more responsive operation and redesigned apps such as Gmail - more on that here.

Meanwhile, HTC's Flyer will only be packing Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) at launch with the manufacturer's Sense UI running over the top. While a Honeycomb update has been promised, there's no telling how long it might take with Google still holding on to those minimum hardware specs for Android 3.0. While the Gingerbread and Sense experience is still quite reasonable, at the end of the day, it's a mobile phone OS and you're in the business of choosing a tablet.


Apps & Extras

Tie: HTC Flyer
HTC Sense apps + Magic Pen

Tie: Motorola Xoom
Honeycomb apps

Both of these Androids, of course, benefit from the 200,000+ apps available on the Market but the situation isn’t quite as cut and dry as all that. While the Xoom brings you a burgeoning number of specially tablet redesigned applications, HTC has had the good, yes, sense to offer some proprietary ones out of the box to help users on their way. These include the video streaming HTC Watch app; Polaris Office, for all your docs work; Snapbooth, for your images and Kid Mode which will stop your child accidentally destroying your device - unless they’re very young, of course. All of that plus the usual Sense goodies bunged in.

The other intriguing extra from HTC is that stylus known as the Magic Pen which you can use to write on the screen freehand instead of your finger. Now, it’s not for everyone and it’s not for all the time but it’s certainly going to be of interest to some users, and, all in all, we reckon that those bonuses just about make up for the lack of Honeycomb in the apps department. Expect that balance of power to shift if and when HTC manages to get the Android upgrade.



1st: Motorola Xoom
5MP rear, 2MP front, 720p video
2nd: HTC Flyer
5MP rear, 1.3MP front, 720p video

Whether your tablet has a built-in camera or not may be completely irrelevant to you as it's not really what they're made for. However, most self-respecting tablet devices now come equipped with a camera or two (even the iPad). The Xoom and the Flyer are fairly evenly matched in this respect with Motorola's tablet packing a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing cam, along with 720p video capture, while HTC's device has a similar 5MP rear cam, along with 720p and a front-facing cam with a very slightly lower pixel count of 1.3MP. The Xoom wins on specs thanks to the marginally higher pixel count which might not sounds like much but actually makes quite a bit of difference down the other end of a video chat call.



1st: motorola xoom
3G, Wi-Fi, BT 2.1, USB, HDMI-out
2nd: htc flyer
3G, Wi-Fi, BT 3.0, USB, DLNA

When it comes to connectivity, the very least that we expect from a tablet is to have Wi-Fi and 3G capability. Naturally, both the Xoom and the Flyer have these, along with USB and Bluetooth - the Xoom with version 2.1 and the Flyer with 3.0. The other things we seem to be looking for in from tablets in this day and age are DLNA and HDMI-out.

While only the Flyer offers something akin to DLNA with its HTC Watch wireless steaming app, it doesn't have the HDMI hard connection to back it up, and the situation is reversed for the Xoom. One might, therefore, expect a dead heat for this round but the situation is that you can achieve wireless streaming using third party apps. The missing HDMI port, you simply can't replace.



1st: Motorola Xoom
?479.99 (32GB, Wi-Fi)
2nd: HTC Flyer
?479.99 (16GB, Wi-Fi)

We can debate the specs until we're blue in the face but for many people, the decision between tablets will come down largely to the price tag. Despite an initial price of ?499, the Motorola Xoom is now selling for ?479.99. That will get you the Wi-Fi version with 32GB of built-in memory. HTC is selling its Flyer for exactly the same price. However, considering that only gets you 16GB of memory (on a similarly specced Wi-Fi-only basis), along with a smaller screen size and a single-core processor, it seems like a very steep price indeed.



Going strictly by specs, the Motorola is the undisputed winner in this particular bout. It clearly outshines the HTC Flyer in several areas such as the inclusion of a dual-core processor, a bigger screen, better OS and better battery life as well as that HDMI support. The Flyer also has its charms, particularly if you're looking for a smaller, more portable and even better looking device, and there's always that Magic Pen as well.

Going by the HTC's smaller chassis and screen size and the fact that it's powered by single-core CPU, you might have been forgiven for thinking that it would be cheaper to buy. Unfortunately, that's not the case at present. Motorola's tablet offers dual-core processing, double the built-in storage and a larger screen all for the same price, so it's probably a no-brainer for many shoppers. Apart from die-hard HTC fans and those who specifically want a tablet of a more pocketable size, many potential Flyer buyers could well be put off by what seems like an unreasonably high price tag for an arguably inferior device.

