Android Tablet Showdown: The Most Hotly Anticipated Android Tablets of 2011
Do you like tablets? Are you thinking about getting one, but are waiting for the perfect tablet to present itself? The tablet market is about to get quite crowded folks, and soon, there will be tons of different options to choose from. This article is for all of you sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect tablet to show itself. We’ve taken the time to compile a comprehensive list of the most hotly anticipated Android tablets that are set to go on sale in the next little while, and you will find everything you need to know below.
Asus Eee Pad Slider
Asus has just confirmed that the new Eee Pad Slider will go on sale in the UK in August, although they’ve kept quiet on the price, for now. It’s unfortunate but we still cannot say definitively what this particular tablet will go for. Still, we know it’s going to come with 3G connectivity on board, and as such, will likely command a bit of a premium price. Furthermore, there are rumors that it has received a processor speed bump up to 1.2Ghz, but it hasn’t bee confirmed officially either.
The Asus Eee Pad Slider features a 10.1 inch inch touchscreen IPS display, with Gorilla Glass, and also comes with a built in slide out QWERTY Keyboard. It will be released with the latest build of Android Honeycomb – 3.1, and features a dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor.
The battery performance is rumored to be quite good as well, being somewhere in the 9-10 hour range. What say you, Android lover? Does this form factor appeal to you? How do you think it stacks up to the Transformer or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1?
Acer ICONIA Tab A100
Acer has been having a bit of a tough time in the tablet market as of late, and have already cut their sales projections in half. Still, the Acer ICIONA Tab A100 was supposed to be one of the very first 7-inch Google Android Honeycomb tablets to market, and we have received word that an 8GB Wi-Fi model will be sold for $349 at retailers like Wal-Mart. Specs include a 7-inch WSVGA (1024 x 600) resolution capacitive multi-touch display, Android 3.2 Honeycomb, a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core SoC, 512MB of RAM, dual cameras, 8GB of built-in flash storage, a microSD card slot, mini USB 2.0 and HDMI ports, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and an estimated weight of 470 grams.
The launch of the Acer ICONIA Tab A100 is expected to take place soon, and we will let you know as soon as it becomes available. Many people claim to find the 10.1 inch size a bit daunting, and not as portable. For those of you in the market for that perfect sized tablet that’s big on functionality, but still small enough to be portable – this could be the one.
Lenovo IdeaPad K1
Lenovo’s’ IdeaPad K1 is set to come to the US and other market very soon. Featuring a unique design with softly curved edges and a full connectivity suite, many people are excited about the imminent arrival of this particular Android Honeycomb tablet. Lenovo has cultivated an excellent reputation for building excellent quality notebooks, so we think they will bring similar build quality to their tablets as well.
Features of the Ideapad K1 are standard fare for Honeycomb tablets these days, and include a 10.1-inch WXGA resolution multi-touch screen, dual cameras, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 32GB of storage, and up to 10 hours of battery life. Design wise the K1 is expected to come in a White color with an Aluminum rear case, and have an estimated weight of approximately of 700 grams.
Furthermore, the Ideapad is expected to launch their 32GB model very soon for $499, but the company still has not officially announced it.
Olivetti OliPad 110
Olivetti has yet to reveal the official details behind the OliPad 110′s price and availability, but we’ve been able to uncover them. Set to appear sometime in Italian stores in mid to late July for about EUR400, it will likely arrive in the US and elsewhere a month or two after for somewhere between $499-$599.
It may be a newcomer to the Android Honeycomb Tablet space, but has a 10.1-inch WXGA touchscreen display, two cameras at 2 megapixels and 5 megapixels (front and rear, respectively). It will also have Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS on board, a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core chip, 16GB of built-in flash memory storage, a mini-USB port, micro-HDMI port, microSD card reader, and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G wireless support.
It will also be leaner and thinner than many tablets on the market, at approximately 600 grams, and Olivetti has a formidable reputation for producing excellent quality wares, so we anticipate this will carry over to their tablets as well.
Panasonic Toughbook Tablet
Spec-wise, this tablet is the real deal. It has all the things that virtually every tablet has on this list, and more. The first of these added features is GPS, which as we all know is absolutely necessary these days. Others features of this highly anticipated tablet include long battery life, 3G/4G access, and the best part: a 10 inch matte screen that is readable in bright daylight, with a stylus as the input device. Added to the rugged design, which boasts a tough chassis and most importantly, a very durable screen, and you’ve got an impressive product.
The Japanese company is lining their sights at an opening in the otherwise crowded tablet market: the rugged tablet portion. Panasonic’s Toughbook can already turn into a tablet, but they’re not exactly designed to be tablets. This time, Panasonic is building one from the ground up and it is looking mighty impressive. Any thoughts on tough technology? Does it add to the allure, or will people prefer sexier, leaner devices?
