If the iPad is too ubiquitous for your tastes, chances are you’re looking at Android tablets. Google’s mobile operating system has been picked up by several big manufacturers, including Samsung, Asus, Sony, and Toshiba. And that’s what makes buying an Android so much trickier. While the iPad has Apple’s spotless reputation to rely on, Android can come in a flimsy $100 machine or sleek, sturdy tablets that go for thousands. To help you make the right choice, here’s a list of the top 5 Android tablet PCs on offer today.
Asus EEE Pad Transformer: It’s a bit older than most models on this list, but there’s a reason for its staying power. Many people buy tablets as a replacement for netbooks, and this one lends itself well to the purpose with its keyboard dock compatibility. There’s also a sliding keyboard attachment coming soon, so this can only get more popular with road warriors!
Samsung Galaxy Tab: Some call it the closest alternative you can get to the iPad 2. Its main selling point is the Tegra 2 dual-core processor, which makes it lightning fast and ideal for multitasking, and the fact that it’s actually slimmer and lighter than the latest iPad. The only problem is that it’s about the same price as the iPad itself, so it comes down to the old Android vs. iOS question.
Sony Tablet S: This tablet is set apart by its wedge design, which supposedly is an ergonomic plus. Not surprisingly, its strength is its compatibility with PlayStation games, making it a good choice for gaming enthusiasts. Other than that, it falls short of the Galaxy Tab and the Transformer in terms of sleekness and versatility, although as a mobile computer it’s one of the most powerful out there.
Motorola Xoom: They may have fallen out of the smartphone game, but Motorola has some pretty decent offerings in the tablet market. Price-conscious buyers are particularly drawn to its price tag, which is much lower than other tablets considering its quality and features. True to its manufacturer’s reputation, it also boasts a solid build and good battery life.
Toshiba AT100: Known for its solid if bulky laptops, Toshiba brings its function-over-style over to the tablet market and offers a not-so-sleek but feature-packed machine. Its size gives it room for full-size HDMI and USB ports, so you can actually watch HDTV from it. It’s a strong choice for media-center enthusiasts, who luckily don’t tend to mind sacrificing portability for the perfect theater experience.