Archive for the ‘Tablets’ Category

Staring me in the face was this neat little glossy faced box of tricks! It was a little smaller than I had imagined, but it wasn’t too small…..or was it?

You can tell that it has been hand made as the screen doesn’t sit perfectly in the surrounding bezel, and sometimes when handling the slate, the screen tends to move away from the main unit. This has something to do with why the accuracy with the screen is not 100%. Obviously we can look forward to a much better build with the final production units.

It was a little heavier than I first thought, but only because I really didn’t know what to expect. Now that I’ve had it and used it for a few days I don’t even notice the weight, which really isn’t that much. (And is even 144 grams heavier that the FP (final production) unit).

The screen is BIG, perhaps it might seem small to you when you first open the box, but once you start to use it, you see that actually you have a lot of real estate on the 11.5″ LCD.

The fan is almost constantly on, which is a bit of a bummer, but we know that this will be sorted in the final production units, and will only come on when needed; however, the unit does get quite hot when on charge (naturally), I only hope that the fan that is used in the FP unit is more powerful but quieter.

In the centre at the top of the screen is the 1.3MP forward facing camera. I’ve tested the camera and it works well for web-cam chats and takes quite good high resolution stills.

In the left upper corner is the light sensor and an indictaion LED which is orange when charging, and blue when first powering on.

Apart from those two above there is absolutely nothing else on the face of the device, just glass.

Turn the Exo on its left side and from left to right you have; Power socket 3mm jack, Mini HDMI port, 2xUSB ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, SD Card Reader & SIM card slot. Flip it upside down and all you have are vents in the casing and a docking port.

The ports are positioned perfectly, I wouldn’t want them anywhere else on the unit. 2 x USB should be ample for most people, I don’t think I ever used both in one go. The HDMI was very easy to use, as you can see in my video, and it was a crystal clear picture, no jumping, jittering and the colours were perfect. You could easily use this to extend the desktop on the unit to another monitor/HD TV. I suppose if you have a main desk but are out and about a lot, if you dock the unit to the ExoPC official dock, with a USB keyboard & mouse already connected, all you would have to do is connect up your HD monitor to the HDMI and you have yourself a desktop PC(!) ready to transform to a mobile device when called in to action.

The ExoPC does not in any way feel cheap! If anything because of the weight, (again its not too heavy), it feels solid as a rock! Like you could drop it out from under your arm and it would just bounce on the floor (not tested!) and be fine.

The casing, on the back and some of the bezel, is coated in some kind of rubbery material which really helps for grip, especially when carrying it with one hand.


The problem with it being a coating is that in time, with wear, that coating will inevitably wear off. Not everywhere mind, but in certain key hands-on area’s.

Even though its not the FP screen, the one in the prototype is very good…….. from certain angles! When you get those angles right the screen is bright, vivid and very clear & crisp & not pixelated at all, all the corners are sharp and the rounded edges smooth, just what you want from an LCD screen.

Windows 7 is a marvelous work of art, it really is the best bits of all of Microsoft’s attempts at creating an astounding OS over the years. The Windows UI is very good, it even has a mode for tablet devices to make thinks like buttons & icons larger for your fingers to hit them easier……. but(!) it’s just not good enough for a solely touch enabled device! Which is where the ExoPC UI layer comes to the rescue!

A couple of occasions, when I was using the ExoPC in Windows, it took me to a screen (full screen on a PDF viewer for example), I lost the start bar and no other buttons were visible, I couldn’t get up the on screen keyboard to close the app or get back to the home page. That’s were you really need a ‘hard’ ‘home’ key, that takes you back to a position where you can recover the app or close it, probably just the same as the ‘show the desktop’ button in Win 7, or perhaps to bring up the Task Manager, that’s the only thing I can say that this unit is lacking. On those occasions all I could do to get back to life was to re-boot.


