Which Android Tablet Should I Buy
I Tested a few recently and thought I’d share my findings before the article is released. The units tested were the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, the Asus Transformer Infinity 10.1 and the Toshiba Excite 10.
Let me say going into this I thought hands down the Transformer Infinity would be the clear cut winner with its industry leading high resolution screen. I have to say though I find the Asus product although slick, slim and sexy not as functional as other tablets. What I mean is I experienced some odd scrolling problems, where content was very jerky. It looked great but if I’m constantly fighting that its a deal breaker for me.
Asus Transformer Infinity
As you might remember the Transformer Prime was a bit of a disaster. Due to the alum. back it caused issues with the GPS in the device. Now if that wasn’t something you’d be using I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal but to shell out $500.00 or more it should work nonetheless. I think Asus was pretty stand up about the issue. They didn’t run and hide by any stretch. Still the same scrolling issue I found with the Prime still exists in the Infinity. I can’t put my stamp on a device that is buggy like that. The screen does look great. Overall it feels rather snappy as well, but the lack of smooth responsiveness really turned me off.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
The Samsung overall is a solid device. There are some nice features with the Tab 2. Particularly the IR Blaster which is cool if you want to control your home theater devices. However I’m not sure how practical it really is. I found a remote with buttons is hard to beat. I’ve had touchscreen remotes with elaborate programming since the first Pronto. Have programmed Crestron and others and I still swear buy a high end Universal Remote with actual buttons. Maybe that’s just me. Of the three here I’d have to give the nod to Samsung for the software bundles included. Its a very nice presentation of software. Where the Samsung really falls off for me is they are still using the last gen processor as opposed to stepping up to the Tegra 3 as have others. Really a disservice to the customer in my opinion.
Toshiba Excite 10
First off to be clear this is the Excite 10 NOT the LE version. The Excite is a pretty straight forward device. For example you don’t have the software media share bundling like you have with the Samsung nor the Asus Storage Cloud service, however What it does have are super smooth transitions in the UI. With the Tegra 3 quad core processor it is rather speedy much like the Asus Infinity, but unlike the Infinity the scrolling and screens are quick to transition but in the same breath very smooth. I was happily surprised by its performance. Not flashy. Not as sexy but works well. Come to think of it every thing I’ve owned with the Toshiba name has been about the same. One knock on the Toshiba Excite that I must admit and at least with the audio/video I was testing it has the lowest audio output of the bunch. With that said if I’m watching a film or doing anything other than hearing haptics I’m using headphones.
The Winner Is Toshiba Excite 10
Now before you go saying this guy’s off his rocker understand that I’m a very picky buyer. Small things will get you big red marks with me. Functionality for me is far more important that buzz words and specs that say “I’m really good and I have more x than any other on the market”. What I mean is I want things to do the tasks they were designed to do and do them well. For me the winner here is the Toshiba Excite 10. It’s not the thinest. It doesn’t have the 1080p screen of the Asus Transformer Infinity, doesn’t have the bundling of the Samsung and ease of use but it does have the most responsiveness of the bunch and is rather smooth as I transition between tasks. Please keep in mind I’m a business user. I’m not playing Temple Run (although that was thoroughly tested on each by my 12 yr old, she gave them all +1’s ha ha) or smashing objects with birds. No I’m using it as a tool to check corporate mail, but to scan networks for security wholes, to browse the net to update applications and debug applications I’ve built. The point is if you’re a multimedia guy you might like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. If you want to watch great movies in super clear high resolution you may want to try out the Asus Transformer Infinity. If you’re a business user I strongly suggest the Toshiba.
Lastly the Toshiba for a quad core is rather reasonably priced. At just $400 bucks you can afford to use it for now and maybe go for a Nexus 10 once released. If you haven’t heard of the Nexus 10 take a look at the Nexus 7, look at the price tag, roll eyes and prepare to hit submit for the 10 when released I will. Oh and for the record I was able to stream HD .mkv files across my network from my NAS server with zero issues using Vplayer on the Toshiba Excite. It was a beautiful image, was clear and the audio was crisp. There are several video players out there, I’ve found the VPlayer when it comes to playing the .MKV container to be the best. More consistently decodes audio than say Mobo, MXPlayer or others.