Back in early 2012, if you would've said the name "Fuhu" to me, I would've paid no mind to your gibberish and went on about my business. Then in June I got my hands on the nabi 2 – a tablet designed specifically for children – and it put Fuhu on the map in a big way (for me, at least). For $200, the nabi 2 was (and still is) a seriously fantastic piece of hardware for the child in your life. And we're not talking about some Playskool garbage, either – it's the real deal. A full Android-powered tablet featuring an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor.
When I first read the specs and saw pictures of the MeMO Pad Smart, the only thing that popped into my mind was this is just like a TF300, minus the dock. It was beyond me why ASUS would even build a tablet that is essentially identical to one of its other tablets. Sure, the price is $50 lower, but still – is there really a market for this?
I imagine that, like me, the majority of you also judged this tablet based merely on the spec sheet. This is last year's flagship, you might have said. And of course, I understand that.
So, the MediaPad 7 Lite from Huawei. Maybe you've heard of it. Maybe you haven't. What it is, though, is a "budget" - and I use that term loosely - tablet with a 7-inch form factor. Of course, automatic comparisons to the Nexus 7 are going to be drawn here, and without getting further into the review, I can tell you this: it's not better. It's not as good. In fact, it's not even half the tablet that the Nexus 7 is, and I mean that both in terms of hardware specifications and in actual performance. If you're looking for something more than the N7, keep looking - 'cause this ain't it.
Over the past couple of years, Android tablets haven't really lived up to their full potential. We've seen multiple "game changers" or "iPad killers" come and go - yet the landscape has remained the same; that is, not very good. Further proving this, the best selling Android tablet of all time isn't an Android tablet at all - it's a Kindle. The Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD have been selling like hotcakes, but that really has nothing to do with Android - it's all about Amazon services. Until the Nexus 7, a "true" Android tablet had yet to really make a splash in the market.
At the end of June, Google unveiled its first Nexus-branded tablet to the world: the Nexus 7. Since then, it has become the premier Android tablet, which is now selling at nearly a million units each month. For good reason - it's a fantastic tablet.
Despite the storm that rocked NYC, three days ago Google took the wraps off the latest addition to the Nexus tablet family: the Nexus 10. I've been playing with the N10 for the past 24 hours (give or take) and instead of waiting several days to post a full review, I want to share my first impressions with you.
For part one (the review of the A2109), please click here.
There's no doubt the Android tablet market is heating up much like the phone market was a few years ago. Where before there were relatively few choices, manufacturers are now rolling out new models left and right - sometimes, it seems, with reckless abandon. It's almost like Newton's third law in action: for every great tablet released, an equal but opposite tablet is released.
There's no doubt the Android tablet market is heating up much like the phone market was a few years ago. Where before there were relatively few choices, manufacturers are now rolling out new models left and right - sometimes, it seems, with reckless abandon. It's almost like Newton's third law in action: for every great tablet released, an equal but opposite tablet is released. Not to spoil the reviews, but I'll tell you right up front: both the $300 9" A2109 and $400 10" S2110 fall under "the opposite" (i.e., they're bad).
According to Amazon, the original (2011) model of the Kindle Fire (KF) captured 22% of the tablet market. Whether or not you believe that figure, it was almost certainly the most popular Android tablet of the year. When compared to the often-times much more expensive tablets on the market, it was easy to see why: the Kindle fire offered 90% of the experience for 50% (or less) of the price.
But that was before the competition hit back. Samsung released the comparable (but more capable) Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in April, and even with a keyboard and USB adapter, it cost just $250.
Considering we're a little late to the game on our review of Amazon's newest Kindle Fire, you've probably skimmed through the thoughts of various blogs and news outlets, finding quips like "not a great general computing tablet," or "no match for the Nexus 7's / iPad's performance." And they're right.
The Fire HD is not a good "tablet" in the sense its competitors are (yet), and it's not really a match for the hardware horsepower of its Google-born arch-nemesis, the Nexus 7. But, like I said in my hands-on, comparing the Fire HD to the Nexus is just kind of a mismatch (though you'll read many comparisons in this review, because a lot people are interested in them).
"Unique" is the name of the game with the Archos 101 XS. Just about every design decision goes against the status quo. Most tablets are made out of aluminum or plastic, but Archos went with stainless steel and a plastic rim. It's a tablet-laptop hybrid, but there's no hinge, everything is held together with a kickstand and some magnets. The included keyboard dock also doubles as a magnetic cover. At a time when some Android OEMs are
accused found guilty of doing little more than firing up a photocopier, some out-of-the-box thinking is very much appreciated.
It's only $400 for the tablet and keyboard, so we're firmly in budget territory here.