Edit: 3rd Sep 2010

I tried pressing the hard button on the back of the device, but this just put it into standby mode, when it woke again I had the login screen, but from there all I could do was click the button to log in, no other options were available. Once logged back in it took me straight back to my full screen app and I was back at square one again. If anything this is a limitation of the app, i should have been able to ‘right click’ inside the app and choose to come out of full screen mode.

The general feel, performance-wise of the ExoPC is that of a middle range laptop. The 2GB RAM really helps the CPU, if it were any less I would bet the unit would run rather laggy. Tap the screen and it responds immediately, and even though its the prototype screen (most of the time) its quite accurate.

Loading apps like a web browser, Wordpad or PDF reader is quite snappy, there’s not much loading time, (especially with Chrome). Other apps such as Microsoft Word/Excell take a little longer, 20 seconds or so, but once they’re loaded they’re very snappy.

Edit: 3rd Sep 2010

This was before I worked out the Windows Media Sharing was running in the background and eating up all of the CPU! Having done another test, apps like Word, Excell etc. have a load time just a tad behind the browsers, so quite quick. (Stupid Windows Media Sharing!) . . . . Actually its a good feature if you have a REALLY powerful machine to do it on.

Edit: 15th Sep 2010

With the new SSD in the unit things are really speeding up! The ExoPC was snappy before but now things like office 2010 apps load up and a couple of seconds! Applications install faster and things like Photoshop load quicker too. There really is a VAST difference between these two SSD drives. The upgrade was definitely worth the two week extra wait!

Web-browsing on the ExoPC is an area where it shines, obviously we have so much choice with browsers and because the big three are ‘touch enabled’ there’s no fiddling with the tiny thin scroll bar to navigate up & down the page. Obviously flash is supported (Windows 7 OS) so Youtube and various websites that embed flash, whether it be videos or games or just banners work perfectly and fluidly.

I varied the way I held the ExoPC depending on mood, sometimes I’d use one hand (left) gripping between my thumb and index finger, and tap the buttons and keyboard with my right, other times I’d place the ExoPC in the palm of my left hand and half support it with my wrist, its all down to personal preference.

I found myself in the landscape mode almost 90% of the time, only moving to portrait for testing or reading PDF’s. The current software for rotating the screen is very crude, the screen goes black and the transition is pretty unpleasent! All this will be solved in the final version though and we’ll see a smooth transition with no ‘black screen’ effect. To add to that the software is way too sensitive in this prototype, something that has been ironed out also for the FP units that you will buy.

The basic version of the UI that was installed on the prototype was in fact that, pretty basic, but that doesnt mean it wasnt a good concept. To be able to organise your games, apps, music & videos like they intend it to is genius and the UI itself is simple & easy, just what you want for a touch user interface..

Closing Summary

Considering the ExoPC I had was a prototype, it really blew (and still does blow) me away!

I really didn’t think that you could get the power of a decent operating system in this form factor, a 14mm thick salte for goodness sake!

The combination of the fully functioning Exo UI Layer and the Windows OS will make this unit top of its class, a must have! Ok the design is not as sleek as the iPad granted, but who cares, who wants to pay a lot of money for a big iPod touch and then try and use it as a fully functioning PC? Only simpletons. The ExoPC is a fully functioning PC.

With the ExoPC the uses & possibilities are infinate, there will always be some new USB peripheral that comes out that enables it to do something new, just like with our laptops we have already, only this thing doesnt have to sit on your lap and fry your thighs with its eminating heat!, or be placed on a table to be able to take notes quickly or book that last minute flight. The freedom that the ExoPC gives you has been a long time coming, we should have had this kind of thing years ago, my hat goes off to Jean-Bapstiste and the awesome guys & gals at ExoPC for bringing us this revolution in ultra mobile computing.

Long live ExoPC!

