So, Tablet Computers. iPad’s & Android’s wtf?

When the sneak peak of the iPad came out about a year ago now, it really did not excite me. The concept was good because we all can imagine the potential of handheld tablet computers, but Apple (unsurprisingly) were a bit light on the features and heavy on the price. I certainly was not adding one to my wish list – but I was definitely interested to follow the market. A few months later I got my hands on one for a proper play with it, and wow, I was very impressed. This thing is slick – like really cool. I was very surprised by how much I like it – and so many of the apps were absolutely captivating and very impressive to use. Also as a business productivity tool its amazing. However the price was still extortionate – starting at €499 for the basic 8GB & wifi – going all the way up to a crazy €799 for 64GB with 3G. So, it was stilll a pass for my shopping list, but i was excited to see what the competitors would come out with. And it didn’t take long….

There have been a multitude of new tablets released onto the market like the Samsung Galazy Tab, the Dell Streak, the Archos 101 – all varying in sizes and capabilities – but all these, not being apple, run Google’s mobile operating System called “Android”. However because the market is still quite imature – none of them aren’t exactly cheap for something you may only use as an occasional toy – surfing the web on the couch instead of on the PC – or keeping you amused on trains & planes. Thankfully, it did not take long for a whole host of Chinese versions to hit the market. Like a lot of these Chinese imatations, most of them are rubbish…. Apart from one…

Zenithink ZT-180

The Zenihink ZT-180 looks just like an iPad with a 10″ screen – although it has a slightly more widescreen format screen. It has a pretty fast processor, 256mb and 4gb of internal storage – but unlike the iPad this is easily expandable by up to 32GB with a Micro SD card. it has Wifi and a full accelerometer as well which is great for games. Also unlike the iPad it has a full size USB port which for me is a massive plus! It runs Android 2.1 but can be upgraded to 2.2 Froyo. The battery like is not going to be as good as the iPad’s but from waht I hear you can get about 4-6 hours depending on usage. Some stat’s say more but many say less.  It does not have 3G but I’d be unlikely to even get an iPad with 3G due to excessive data charges in Ireland (it’s cheap in the UK). With a small Hack you can get loads of apps from the Android Market – and this upgrade improves battery life too apparently.

But the best thing about this, is the cost. I just bought this lovely little unit for a total price of €134 including express delivery via DHL – a tiny fraction of what you would have to pay for n iPad. Ok now its definitely not going to be quite as Good as an iPad – however it does have some advantages like USB & SD etc – however the iPad does have a nicer Capacitive screen – but overall its a great value package.

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