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Tags: Tablets Motorola Motorola Xoom HTC HTC Flyer Features Android Android 3.0 Android 2.4

HTC Flyer vs Motorola Xoom originally appeared on on Thu, 12 May 2011 12:19:00 +0100

iPad 3: Specs and features wishlist

Improvements for the next generation
iPad 3 - what we'd like to see

It wasn't long ago that we were making our predictions for the iPad 2. The second-generation model was seen as being a little disappointing for fans who had been hoping for some big changes, even though the slimmed down profile was a popular touch.

Now that the Apple iPad 2 is a reality, we're gazing into the future once more to come up with a wishlist of what we'd like to see on the iPad 3, which is rumoured to be coming in September 2011. Read on to find out what we want to see from the Cupertino boffins next time round.

Retina display

There were plenty of rumours that the iPad 2 would have a vastly improved display, so when launch day came, we were slightly disappointed to discover the the screen was exactly the same as on the previous model - same size, same resolution. What we'd love to see on the iPad 3 is the Retina Display, as used on the iPhone 4, with its impressive pixel density of 326ppi compared to the 132ppi on offer at the moment.

According to Apple, this sort of density is the maximum that can be processed by the human retina (when the screen is held at a distance of 12 inches). Whether that's entirely true or not is certainly up for debate, but there's no denying that it's an impressive screen and one that could really up the ante for the iPad 3 and put it ahead of its rivals.


SD card slot

The lack of an expandable memory is something that gadget fans have been banging on about relentlessly since the launch of the very first iPad. Just like the first model, the current version is offered in 16, 32 and 64GB configurations with the latter proving to be more than enough for many users. However, missing expandability is an absolute deal-breaker for many, so until Apple bites the bullet and invests in an SD card slot for its next model, there are plenty of gadgets fans out there who still wouldn't touch the iPad with a bargepole.


Proper HDMI

While it's true that the iPad 2 can support HDMI playback, this is only possible using the Apple Digital AV Adapter, for which you'll have to shell out an extra $39. A bit of a liberty if you've just spent several hundred of your hard-earned pounds on a supposedly HDMI-ready tablet. We'd like to see a proper HDMI port on the next version so that we can hook up our iPad to our HD TV without the need for anything besides an HDMI cable. Speaking of which, it might be nice if there was one of those in the box as well, although we can't see that happening.



iPad 2 users have the option of buying the Apple Camera Conneciton Kit which will let you transfer files from an SD card or directly from a camera using a USB cable. It seems like a hell of lot of messing about considering that pretty much every laptop and tablet under the sun has a built-in SD card slot and at least one USB port. Apple insisted doggedly for years that its Firewire was the connector of choice, before finally relenting and including USB ports on its computers when it was clear that there was little choice. Lets hope that the same happens for it's mobile devices.



This might not be a must for everyone yet as it's only any use if you've got yourself some other DLNA pieces of kit to stream your content to. The iPad 2 currently limits streaming to Apple TV and AirPlay-enabled speakers, whereas it would be nice to have the choice of which products you can stream to, rather than being tethered to Apple-sepcific devices. We've got our fingers crossed, but we reckon this might be one area where Apple won't budge - at least not for a while yet.


Camera flash

From the very second the the first iPad was launched we could hear cries of "what, no camera?" ringing out across the globe. A front-facing camera seemed like rather a daft omission for a product that was otherwise perfectly suited for FaceTime calling, so Apple did the right thing and introduced one on the iPad 2. Also new to the second-gen model was a rear-facing camera which, in reality, will be ignored by many iPad 2 owners although it might have looked a bit silly without one, compared to its rival brands and their camera-heavy tablets. Whether it's really needed or not, we'd be very surprised if a camera flash didn't materialise on the iPad 3, if only to sake the thirst of the spec-hungry techosphere.


iOS 5

While the iPad 2 was introduced in with the updated version of iOS (4.3), what we really want to see is a more dynamic operating system, preferably in the form of iOS 5 and all the goodies that should come with it. It's likely to bring more multitasking options to add to the limited scope offered by the current software, although we know that what everyone is crying our for a Flash-friendly browser. It's debatable just how much the lack of Flash support affects the everyday experience of browsing on the iPad, but it's still a major flaw and one that means that the iPad is a no-no for many. It would also be nice to see wireless syncing thrown into the iOS 5 mix. It's only once all of these things are in place that we're likely to get the "post-PC" experience that Steve Jobs repeatedly referred to at the launch of the iPad 2.

