Tablets: the rivals. Stand out on the tube with these slates

Steve Dinneen
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While we all wait for the next iPad, here are some made by other companies. But are they any good?

What is it? Google’s big push into the Apple dominated tablet market. The seven inch device comes with a super-fast processor, a great web experience and it looks pretty good, too.

Is it better than the iPad? It depends. It’s not as beautiful but if you’re in the market for a cheap tablet, or have a hankering for an Android device, this could well be for you.


What is it? Is it a tablet, is it a phone? It’s both! Kind of. Asus’s PadFone 2 is a pretty nifty five inch smartphone that slots in the back of a tablet screen, allowing you to use the bigger interface.

Is it better than the iPad? No, but the comparison is a bit unfair. The PadFone is for people who want to see the contents of their phone on a bigger screen, not a stand-alone tablet.

£615 (out of contract);

What is it? Amazon’s latest colour e-reader. It comes with a tweaked version of Google’s Android software and is optimised for playing media like film, music and, of course, books.

Is it better than the iPad? If you’re a massive user of Amazon and aren’t overly bothered by looks then yes. It automatically syncs with your Amazon purchases, which is very handy.


What is it? Until Amazon and Google came along, Samsung was the biggest contender for Apple’s crown. The Galaxy Tab 2 is a solid, light, thin Android tablet. That’s about it.

Is it better than the iPad? No. Unless you are a die-hard Android geek or a devoted Apple-hater, there isn’t really any reason to buy this device.


What is it? Microsoft’s belated entry into the tablet market. It runs the latest version of its operating system (either a tablet or desktop version) and is surprisingly well built. The cover doubles as a keyboard, which is pretty cool.

Is it better than the iPad? No, although if you transfer documents from your desktop to your tablet it is worth a look.


What is it? Who knew Sony made tablets too? The Tablet S comes in a wedge-shape which makes tabletop reading slightly easier and its hardware packs a real punch.

Is it better than the iPad? No, it isn’t. But it does stand out in a fairly homogenous non-Apple tablet market so if looking different on the tube matters to you, Sony could have the answer.