Best Android Tablets vs New iPad

by: Bogdan PetrovanMarch 9, 2012

Modern tablets offer genuine visual delight. The crisp images, vivid colors, and luscious contrasts make us forget that we are staring at a screen, opening up a universe of images and motion that we can control with a simple swipe. All this eye-candy is made possible by complex technologies that most of us barely understand. Luckily, we don’t need to understand them – we can just enjoy our high resolution tablets without worrying about OLEDs, sub-pixels, or in-plane switching.

High and ultra-high resolution tablets are all the rage this year. On March 7 Apple announced the next generation of the iPad. Apple’s new iDevice will boast a whopping 2048 x 1536 resolution, or as Apple marketing calls it, a “Retina display”. That’s double the resolution of the current iPad 2 (1024 x 768).

Like it or not, Android slates will always be compared to the iPad, which still holds almost 60% of the tablet market. So how is Android faring in the battle of high resolutions? Will Android tablets play catch-up once more?

We think so. Lenovo, ASUS, Acer, and Huawei have already announced devices that rock high-resolution displays, rising to the challenge of the iPad HD. So, without further ado, we give you The Gang of Four.

1. Lenovo IdeaTab K2

Lenovo’s IdeaTab K2 was one of the most impressive devices we saw at CES 2012 in January. Powered by a mighty Tegra 3 quad-core processor that runs at no less than 1.7GHz, the IdeaTab K2 will come later this year, first in its native China, under the LePad K2010 name, and then to the rest of the world. No word on the pricing yet, but with the high-end specs it touts, don’t expect it to be a bargain.

We certainly wait for the K2 to reach our shores, mostly for the crazy full HD display that this amazing tablet rocks. Yes, you will be able to delight your eyeballs with no less than 1920 x 1200 pixels, packed into an IPS LCD panel. In case you didn’t know, in-plane switching (IPS) is a technology that offers better viewing angles and more vivid colors than traditional LCDs. We gave the Lenovo K2 a run at CES, and even in the prototype stage it was in back then, the K2 was an absolute joy to use.

Yes, that is a keyboard dock that adds two full-sized USB ports, and 9+ hours of battery life

It’s good to see that manufacturers are finally putting those beefy 4-cores-plus-1 Tegra chips to good use. The Lenovo IdeaTab K2 (running Ice Cream Sandwich) is as smooth as they get. With a slower proc, the 1920 x 1200 touchscreen may have been less delightful to use.

Lenovo ThinkPad K2 Specs

  • 10.1-inch display, 1920 x 1200, IPS LCD, 224ppi, capacitive
  • SoC: Tegra 3 quad-core @ 1.7GHz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB storage, expandable
  • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, LED Flash, Autofocus
  • Dual speakers with Lenovo’s Super Surround System (3S)
  • Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, USB (full-size and mini), mini HDMI
  • Quad-band GSM, HSDPA, UMTS
  • aGPS, fingerprint reader
  • Android 4.

Lenovo ThinkPad K2 Price and Availability

  • China: Q2 2012
  • Worldwide (unspecified): second half of 2012
  • Price: TBA

2. ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity 700

As you can learn from our ASUS MWC 2012 roundup, ASUS was quite active at this edition of the Mobile World Congress, releasing no less than three Android 4.0 tablet devices (that all dock into keyboards to become netbooks). One member of ASUS’ trio was the Transformer Pad Infinity, with its amazing Super IPS+ 10.1-inch display.

Like the Lenovo K2, the Transformer Pad Infinity’s display is a source of rich, vibrant, full HD eye-candy. As their mainland rivals, the Taiwanese at ASUS created a stunning display, with a 1920 x 1200 resolution. For the OCD-inclined in the audience, that’s about 2.3 million pixels, neatly aligned on your tablet’s display.

But the Infinity bests the K2 when it comes to the LCD panel technology. The Transformer employs the latest generation of IPS technology, Super IPS+, which makes 178° viewing angles possible. How cool is that?