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Tags: Tablets Apple iPad Apple iPad iPad 2 Apple iPad 2 Apple iPad 3 iPad 3 Features

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iPad 3: Specs and features wishlist originally appeared on on Wed, 16 Mar 2011 16:53:10 +0000

Which tablet should I buy?

Top tablets - specs compared and rated
Which tablet should I buy?

Since CES 2011, there are officially a lot of tablets out there and now that the Apple iPad 2 has hit as well, anyone asking themselves "which tablet should I buy?" has plenty of thinking to do. Thankfully, here at Pocket-lint we have lined all the major players up back to back to see how they compare. So, while it's a bit of a mouthful, this effectively is the Apple iPad 2 vs Motorola Xoom vs HTC Flyer vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V?vs BlackBerry PlayBook vs HP TouchPad vs LG Optimus Pad. If you don't fancy one of these, then you're probably not after a tablet at all.


Form Factor

193 x 130 x 10mm, 400g

2nd: iPad 2
241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm, 601g

3rd= HTC Flyer
195.4 x 122 x 13.2mm, 415g

3rd= SAMTAB 10.1V
246.2 x 170.4 x 10.9mm, 599g

243 x 149 x 12.5mm, 654g

6th: XOOM
249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9mm, 730g

240 x 190 x 13.7mm, 740g

Size is a very important consideration for any mobile device, and dimensions that offer portability are a must for a tablet. Apple's iPad was previously one of the largest tablets around, but thanks to a few nips and tucks on the second-generation model, it's not the most unwieldy device around anymore. That title goes to HP's TouchPad which sports the same slightly square shape as the iPad along with the thickest profile and the largest mass.

Not much better off is the Motorola Xoom that's got a serious bloat of its own but, fortunately, it all begins to slim down once we get to the LG Optimus Pad - shedding the best part of 100g on its nearest rival.

Unsurprisingly, it's the BlackBerry PlayBook that comes out top. As one of the two 7-inch tablets, it was always going to be light but it also happens to be the second thinnest of the bunch as well. The real shocker is that its fellow diminutive device, the HTC Flyer, has been bumped down into third by the heavier iPad 2. The reason is all about the profile. At less than the thickness of the iPhone 4, the Apple tablet is seriously impressive at just 8.8mm and, when you compare that to an unnecessarily chunky offering from HTC, it makes more of a difference than that 186g extra in mass.

While the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V is also thinner than the Flyer, it's less pronounced. So, this time, the difference puts it more on a par. From the Optimus Pad upwards, you're probably doing okay on form factor. It's only the TouchPad and the Xoom that might extract the odd giggle from friends who own one of the others.



1st= XOOM
10.1-inch, 1280 x 800px, LCD

1st= SAMTAB 10.1V
10.1-inch, 1280 x 800px, LCD

3rd= IPAD 2
9.7-inch, 1024 x 768px, LCD

9.7-inch, 1024 x 768px, LCD

8.9-inch, 1280 x 768px, LCD

7-inch, 1024 x 600px, LCD

6th= FLYER
7-inch, 1024 x 600px, LCD

The display is one of the key considerations when shopping for a tablet - a smaller screen certainly allows for a more portable device, but if it's not that much bigger than a smartphone, then is it really worth it? By their very nature, the prime purpose of a tablet is to consumer content, so this is really one of the more important categories out there.

The HTC Flyer and BlackBerry's PlayBook come in last in this round thanks to their relatively small 7-inch screens, which do tend to make them look a little like comically large mobile phones. LG's Optimus Pad is next up the list with its 8.9-inch screen, but it manages to shift itself up into joint third place with the iPad 2 and HP TouchPad thanks to not only a better aspect ratio for watching movies but also a higher pixel density at 168ppi, compared to the 132ppi of the others, which makes up for the small loss in actual screen real estate.

Sharing the crown in this round, though, are the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V, which both sport a 10.1-inch display with the same 1280x800-pixel resolution. Although there are clear winners and losers here, what the tablet market is really crying out for is someone to come up with a super hi-res panel or even OLED technology but, presumably, there's the serious issue of pricing to consider.