Specs:

– Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
– App Store: Yes
– Display: Multi-touch Capacitive dual-touch, Pressure sensitive
– Display size: 11,6 inches, 1366 x 768 pixels (135 pixels per inch)
– RAM (installed / max): 2GB / 2GB DDR2
– CPU: Intel Atom Pineview-M N450 1.66 GHz — 64 bit support
– Graphics: Intel GMA 3150
– BROADCOM Crystal HD 1080p
– Storage: SSD 32GB or 64GB
– Wireless: Wifi 802.11 b/g/n
– Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR
– Ports: USB 2.0 x2, Audio jack, Mini-HDMI, Dock
– Card reader: SD/SDHC 32GB Max
– Accelerometer: Yes
– Light sensor: Yes
– Webcam: 1.3 MP
– Microphone Yes
– Speaker: Built-in 2 x 1.5W
– Battery Life: 4 hours
– Dimensions: 295 x 195 x 14.0 mm
– Weight: 950 g

(Tablets)

It has come as a bit of a surprise to many, that Russian based company Rover Computers has out of the blue released 5 new tablet computers. Maybe the tablet revolution really is getting into full swing. These latest devices come with screen sizes ranging from 5 to 7 inches and four out of the five are running with Android OS, the fifth with Windows CE.

The four Android tablet computers are the TegA W70, the RoverPad G50, the RoverPad G72 and the RoverPad 3WG70. The Windows CE Tablet is the RoverPad Air G70.The four Android tablet computers are the TegA W70, the RoverPad G50, the RoverPad G72 and the RoverPad 3WG70. The Windows CE Tablet is the RoverPad Air G70.The Windows CE RoverPad Air G70 has a seven-inch WVGA resistive touchscreen, 256MB of RAM, 4 GB of built in flash storage and has a 667MHz Samsung ARM11 processor. You also get Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Oh yes, can’t forget the 3 megapixel camera, MicroSD expansion slot and TV output too.

The best of the Android bunch is the RoverPad TegA W70 which has a seven inch screen, runs on Android 2.1, carries a Nvidia Tegra Chipset, comes with 512 MB RAM, a 4GB Flash Drive and has Wi-Fi and 3G. You also get a HDMI output and a webcam.

The RoverPad G50 has a smaller five-inch screen, a Marvell PXA303 chip and runs on Android 1.5. You also get a microSD slot and a USB socket.

The RoverPad Go G72 has a seven-inch screen device that uses Android 1.6 and also has Bluetooth, Ethernet and optional GPS. It’s basically a larger 7 inch version of the G50.

The cheapest option of them all is the RoverPad 3WG70, which uses Android 1.5 and a RockChip 2808. It comes with 128MB of RAM and 2GB of flash storage. Prices for the cheapest of these devices are expected to start at around the 10,000 rubles mark which equates to roughly $321. However, the biggest issue surrounding these new tablet devices is going to be getting hold of one. That’s another matter altogether.

Tech site Engadget have just put an update on their site that all may not be well with Moscow based Rover Computers. “We’ve received credible information that Rover may not actually survive as a company long enough to release these. Word has it that the general manager just bolted, and the vast majority of the marketing team was let go. In their words, the company is “practically bankrupt now,” and it’s unlikely the firm will find the funds to brand these otherwise vanilla ODM designs as its own. That’s a pity! However, there’s always hope.

RoverPad | TabletsRoverPad Air G70:

  • Genuine Windows CE 6.0
  • 7-inch plate with resistive screen with a 800x480px resolution
  • Samsung ARM11 processor at 667 MHz
  • 256MB Ram
  • 4 GB Flash Drive which can be expanded via the micro SD slot
  • Wi-Fi with 3G
  • 3 MP webcam
  • FM-transmitter
  • USB slots ( numbers notknown)
  • Weight is around 450 grams (around 1lb)
  • Internal Speakers as well as headphone output
  • 210x119x16mm dimension

RoverPad G50 | TabletsRoverPad Go G50:

  • Android 1.5
  • 5-inch plate with resistive screen with a 800x480px resolution
  • Video playback up to 720x480px resolution
  • Marvel PXA303 processor
  • 128MB Ram
  • 2GB Flash Drive which can be expanded via the micro SD slot
  • Wi-Fi with 3G
  • GPS
  • USB port
  • Weight is around 271 grams (around 16 ounces)
  • Internal Speakers as well as headphone output
  • 158x88x16mm dimension