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity Specs

  • 10.1-inch display, 1920 x 1200 Super IPS+
  • Two variants of processors
    • A dual-core Snapdragon S4 @ 1.5GHz for the 3G/LTE version
    • A quad-core Tegra 3 @ 1.6Ghz for the Wi-Fi version
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB storage, expandable
  • 8MP rear camera + 2MP webcam
  • Android 4.0

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity Price and Availability

  • Worldwide: second quarter of 2012
  • Price: estimated between $600-$800

3. Acer Iconia Tab A700

The Acer Iconia Tab A700 is Acer’s latest effort in the high-end tablet area. So, what do you think Acer did to build their high-end slate? They stuffed the A700 with a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, of course, and thrown in, just for good measure, a full HD display.

The 1920 x 1200 display of the Iconia A700 is just as impressive as the Lenovo K2’s or the Infinity’s. Now, the LCD panel of the A700 does not come with in-plane switching like the other two, but nevertheless, Acer claims that they used a similar technology that yields just about the same results. Indeed, we looked at the tablet from all kinds of weird angles and didn’t notice any substantial color modifications.

The Tab A700 has all the bells and whistles that you would expect from a modern upmarket tablet, but we’ll let you see them in detail below.

Acer Iconia Tab A700 Specs

  • 10.1-inch LCD display, 1920 x 1200 pixels
  • Tegra 3 quad-core @ 1.3GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16, 32, or 64 GB storage, expandable
  • 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
  • Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi, USB (full-size and mini), mini HDMI
  • Android 4.0

Acer Iconia Tab A700 Price and Availability

  • Worldwide: from June 2012
  • Price (in Europe, not confirmed):
    • 16GB – $720
    • 32GB – $860
    • 64GB – $990

4. Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD


At MWC, Huawei seemed really set to make a name for itself, showing off the impressive Ascend D quad, which the Chinese claim to be the world’s fastest smartphone. But in the general excitement created by the Ascend D quad announcement, many seemed to have overlooked the fact that Huawei announced an equally impressive tablet. A caveat: the MediaPad 10 FHD may be just vaporware – the model we saw at MWC was a unique prototype handmade for the event, so we should take Huawei’s claims with a nice grain of salt. Nevertheless, the Ascend D quad has definitely shown us that Huawei can deliver top-notch devices, so there’s no reason to believe that the Chinese can’t repeat that performance with a tablet.


As you may suspect, the FHD suffix stands for full HD, and the MediaPad 10 FHD impresses through the same eye-popping resolution of 1920 x 1200, while the pixel-moving duties are covered by Huawei’s own quad-core processor (hence, the speed record claims). No word if the production model will come with IPS or IPS+, but the model shown at MWC used an IPS panel with 226ppi.

Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD Specs

  • 10-inch LCD display, 1920 x 1200 pixels
  • Huawei K3 quad-core @ 1.5 GHz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB storage, expandable
  • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
  • Bluetooth 3, Wi-Fi, USB (full-size and mini), mini HDMI
  • HSPA+ 21/42/84Mbps and LTE support
  • Dolby Surround Sound
  • Android 4.

Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD Price and Availability

  • Worldwide: Q2 2012
  • Price: TBA

Place Your Bets

So, you’ve been officially introduced to the Gang of Four Android tablets that will stand up to the iPad HD (whatever it will be called) in the war of high-definition slates. All four tablets on our list boast amazing 10-inch displays with 1920 x 1200 resolution, are powered by quad-core processors, run Ice Cream Sandwich, and we cant wait to take them for a spin.

What do you think? Will the new wave of HD tablets turn the tide in favor of Android? Or will Apple’s new iPad claim victory yet again? How will this epic smackdown end?

  • TechJunkie69

    Rumor is that Samsung is planning a tablet with their own quad core and a 2560×1600 display. Now that would one up the iPad 3/HD.

    • Mamoon Noorestani

      It has been rumored that Samsung will soon be launching a new Android OS 4.1.0 quad-core tablet in July/August which will have a 11.6 inch Full HD display, 2560×1600 resolution and with 2GB of RAM. Currently the New iPad has no competition except the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity which is currently the best Android tablet.