Engine Room

1st= ipad 2
A5 dual-core 1GHz CPU, 512MB

1st= touchpad?
Dual-core Snapdragon APQ8660, 512MB

1st= optimus pad
Nvidia Tegra 2, 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB

1st= xoom
Nvidia Tegra 2, 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB

1st= Samtab 10.1V
Nvidia Tegra 2, 1GHz dual-core CPU 1GB

6th= Playbook
1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB

7th: FLYER
Single-core Qualcomm 1.5GHz CPU, 1GB

In terms of processors, tablet manufacturers have seriously upped the ante in 2011. Most new tablets, and even a few mobile phones now, boast dual-core processors for speeding up operation and bundled in GPUs capable of plenty of gaming and the like.

One of the few companies that hasn't jumped on the dual-core bandwagon for its new tablet is HTC, with its Flyer sporting a single-core CPU, albeit a one with an impressive 1.5GHz of processing power and a decent wedge of memory to back it up. All the same, that puts it bottom of our league table for this category.

From here on in, it starts to get a bit tricky. CPU-wise, they're all much of a muchness beyond this point. While, then, one might be tempted to compare them on the basis of RAM, the problem lies in the silent statistic which is the graphics processors. The Tegra 2 set up uses an Nvidia GeForce GPU, the iPad has a PowerVR SGX 543 and HP TouchPad an Adreno 220. RIM has given nothing away about what's inside the PlayBook.

Technically speaking, the GeForce GPU appears to be the least powerful of the lot with the one inside the Apple A5 chip supposedly edging it over the Adreno. Practically speaking, however, the argument runs that Nvidia has optimised the graphics unit in the Tegra 2 system to work just as well for games as both the Adreno and the PowerVR do. For other jobs such as media playback, though, the Tegra 2 could be around twice as slow.

Quite how all this ties in with the two most powerful engine's graphically also having half the memory is another thing altogether. Ultimately, though, the take-home message is that HTC Flyer is the least impressive of them all. The others should all be fine for gaming but one might expect the iPad 2 to have the edge when it comes to video editing - perhaps why iMovie has been included for it and not the original iPad as well.


1st= flyer
32GB + SD

1st= xoom
32GB + SD

3rd= iPad 2


3rd= SAMTAB 10.1V

6th= PLAYBook


The biggest difference between tablets, in storage terms, is whether they have expandable memory or not. You could argue that if a device has 64GB of built-in memory then surely that's enough for most people, and indeed, for most people it probably is. However, there are always going to be plenty of gadget lovers for whom the lack of an add-on storage option simply won't cut the mustard.?

Trailing back in joint 6th place in the storage round are the LG Optimus Pad and BlackBerry PlayBook which offer a maximum of only half as much storage as all of the others and no way of making it any bigger.

Joint third place goes to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V, HP TouchPad and Apple iPad 2, each of which takes the user up to a possible 64GB of fixed space. But, it's the HTC Flyer and Motorola Xoom that mean the most flexibility with a current top level of the same 64GB plus as many spare SD cards as you care to carry around.


3/4G, BT, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI-out

1st= xoom
3/4G, BT, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI-out

3rd= iPad 2
3G, BT, Wi-Fi, HDMI support

3rd= FLYER
3G, BT, Wi-Fi, some DLNA, USB

5th: SAMTAB 10.1V
3G, Wi-Fi, BT, USB

(3G), BT, Wi-Fi, USB, NFC


Without any 3G support for the time being, the BlackBerry PlayBook and HP TouchPad sit at the foot of things for connectivity. Both have promised updated models at a later date but seeing as they're still struggling to get out the Wi-Fi only versions, that could be some time away. And that's quite a shame given that the PlayBook comes with DLNA and HDMI support and the TouchPad with some interesting wireless connection action if you happen to have a Palm smartphone.

One could argue that the PlayBook gets around its connectivity issue with its smartphone tethering ability, but that's going to chew through both your phone's battery and its data in double quick time.

Next up the list at 5th is Samsung's tablet, which offers surprisingly little - just 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a USB. Standing on pretty much even ground in joint 3rd are the iPad 2 and HTC Flyer. Both have the regulation 3G and Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth, while the Flyer also offers a USB and a degree of DLNA support. Apple's tablet balances this out with the provision of HDMI support for hooking up to an HD TV, albeit through an accessory, as well as some good wireless action if you happen to own an Apple TV set up.

Fighting it out at the top, though, are the Motorola Xoom and the LG Optimus Pad, both of which have all the usual suspects along with USB and HDMI. They also have 4G support - no use at the moment in the UK, but this could be a key feature a year or so down the line. You'll have to rely on your Android apps for any wireless streaming.


