With the introduction of the iPad, apple once again made a revolution in the consumer electronics industry. At first, many industry experts wrote it off as a giant iPod Touch that no one would want to carry around, but as the market for new tablets expands, it’s apparent the “tablet” form factor is here to stay.
So what exactly is a “tablet” anyway? It put it simply; it is a mix between an iPod Touch or any other smartphone on the market and what is known as a “netbook” (An inexpensive, small, low power laptop). It gives you a screen size that’s easier to surf the web on, more enjoyable to watch videos, and better to read e-books like a netbook, but with the portability, app stores(market), and touch screen interface that is enjoyed on so many new smartphones.
Chances are the only “tablet” you’ve seen is the iPad. Apple hit the ground running with the first mass produced “tablet”. However, they weren’t the only one with the idea. Samsung has recently release a slew of different sized tablets with their “Galaxy Tab” series, which runs off Google’s Android OS like many smartphones. HP has plans to release some “tabs” into the wild with their newly acquired Palm Web OS 2.0 system. Of course there have been many devices released running Microsoft’s Windows 7, but they have bigger plans for the market with their just released Windows Phone 7 OS.
Which of these is the best one? It’s kind of a wait and see point right now. The iPad is an obvious strong leader at this point because it’s based off the iPhone software which has had time to mature, but you are paying for that logo on the back. Android, even with rave reviews from tech geeks everywhere, is not ready for everyone. Windows 7 is a little too much for these devices and Web OS 2.0 and Windows Phone 7 aren’t even released on tablets yet.