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
This has proven to be one elusive piece of technology, but for no reason other than component shortages. We believe that Samsung has demonstrated a strong commitment to Android, and released the most successful line of Android phones – the Samsung Galaxy S – in 2010. Hot on the heels of the release of its larger sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, many are wondering where its smaller sibling can be found. The truth is, it hasn’t even gone on sale, and Samsung has pushed back the official release date for this, and is slowly trickling it into different markets globally as you read this.
Still, for many, the 8.9 inch screen size and the fact that it is incredibly light – make it just right. It will feature near identical hardware to its larger counterpart, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, including a 8.9-inch WXGA resolution capacitive multi-touch PLS display, 1 GB of RAM, a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core SoC, 16GB/32GB of memory, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a proprietary PDMI connector for charging/syncing and for optional accessories. The dimensions for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 are 470 grams for weight and 8.6 mm for thinness. There are rumors that it could launch with a slightly thicker profile, but this remains to be confirmed.
Furthermore, the the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is expected to launch very soon in both the US and in Europe. Pricing is expected to be quite competitive, at $479.99 for 16GB Wi-Fi and $569 for 32GB Wi-Fi.
ARCHOS 101 G9
Archos literally turned the tablet industry on its head over the past few days, by announcing a collaborating with Seagate in which they would place an incredibly thin 250GB hard drive in a very powerful tablet. While they haven’t been publicly demoed, and have not been seen by many, the 101 G9 has the potential to climb to the top of the Honeycomb ladder, at least in terms of utility. What remains to be seen is if the 250GB hard drive will have a negative impact on battery life, and if its reputed 1.5Ghz TI OMAP 4460 dual core processor can live up to everyone’s expectations. As the soon to be top of the line 10.1-inch ARCHOS tablet the recently unveiled ARCHOS 101 G9 tablet offers a lot of great features. The new 101 is among the new Gen 9 Android tablets unveiled by ARCHOS recently.
Spec-wise, the tablet features a 10.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution touchscreen, and a best-in-class 1.5 GHz TI OMAP4460 dual-core chip, Android 3.1 Honeycomb, and the choice for either 16GB of memory or a voluminous 250GB of HDD storage, a USB 2.0 and HDMI port, a microSDHC card slot (for 16GB models only), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, GPS, and up to 10 hours of web browsing battery life.
Seemingly too good to be true, prices start for the Archos 101 G9 at $349, and more for the 250GB model. Expect to see them sometime in September.
Sony’s S1 Android Honeycomb Tablet looks to be like a very attractive tablet. While crucial specs like battery and weight are unknown, we still happen to think that the S1 is one of the better looking tablets we have seen as of late. Specs for this particular tablet include:
- 9.4-inch Screen
- 1Ghz dual core Tegra 2 SoC
- 1GB of RAM
- 16GB/32GB of memory
- Curved top like a magazine
- Front- and rear-facing cameras
- Can be used as a Remote control for Sony Equipment (thanks to included IR)
As a leader in display business through its wonderfully designed line of Bravia HDTV’s, Sony is considered by many to produce some of the best in the biz. It’s only natural then, that the S1 tablet uses infrared technology and will work as universal remote controls for a variety of AV (Sony) devices. Through DLNA, the user will be able to “throw” content from the tablet to the big screen in (hopefully) an easy way. The same will be possible for music, too, as most receivers are starting to get DLNA built into them too.
Sony has told us that we can expect to see the S1 go on sale early this Fall, but no pricing has emerged, as of yet.
One of the newest additions the upcoming Android tablet showdown of 2011 is the only recently announced Huawei MediaPad. Huawei claims it to be the fastest, smallest and smartest tablet that they have ever created. This highly portable 7-inch tablet is also alleged to be one of the first to feature Android 3.2 Honycomb the Honeycomb version, which has been optimized for Qualcomm processors, and for the 7 inch form factor. Plus, Android 3.2 Honeycomb feature a ton of other improvements to the web browser, and to general stability, speed, and functionality.
Spec-wise, it’s a powerful little tablet. It’s also got a 7 inch, WSVGA 217 pixels-per-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen, Android 3.2, a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor and Adreno 220 GPU, microSD and SIM card slots, and a 0.4-inch (10.5mm) thin design that weighs less than one pound, at only 390g, or 0.86 pounds, depending on how you like it.
No price is set for this yet folks, but you can definitely expect to see it before the end of September.
So there you have it folks. Things certainly have changed substantially since we originally published the Best Android Tablets of 2011 back in January. You can soon expect a tablet of virtually every size to come to market in the next several months, and from the looks of it, things are really set to explode, and a price war is likely to follow suit just in time for holidays. Are there any tablets we missed that you are excited about? Let us know in the comments below.