1st= playbook
QNX BlackBerry Tablet OS

1st= touchpad
webOS 3.0

1st= optimus tab
Android 3.0 Honeycomb

1st=: xoom
Android 3.0 Honeycomb

1st= samtab 10.1v
Android 3.0 Honeycomb

6th: iPad 2
iOS 4.3

7th: flyer
Android 2.3 Gingerbread

The software round is a very tricky one to call, largely because much of it comes down to personal opinion, however, there are a couple of major flaws in one or two of the systems worth being aware of. Last place is easy enough to work out because the HTC Flyer is the only one of the bunch using an operating system that isn't optimised and dedicated to running a tablet at its core, although HTC has optimised its Sense UI to fit in with the new screen size and form factor. Gingerbread is a mobile phone OS.

In 6th place is the iPad 2 which suffers from the now famous trio of weak spots - no Flash browsing, no personalisation options, and notification issues that will drive you around the bend. Otherwise, of course, it's a cracking bit of software.

That leaves the five other tablets to occupy top spot. Although no one has really had a good play with the likes of the QNX OS and webOS 3.0 in anything other than demos, there's plenty to get excited about. The Synergy system of integrating your internet accounts and the cloud syncing on webOS are well documented, and the multi-core, multi-threading capabilities on the PlayBook should mean it can run anything you can throw at it. ?

At the same time, there's nothing in those others to necessarily put them above the made-for-tablet Android Honeycomb 3.0, which brings you all the flexibility and support you could need.


5MP rear, 2MP front, 1080p video, 3D

2nd: SAMTAB 10.1v
8MP rear, 2MP front, 1080p video

5MP rear, 3MP front, 1080p video

4th: XOOM
5MP rear, 2MP front, 720p video

5MP rear, 1.3MP webcam, 720p video

5th= iPad 2
Rear cam, front cam, 720p video

1.3MP front-facing webcam

This is one area that has a fair bit of variation, and things have changed a lot since the original iPad hit the shops in 2010.

Even the last on the list, the HP TouchPad, manages to come up with a 1.3MP front-facing cam for video calling, although sadly that's where its imaging credentials stop. Sharing the number five spot are the iPad 2 and the HTC Flyer, with the latter offering a relatively basic 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing cam and 720p video capture. Apple hasn't released specific details on the iPad 2's cameras (one rear, one front), but we'd be very surprised if they were any lower-specced than those offered by HTC. The iPad 2 also enables you to take high-def videos at 720p. Motorola's Xoom does a little better, with all the same attributes, but with a 2MP front-facing camera.

BlackBerry's tablet ups the ante even further, boosting the front-facing cam's megapixel count to three and throwing full HD 1080p recording into the mix. Samsung's device also offers 1080p capture, along with an 8MP rear cam but taking the top spot has to be the LG Optimus Pad. Not only does it have a rear 5MP cam, 2MP front cam and 1080p video capability but it can also capture 3D video, setting it apart from all other tablets currently on the market. Just a shame you can't actually watch it back in stereoscopic format on the tablet afterwards.


1st=: iPad 2
10 hours

1st=: SAMTAB 10.1v
10 hours (probably)

1st=: XOOM
10 hours

9 hours

8 hours

4 hours


Battery life is fairly high up the list of priorities when it comes to tablet shopping. Carrying a fancy mobile device around is all well and good, but if the battery is likely to conk out halfway through the day, then it might not seem so cool.

We've left the PlayBook out of this one, as BlackBerry hasn't been forthcoming with the battery details. HTC sits in 6th place, with its quoted 4 hours of video playback, which is a fair way behind most of its rivals. The HP TouchPad takes the next spot with 8 hours, while the Optimus creeps ahead with 9. Bedded in at the top spot are the iPad 2, Samsung and Motorola, although with roughly 10 hours of video playback (or at least those are the numbers currently quoted or estimated). We'll know more about how the tablets stack up against each other in this category once we can get them in for a full review.