  • BMWfan123

    If the iPad has a retina display as rumoured with 2560×1600 display (or something like that), it will eat these tablets so called “HD” displays for breakfast.. but I have my doubts that a display with this resolution will come.. we are talking about a tablet of 9,7 inches, not sure Apple would go through all the trouble trying to fit such a screen into their device. A better dual core or a quad core is also expected. I am not sure that Apple will introduce a Quad core processor with the iPad 3, but maybe.. who knows, just as long as the new tablet can handle as well or a better than the old one considering the new screen I am happy.

  • Anti-iproduct

    iPad 3 surely going to be overrated as usual, 25 billion downloads just means there are too many sheeple outthere.

  • Graham Laight

    For reference: last year, the iPad 2 was launched on 11-Mar-11. The first rival that was indisputably better was the Asus EEE Transformer, with a higher screen resolution, launched on 25-Mar-11. The first rival to leave it for dust (IMO) was the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (having better display, better display resolution, better speakers, more motion sensors, thinner, lighter, more slots etc), and that was launched on 08-Jun-11 (excuse me if I have made an error or an omission).

  • Guitardave

    Companies like Sky have given up on Android tablets – both their Sky Sports News for Ipad, and Sky Go apps are only available on Apple’s tablet. If this is the way big companies like Sky are going, then there is only going to be one winner. And the lack of Flash support on the Ipad, although currently annoying, won’t be relevant for too much longer as more websites switch to html5.

    • DasithWijesiriwardena

      Sky is a big company? okay. So the counter argument for that is.. that CNN, BBC and bigger companies have not only Apps but widgets for Android. Your move.

  • no matter how good the specs are, apple has thousands more apps specifically for ipad than android’s few.

    • DasithWijesiriwardena

      true. But considering how quickly the Android market share has doubled. I think at the end of this year Android tablets will catch up in terms of Apps. Android offers much more to tablets in terms of features.

      • True. But when you have 100’s of tablets and phones all with different resolutions and screen sizes developers aren’t going to develop or fix bugs for all of those devices. Either you’ll buy a leading device or you’ll get squeezed out of compatible apps.

  • Bug

    Hmm.. those Lenovo pictures look like IdeaTab S2, not IdeaTab K2 (aka LePad K2010). The K2 seemed to have clearly visible stripes (for the speakers, I think) on both side edges of the front (no such thing in the pic here), and the left side connections shown here match the ones shown for S2 before. Especially, so far I haven’t read anywhere else that K2 would get a keyboard/dock thingy (would be quite the winner if it will).

  • I love Android and all things Google, but about an hour ago I just ordered an iPhone 4s because I’m sick and tired of my Android devices randomly rebooting and freezing up. I’ve had this issue on every Android device I’ve had (5 phones in about 2 years). There’s nothing worse when you’re on an important phone call and your phone decides that it wants to reboot! I’m tired of it … so I’ll give the iPhone 4s a whirl and see if I like it. Because of the issues with my phone, I also returned my Asus Transformer Prime and keyboard. Of course it’s not necessarily the fault of the devices, but the Android OS.

    • cpc464freak

      Thats cool because iOS apps never crash… er wait…

      • electronics expert

        Yes they do I saw it in a video comparison apple sucks I like apple then android came and took over with there better OS and flash support. And apparently stole android stuff. U best believe android will have a better everything compared to the gaypads, gaypods and gayphone.

  • Scott Plante

    BTW: 2048 x 1536 is quadruple the resolution of the current iPad 2 (1024 x 768), not double.

    • Craig

      That’s actually important to remember for performance reasons. I realize this article is out of date, but GPUs are just now becoming available that will run things at that resolution…

  • Sah202

    ASUS Transformer 201 with the quad-core has impressed me, especially when a keyboard with extra battery life can be attached. Ice Cream Sandwich OS seems to run prefect. I am disappointed when compared to the iPad 2 or iPad3, it comes out with the lower rating, but I consider the raters as bias to Apple. If it has quad-core cpu, an 8 mp camera, longer battery life, HDMI + USB & SD card ports, how does it get a lower rating to the iPad?

  • should be classified as a tablet android samsung best and deserve to compete with Apple