RoverPad G72| TabletsRoverPad Go G72:

  • Android 1.6
  • 7-inch plate with resistive screen with a 800x480px resolution
  • Marvel PXA303 processor
  • 128MB RAM
  • 2GB Flash Drive which can be expanded via the micro SD slot
  • Wi-Fi with 3G
  • Ethernet port
  • Webcam
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • 2 USB ports

RoverPad W70 | TabletsRoverPad Tega W70:

  • Android 2.1
  • 7-inch plate with resistive screen with a 800x480px resolution
  • NVidia Tegra Platform
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Flash Drive
  • Wi-Fi with 3G
  • HDMI Port
  • Webcam
  • GPS
  • USB Ports

RoverPad 3WG70 | TabletsRoverPad 3WG70:

  • Android 1.5
  • RockChip 2808
  • 128MB Ram
  • 2GB Flash Drive which can be expanded via the micro SD slot
  • Wi-Fi
  • Webcam
  • USB Ports
  • Internal Speakers as well as headphone output

(tablets.com)


Pioneer Computers DreamBook ePad N7

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Pioneer, Tablets
Tags: ,

Pioneer Computers DreamBook ePad N7 | TabletsIn addition of their existing DreamBook ePad 7 Android Tablet, Pioneer is throwing out another new series called DreamBook ePad N7 to the market. Similar to its predecessor, DreamBook ePad N7 is not Full HD yet. It comes with 7-inch WVGA (800 x 480) LCD touchscreen display that support 16 million colors. The tablet PC is powered by NVIDIA Tegra II T20 Dual Core 1.2GHz, 1MB L2 Cache, and a ULP GeForce graphical chipset.

Pioneer Computers DreamBook ePad N7 features 512MB of 1.8V DDR2 667MHz RAM, 4GB internal storage, expandable via MicroSD memory card, Powered by Android 2.1 OS, and 1.3MP camera and 2-cell battery.Pioneer Computers DreamBook ePad N7 features 512MB of 1.8V DDR2 667MHz RAM, 4GB internal storage, expandable via MicroSD memory card, Powered by Android 2.1 OS, and 1.3MP camera and 2-cell battery.Connection-wise, Dreambook ePad N7 has can hook up with the local WiFi Hotspots, or it can go online using SIM card over to the 3G network. Optionally, you can add Bluetooth connection to the device so you can hook up with bluetooth devices.

Pioneer Computers Dreambook ePad N7 Android Tablet is going to cost $499 to own one. (tablets)

Mouse Computer brings the exciting and new LuvPad AD100 to Japan, with Android 2.2 and Tegra on board

Android-loving Japanese readers, your day has come. Mouse Computer is kindly bringing you the so-called LuvPad AD100, a 10.1-inch, 1,024 x 600 tablet running Android 2.2 on NVIDIA Tegra 2internals. As is the way of Android tablets it is naturally just a rebrand of someone else’s product, which we’ve earlier seen showing up with a Hannspree logo and, before that, an Interpad logo. There’s the typical 512MB of internal memory paired with microSD expansion (8GB included), and it can be yours in a few weeks if you get that pre-order in for ¥48,250 — about $575. Need to see more before committing? Check out our Spanish colleagues’ hands-on with the Interpad version. (engadget)

Pioneer Computers ePad 7 | TabletsIt seems the Aussie dwellers is not staying quite letting US and China manufacturers to conquer their tablet market. Recent, Pioneer Computes Australia is also cranking out a new model of Android Tablet called Dreambook ePad 7, which has the iPad look and feel, while provided the similar specs with expandable storage option.

DreamBook ePad 7 Android Tablet has got a nice 7-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen display, 256MB RAM, 2GB SSD built-in, run with Android 1.6 OS and powered by 533MHz processor. The performance itself is probably a child toy compared to iPad and other strong competitors like HP Slate, but DreamBook ePad 7 Android Tablet has been priced at $199 only, which could become a nice consideration when choosing your new tablet device.