Apps (updated)

1st: iPad 2
Lots and lots

Quite a few

Quite a few

2nd=: SAMTAB 10.1v
Quite a few

2nd=: XOOM
Quite a few

Not that many (but maybe quite a few)

Not that many modern ones

You might have the fanciest piece of tablet hardware around but these devices are nothing without apps. It's been well documented how Apple has led the way with the iTunes app store and the massive amount of apps on offer (over 65,000 for the iPad alone, at the last count). Android is making steady progress in playing catch-up, but it hasn't quite got there yet, either with the amount of apps on offer or with the usability of its Android Market. That's why the HTC Flyer, LG Optimus Pad, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V and the Motorola Xoom - all Android-powered devices - sit in joint second position.

The BlackBerry PlayBook offers a relatively small selection of BlackBerry apps, although it has now been confirmed that the tablet will support Android apps, via a special app player that will be available from the BlackBerry App World store. Although this is certainly good news, don't get too excited, as the PlayBook will only be able to run apps made for the mobile versions of Android, rather than the tablet-angled Honeycomb. That means that some apps will probably have to be stretched to fit the screen.

HP has struggled somewhat when it comes to gathering the support of third-party developers which is why it sits at the bottom of our table. Naturally, webOS 3.0 will have the benefit of lots and lots of more old school apps from the Palm homebrew set up .

Price (updated)

1st: htc flyer
?420 (Wi-Fi) ?560 (3G)

2nd: Xoom
?499 (Wi-Fi only) ?599 (3G)

3rd: iPad 2
?399/?479/?599 (Wi-Fi) ?499/?579/?659 (3G)


4th= touchpad

4th= optimus pad

4th= samtab 10.1V

Pricing is a bit of a tricky one for the moment as the only two which are actually official on this front are the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom. However, there are some solid rumours on how much the HTC Flyer is set to cost which puts it at the top of the tree. (Remember that, at 32GB of storage, it needs to be compared to the equivalent size Apple model). Next down is the Xoom which is, once again, cheaper than the equivalent iPad by a matter of ?11.

Beyond those are the odd and fairly spurious claims, which makes neither of the last four world beaters much different from the other. We've heard US prices for some of them, but it's usually impossible to predict what the UK price will be from this. Either way, it's something we'll update as the announcements come. For now, though, we'll have to leave the bottom of the table as a tie.



There's a few different ways you can use all of this data to work out which is the best tablet, and, in the name of fairness, we'll run through the lot. Pay close attention now:


Calculated purely on total of the rank positions, the table looks like this:

1st: Xoom
20 points

2nd: SamTab 10.1v
23 points

3rd= iPad 2
28 points

3rd= Optimus Pad
28 points
5th: PlayBook
40 points

6th: HTC Flyer
41 points

7th: TouchPad
43 points

The problem withthis method, though, is that it ignores the fact that some categories might be more important than others and, indeed, the fact that some of the losses or wins might have been narrower or larger than others. What is clear very quickly, however, is that there seems to be a large gap between the top four and the bottom three meaning that it was more than just a one off heavy loss in a single category for the Flyer, PlayBook and TouchPad to find themselves where they are. Something to bear in mind if you're thinking of going for one of them.


Probably a more realistic way to look at the results is by considering which areas are more important than others. Naturally, this is going to vary from one person to the other depending upon your priorities. However, looking at it as objectively as possible, something like imaging is not very important at all for a tablet. So, as long as it has a front facing camera - which they all do - you've always got your phone on you to shoot video and stills for which a smaller device is far more convenient anyway.

The price is fairly irrelevant too. None of these things are cheap and, if you've got your heart set on one, you'll find the money for it somewhere. So, taking those two out of the equation and the picture changes a little, but not a lot.

1st: Xoom
14 points

2nd: SamTab 10.1v
17 points

3rd: iPad 2
20 points

4th: Optimus Pad
23 points
5th: TouchPad
32 points

6th: PlayBook
33 points

7th: HTC Flyer
35 points

The only real shift around has been in the bottom order but there's still two distinct packs. So, is it still a fair idea of which you should be spending your cash on? Perhaps a more realistic way of looking at the data is the final one.


The bottom line with all of this is that your tablet choice is most affected by which ecosystem you've already bought into. If you're an iPhone user, then the answer is to buy an iPad 2. It's as simple as that.

Likewise, if you're an Android user, it's going to be an awful upheaval to switch your life to Apple. So, unless you really want to, the best option on paper looks to be the Motorola Xoom which only allows the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V to be close on account of the former's slightly more robust form factor. We'd like to say that the HTC Flyer is there for those looking for a smaller size device to carry around but, without a proper tablet OS to back it up, there's some serious reservations.

