Tech Guides & Reviews

Tablet Alternatives – Cheaper, Faster, Better

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Apple’s products may dominate the market, but the iPad isn’t the only tablet out there. Don’t believe us, check out this selection of sleek alternatives!

iPads have almost a monopoly on the tablet market. Why? Because (and this cannot be reiterated enough), Apple’s marketing strategy is stellar and Apple fans stick to what they already know: Apple products. No other product leads to people queuing outside the store ten days before the launch to get their hands on a new device, one they could very easily get the next day or, better yet, online. Much like with the iPod, their tablets have pushed out plenty of cool alternatives that could easily meet your needs.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

“But that’s an e-book reader!” you say, and you’re right, it is, but it can be so much more. Granted, this is for the less demanding user, but it can still pack a punch when it comes to providing the goods. With an impressive 8.9” screen, a memory of 16 gigs (upgradeable to 32 or 64), ports, speakers and connectivity, it would be a mistake to consider this “just an e-reader”. With excellent finishing quality, this will feel nice and sturdy in your hands, though weighing in at 567 grams, it’s a bit on the heavy side.

Watch out though: if you’re a big fan of apps, its store won’t be as satisfying. With its own operating system, this one is for those looking for the basics.

RRP: £329.00 (You could opt for the smaller and less powerful 7” for a cool £149.00)

Google Nexus 7

This is hailed by critics as one of the best (if not the best) tablet to buy and I tend to agree. Its price is criminally low despite the range of its specs: 16 gigs of memory (as always, upgradeable), 7-inch screen, Full HD 1200 x 1920 and a powerful 2GB RAM. It’s sleek and smooth which is amazing for being able to hold comfortably in one hand, a great attribute for a tablet. It’s not built with aluminium (a thing to look out for when it comes the strength of build), but at this price, it doesn’t matter, because Google has had quality foremost in its mind. Plus, with an Android operating system, you’ll have every app at your disposal.

RRP: £199.99

Tesco Hudl

Did you hear that right? Tesco? They make tablets? Since when? I was just as surprised as you were. The Hudl is for basic use, but it’s incredibly great value! If you just want a tablet for what a tablet does (basically provide a bigger screen than your phone) this baby might be for you. It’s pretty slim on some of the specs: camera is bordering on VGA quality and it’s slow, but it provides ample storage and a pristine display 7” that cannot be beaten at that price. It’s also a tad heavy, but you get what you pay for. It’s a great product and will satisfy the amateur tablet-user. If you’re looking for apps though, tough luck!

RRP: £99.00

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro

Samsung isn’t known for being cheap (at least, cheaper than Apple!) but the Tab Pro is a thing of beauty. 8.4-inch screen with a 1600 x 2560 display, a 2.3GHz quad core processor (this is equal to most desktop computers a few years ago), 2GB RAM and dual cameras, you get your money’s worth. It is made of plastic, which is where they save on production costs, but with its Android OS and otherwise flawless build, it will get you where you need to go.

RRP: £288.00

Lenovo Miix 2

With Windows being the most popular operating system, having a tablet with the same OS makes a lot of sense. Integration to OneDrive (now SkyDrive), OneNote and other Windows applications are smooth, and with constant internet connectivity, you are never truly away from your files. But the tablet isn’t too shabby either. It’s a nice, small piece of gear that will fit comfortably in your hand, with a fairly powerful build: 1.33 GHz processor, 2GB RAM, and a 1200 x 800 display. You get 32 gigs of storage for the same price as the others’ 16, so if you’re an electronic hoarder, this might be exactly what you need.

RRP: £199.00