DreamBook ePad 7 android tablet has also got a microSD card slot that support up to 32GB, 1.3-MP camera, both music and video player (non-HD yet), WiFi enabled, GPS with optional device, Bluetooth (optional), 3G (optional) and one USB 2.0 port for reading external files.

DreamBook ePad 7 is powered by 2400mAh battery, however we have no idea how long it can work continuously. (tablets)

Here is a quick video of the Pioneer Computers ePad 7 :

Orange Tabbee | TabletsFrench telco plans to bring three tablet devices to market between now and Christmas, according to press report.

Orange plans to launch at least three tablet devices before the end of this year, one of which will carry its own brand, according to a report in the French press on Thursday. The operator aims to bring tablets to the mass market by launching a device that will retail, unsubsidised, at less than €250, newspaper Les Echos said, without citing sources. For customers signing up to one or two-year contracts, the price could fall to below €100.

The tablet, which will be made by “a large Asian vendor”, will run on the Android operating system and will come with 3G connectivity. In addition to bringing tablet computers to the lower echelons of the market, the Orange tablet will help the operator take on industry giant Apple. The cheapest iPad model with connectivity currently costs €599, significantly more than the planned Orange device.The tablet, which will be made by “a large Asian vendor”, will run on the Android operating system and will come with 3G connectivity. In addition to bringing tablet computers to the lower echelons of the market, the Orange tablet will help the operator take on industry giant Apple. The cheapest iPad model with connectivity currently costs €599, significantly more than the planned Orange device.This is not Orange’s first foray into the world of tablets. It launched the Tabbee just under 18 months ago, a tablet pitched as a family device for the home. The Tabbee has largely failed to capture the imagination of the French market, although it is still on sale.

However, an Android tablet brings with it Google’s large applications store, and the timing of the launch enables Orange to ride on the coattails of the hype generated by Apple’s iPad, which was just a glint in Steve Jobs’ eye when the Tabbee came to market last year.Furthermore, Orange hopes to leverage its recent experience in the notebook and smartphone markets.

Les Echos points out that the telco has already sold 100,000 units of its own-brand Boston smartphone since it launched in April. The handset, which was made in China and is also based on Android, costs just €120 to produce, which means it can be sold from as little as €1, with subsidies, and is also available on prepaid plans.

The Boston is on sale in Spain, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Romania. Orange also offers a €120 netbook in Slovakia. However, the paper suggests that Orange will not pursue an own-brand-only strategy when it comes to tablets. If talks with Apple come to fruition, the telco will likely launch the iPad on its network between now and Christmas. And it also plans to offer another competing device in the same timeframe.

Check out the following video; some hands on with the Orange Tabbee Tablet:


We’re still struggling to understand how exactly a device with a 3.2-inch display is considered a “tablet,” but at any rate, the Archos 32 is now available for those who’d like to pretend their shiny new PMP is — in fact — a tablet. Shortly after we sat down with this here handheld, Archos has managed to get ’em rolling off of the production line, and since you’re curious, we’ll have you know that $149.99 buys a 0.39-inch thick device with a 3.2-inch touchpanel (400 x 240), Android 2.2, 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, an internal microphone, G-sensor and playback support for nearly every file format under the sun. The battery’s good for up to 24 hours when cruising through tunes, but that dwindles to 6 once you fire up those bootleg copies of Family Guy. Still, not bad for a tablet. Right? (engadget)

The way that rumors and Verizon’s statements have been lining up this year, you might’ve been under the impression that its upcoming Android tablets would be carrier exclusives — but maybe not: ye oldeWall Street Journal is citing “three people familiar with the matter” (it’s not often they give a quantity of familiar people!) as saying that Big Red, AT&T, and Sprint are all on tap to take delivery of the Galaxy Tab. In light of Samsung’s strategy in deploying the Galaxy S as far and wide (and with as little exclusivity) as possible, that’d certainly make sense — the company is comfortable switching between GSM, CDMA, and even WiMAX radios at this point without breaking a sweat.