BlackBerry users are in a slightly different position. While the PlayBook is the obvious choice, a 7-inch tablet might not be what you're after. If that's the case, then your best bet is either the Xoom or the iPad 2 depending upon which way you'd rather go. If you're all about the sleek look and smooth operation, Apple might be the best solution, and chances are you're already rocking an iPod touch in your household anyway - the iPad 2 and the original iPad for that matter really is just a bigger version of that. For a more open experience, and possibly one that will eventually lure you away from the phone OS as well, it's Android all the way.

Dedicated Palm device users are probably only reading this out of some kind of self-torture. It's pretty clear that the HP TouchPad is not the best tablet here based on specs, but it is the one with webOS and that's what makes the difference.

If you have no affiliations to any of the systems above, then again it's a choice between the iPad 2 and the Xoom. It's a matter of taste as to which you'll prefer but as the story of the spec sheets go, one would have to advise the Xoom as the correct choice.


As ever with our versus articles on Pocket-lint, our findings are not based on hands-on time with the products. While we've had a good play with all of the devices, we haven't tested them in real world?environments?like our homes. So, while the Motorola Xoom has come out on top, there is no comparison of the more subjective issues of aesthetics, ergonomics and usability.

For that, we'll have to wait until we get each of the tablets into the Pocket-lint labs. Stay tuned for the full reviews.

Related links:

Tags: Tablets Apple Apple iPad 2 iPad 2 Motorola Motorola Xoom Samsung Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 HP HP TouchPad BlackBerry BlackBerry PlayBook HTC HTC Flyer LG LG Optimus Pad Features Rolling

Which tablet should I buy?  Which tablet should I buy?  Which tablet should I buy? 

Which tablet should I buy? originally appeared on on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:58:00 +0000

Apple iPad 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V

Tablet wars take two
Apple iPad 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V. Tablets, Features, Apple, Apple iPad 2, iPad, iPad 2, Samsung, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V, 0

The iPad 2 is now official, but is it the one you want to buy? Although the original iPad has had the lion's share of the tablet market since its launch, there are now plenty of other devices on offer with the Android-powered and bigger than ever Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V?looking like one to consider

So, has the second coming of the Apple tablet done enough to stop the others snapping at its heals? We threw their spec sheets in the ring together to find out. It’s the Apple iPad 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V.

Form Factor

1st: iPad 2
241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm, 613g

2nd: SamTab 10.1V
246.2 x 170.4 x 10.9mm, 599g

The two things that count the most in modern day form factor are “how thin is it?” and “how heavy is it?” and Apple has made a few jaws drop with the launch of a tablet that’s 33 per cent thinner than the original and even skinnier than the iPhone 4. The iPad 2 is just 8.8mm in profile and only 613g in weight. Add onto the pile that Apple products are generally pretty damn aesthetically and ergonomically good and you’ve already got an excellent reason to forget about Android.

All the same, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is no slouch itself. It’s actually a fraction lighter at 599g but it’s probably the thickness that makes it just about lose out in this round. Those 2mm seem a bigger margin than the 14g.


1st: SamTab 10.1v
10.1-inch, 1280 x 800px, LCD
2nd: Apple iPad 2
9.7-inch, 1024x768px, LCD with IPS

Round one might have been a snap for the iPad 2 but, with no change to the viewing surface and those Retina Display hopes dashed against the rocks, the screen to watch definitely belongs to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

In fact, one of the bigger SamTab’s most popular featureis its large 10-inch display. The LCD screen has IPS which means that you get a decent viewing angle - the same as with the iPad 2 - but the 10.1 also has the advantage with its relatively high 1280x800px resolution, as well as a proper 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen video viewing rather than the slightly awkward size that Apple presents.

Engine Room

Tie: Apple iPad 2
Apple A5 chip, 1GHz dual-core CPU
Tie: SamTab 10.1v
Tegra 2, 1GHz dual-core CPU

The second-generation iPad has been given a huge boost with the inclusion of Apple's new A5 chip, replacing the original model's A4 chipset. It's a dual-core processor which means that it measures up to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1’s Nvidia Tegra 2 in terms of power and, indeed, they’re both based on the architecture of the ARM Cortex-A9 family.

Apple is claiming that the performance jump works out as twice as fast as the original iPad with 9x the graphics power. However, in comparison to the Tegra 2 SoC it appears that we’re looking at something more or less equivalent.


Tie: Apple iPad 2
16/32/64GB flash
Tie: SamTab 10.1v
32/64GB flash

We like the way the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V dispenses with the piddly 16GB model. What we don’t like so much is how it loses expandable storage at the same time. Fortunately for Samsung, Apple doesn’t do SD either, so it’s a dead heat in this category.


Tie: Apple iPad 2
Up to 10 hour video playback
Tie: SamTab 10.1v?

It’s a tricky one to decipher this time seeing as each company has quoted its battery specs in a different way, but it's not impossible by any means. The original iPad ran a 6600mAh unit and managed the same 10 hour video playback as the sequel. Now, while the iPad 2 probably has something marginally more suped up to cope with the extra power under the hood, we can’t imagine that it’s much bigger than that on offer in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. What’s more, the SamTab has some pretty good low power units of its own. So, all things being equal, they look about the same.


1st: SamTab 10.1v
Android 3.0 Honeycomb
2nd: Apple iPad 2:
iOS 4.3

The recently announced Apple iOS 4.3, appearing on the iPad 2, looks good. Of that there is no doubt. In fairness, Google’s Android 3.0 looks pretty smashing as well. Now, we could chew the fat for quite some time on the ins and outs but the fact is that the Android OS simply has to win for two very good and very well-documented reasons. The first is that the Honeycomb offers a full browsing experience while the iPad will give you everything except Abode Flash which is a bit of a bummer because it’s still an important enough web tool to miss.

The second reason is that, although mobile hotspot creation has been added for iPhone 4 in iOS 4.3, it’s not present in the iPad 2. Now perhaps that’s not as relevant when talking about a tablet which has 3G anyway but you can bet that there’s a situation out there where you’ll miss it.


1st: Apple iPad 2
2nd: SamTab 10.1v

Quite a telling category this one, as pointed out quite neatly by Steve Jobs at the iPad 2 press conference. At the time of writing, Apple has 65,000 dedicated apps available for download for its tablets. Any Android tablet out there has just 100. Now, while this is bound to change within the next 6-12 months for Honeycomb, there is going to be a bit of a lean spell and playing Angry Birds small screen on your 10-inch tab is a little soul destroying. Big win for the iPad 2.


1st: Apple iPad 2
Wi-Fi, 3G, BT, HDMI
2nd: SamTab 10.1v
3G, Wi-Fi, BT, USB

While we’re not really going to quibble to hard about the iPad having no 4G support, where the Apple tablet really falls down in this area are things like missing USB ports and SD cards and not having DLNA either. Weirdly enough though, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V doesn’t do very well in this department either. It has a USB but no HDMI, no DLNA, no 4G and no SD card either - at least, not as it stands.

Even Apple has a silly cable you can buy for $39 to bring HDMI-out to the iPad 2. This round is rather like watching that video of two cyclists fighting but it seems that the Apple tablet has managed to weakling its way to a victory over its puny opponent.


1st: SamTab 10.1v
8MP rear, 2MP front, 1080p video
2nd: iPad 2
VGA front, 720p video rear

Frankly most people will be too overjoyed that there’s not one but two cameras on the iPad 2 to notice that Apple has still managed to lose this category. While Apple has refrained from talking megapixels, the important part of the specs is that there’s no LED flash like the one available on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and only 720p video capture to play with as well. So, even if the iPad 2 can compete with the 8MP front and 2MP rear, it’s still going to lose out in the imaging department.


Tie: Apple iPad 2
Wi-Fi: ?439/?510/?612, 3G: ?541/?612/?714
Tie: SamTab 10.1v
Unknown (?615?)

With no official word yet on the pricing of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V, it’s a little tricky to tell here. The rumours are of a figure of around $1000 in the States. Converted to pounds, that puts it on a par with the price of the iPad 2 in the UK. However, if the SamTab 10.1V works out less favourably in the exchange - as well it might - then the scales will tip in Apple’s favour.


Tie: Apple iPad 2

Tie: SamTab 10.1v

This one rather comes down to a case of software and imaging working in favour of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V - as well as a slightly better screen - against the lack of apps, HDMI and marginally sexier form factor of the iPad 2. On balance, we’d probably go for the SamTab on paper - despite the weird missing ports - and hope that the Android Market gets its act together pretty darn soon.

Related links:

Tags: Tablets Features Apple Apple iPad 2 iPad iPad 2 Samsung Samsung Galaxy Tab Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V

Apple iPad 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V originally appeared on on Wed, 02 Mar 2011 21:27:00 +0000