Speaking of WiMAX, this rumor certainly lends credence to the possibility that the Sprint version will be 4G-equipped, giving the Epic a big brother in the carrier’s growing stable of sexy WiMAX hardware. Samsung has an event lined up in New York next Thursday, the 16th (which we’ll be attending, naturally) and the WSJ goes on to say that the Tab’s US unveil is going to go down there. Pricing remains an open question, but considering that the Tab’s a full-on cellphone in addition to a data device, it seems that American customers might need to be comfortable with another contract if they want in on this thing. Ouch. (engadget)

moto-tab-vzwinventory

Well, well, well. Lookie what we have here. The Motorola tablet we have heard so much (yet so little) about has popped right up in Verizon’s inventory with an MZ600 model number attached. In fact we have three entries. One for the tablet itself, one for demo units, and one for dummy units. Still, the screenshot doesn’t reveal much other than Verizon is prepared to receive the rumored collaboration between Big Red, Moto, and Google herself into its tender, warm, and receptive hands.

The tablet is rumored to be launching as soon as October in anticipation of big holiday sales. Other posited specs are NVIDIA Tegra 2 internals and Android 3.0 (Gingerbread). The Tegra 2 we can buy into given that it seems to be the go-to tablet chip and rumors suggest Moto may be heading towards the processor for future Android handsets, but with little in the way of leaked Gingerbread news it is hard to believe it could be coming that soon. Then again, Google and Moto did team up for an Android 2.0 launch, so we will surely see. There are also reports that the tablet will feature a tie-in with Verizon’s FiOS for mobile TV.

It’s almost a certainty that the Moto tablet will end up with some sort of Droid branding as well. Whether it be DroidPad or DroidTab or something entirely different, we can’t see VZW missing out on the built-in marketing for the Droid line giving a big boost for a new tablet. In fact, even though leaks suggest the Galaxy Tab from Samsung will hit the carrier, I wouldn’t be surprised if that tablet is delayed until after the launch of this Motorola device in the same way the Fascinate was held off until after the release of the Droid X and Droid 2.

What will we ultimately see from Motorola’s first Android tablet? Your educated guess is as good as mine, but it is definitely coming. And coming soon. (phandroid)

Android Tablet Buying Tips

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Android, Tablets
Tags: ,

Android Tablet Buying Tips

If you look at the market today, it would seem that an Android tablet is something yet to come. And while that is true for the most part, you can buy Android tablets as we speak from many sources. Sure, they may not be brand names, but the prices are attractive, and… they are available. But as with any cutting edge product that is making its way onto the market, there is one thing to remember – Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

After all, little is known as to what to expect from an Android tablet. And, being that it is a new product in a new market niche with more or less undefined user expectations, it would be easy to make a lot of assumptions that there is a certain level of functionality present. But a quick scan of what is available proves that this is not the case. And we should expect Android tablets, with their free operating system, to be available from a lot of sources. The floodgates are building.

So, what should a potential Android tablet buyer look for? Well, the most logical answer is simple – the one that will address your needs. If you need only the most basic functionality, then a lot of products will fit the bill. But you just might discover that you grow quickly beyond the most basic uses, and at that point looking for a capable device will have been beneficial. And what key features should you look for in a Android tablet? Let’s look at some that I feel should be present in any practical Android tablet.

Android 3.0

Of all of the things that I am convinced an Android tablet needs to have, this is the most important for sustained usability – it must run, or be able to run, Android 3.0. This not only sets you up for strong future app compatibility, but it also adds many features that will make your tablet experience nicer.

Such details include support of higher resolution graphics (prior Android was targeted towards the smaller phone displays) and better battery management. The interface has been standardized, with a revamped display and animated actions. By comparison the previous version of Android looks utilitarian. And you do want a pleasant tablet interface that will support the higher resolution, trust me.

On top of that, Android 3.0 is expected to bring a better app store and streaming music capability. Plus, the specs for Android 3.0 call for at least a 1GHz processor with 512MB of ram. A lot of the Android tablets in the wild today do not meet these specs, and app performance may suffer as a result.

Multi-Touch Support

If you are looking at a tablet today, you may think that having a multi-touch is standard. But a lot of the Android tablets on the market today are single touch only. This means that your control will be limited to only basic operations, such as icons, scrolling, etc. There is no pinch to zoom, and rotating a picture using two fingers is impossible.

As time goes on I believe the single touch tablet will be phased out completely, and then it could cost more to do a single touch tablet than the more popular version. But until then, I would suggest to research the tablet and make sure that it is multi-touch before purchase.

Decent Pixel Resolution

If you are buying an Android tablet, you may want to use it as a reader. And one of the great things about a tablet reader is the ability to see full page views of magazines and PDFs. But if the tablet does not have a decent screen resolution, that full page view can quickly degenerate into a “What does that say” guessing game. This is even more pronounced on some PDFs that cannot be easily navigated outside of a full page view.

Instead, try to limit your tablet choices to those that have a worthy display, pixel wise. I would suggest that any tablet under 1024 x 600 (rotation orientation notwithstanding) not be considered as a logical choice. In fact, having a crisp screen is so important on a tablet that I would suggest this resolution be the bare minimum starting point, with a nod towards a 1280 x 760 as being preferred.

Why 1280 x 760? Well, if you have been reading up to this point, you will realize that a decent screen pretty much requires Android 3.0. And what is the new resolution support in 3.0? You guessed it, 1280 x 760. Having this resolution would not only give you a better full page view, but it would validate that the tablet was built for Android 3.0, not an Android tablet put out at the last minute.

Of course, I would not kick a 1024 pixel unit to the curb any time soon. As proven by other tablets on the market, such a display can render a very readable full page view. But I would consider that to be a practical minimum.

Ample Internal Memory or Memory Card Slot

Hopefully you will only consider an Android 3.0 tablet, which means that you will have a minimum of 512MB for the tablet to operate on. But you still want storage space for all of your apps and media. For this you’ll want gigs. As to how many gigs will vary by person, but at least 16GB.

Of course, this does not all have to be internal to the tablet. Some Android tablets now ship with memory card slots that allow you to easily expand memory as required. This will be fine for most uses, but you should factor in the price of a memory card in the overall cost for the tablet. And if you have a few spare cards, then judge accordingly.

If the tablet in mind does not have memory card expansion AND it has less than 16GB, then my answer is simple – walk away. Despite many accesible online storage solutions, to be practical you need storage. Maybe at a later date, when mobile coverage is everywhere and carriers have dropped monthly traffic caps, then it will be a non-issue. But for now, get the storage room.

Fast Enough Processor

Again, if you are getting Android 3.0, the specs have you covered here. The minimum I would suggest (and as the specs call for) is a 1GHz processor. Anything less than this and you will find a tablet to be a very slow and unrewarding experience. And anything too fast could have a horrible battery life. So shoot for around 1.0 GHz and you will probably be okay for this generation or so.

Camera

Now this one is open to interpretation. Some of you may have a use in mind for a tablet that does not require a camera. And that makes perfect sense. But if you are thinking about a tablet as a communications device, then just imagine how much better they can be with  a camera ala Skype or similar. I would put this as optional, depending on your intended use. But it does bear mentioning, since it can avoid the dreaded face palm later if it is overlooked.

USB Port(s)

This is another optional feature that should at least be considered. If you need access to flash drives, then having a port to plug them in would be nice. In my opinion a lot of users with an Android tablet may not need these, as a tablet tends to be a casual use device. But if you even think you might need one, make it a requirement. Even Android tablets available today have them on board, so it might be harder to find one without, than with a USB port. Still, verify that the tablet is so equipped if this is a perceived need.

There are other things to look for in an Android tablet, but they can vary as far as intended uses and desired conveniences go. For example, many users may really want a common USB mini socket to make recharging and interfacing simple. Whatever your needs, verifying that the minimum features are in place will make sure that your Android tablet experience will be a good one. (androidtapp)