The Android tablets may have taken a bit longer to catch on with consumers than some manufacturers expected but that hasn’t stopped some fantastic products from reaching the market. The media is still looking for that one ideal tablet that can be labeled the “iPad killer” but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any devices worth owning.
One of the key advantages to Google’s Android platform is the diversity of smartphones and now tablets, built to fit a wide variety of customer preferences. This is quite different than what could be expected from Apple’s “our-good-taste-fits-everyone” approach. While everyone was searching for the “iPad killer”, perhaps a nearly ideal Android tablet slipped under the radar.
What Consumers Want in a Tablet
Judging by the results of a recently released Zogby International poll, consumers have been very clear in expressing exactly what they want out of a tablet. According to the 2,100 American adults surveyed, the tablet would have the same 10-inch screen as the iPad, have a ton of readily available apps, and cost less than $300 after carrier contracts (more on this later). The survey also showed that a significant number of Americans are interested in Android tablets (23%) and in using tablets as a laptop replacement for work or fun (one in four).
Many respondents also expressed more trust in tablets made by a laptop or notebook manufacturer (good news for HP, Dell and Asus) and less trust in tablets made by vendors better-known for their smartphones (not-such-good news for LG, Samsung and Motorola).
Here’s some of the detailed data:
Not only would 23% of all Americans already buy an Android-based tablet, but half of Android phone owners said they would consider buying one. That is a pretty sound endorsement from those who have used the operating system and are familiar with the features and capabilities. Considering how fast smartphone sales are growing, IDC recently predicted that Android will be #2 ahead of iPhone and BlackBerry globally by the end of this year. This brand loyalty could be a huge boon for tablet makers as the holiday shopping season approaches.
The 5 Top Selling 10 Inch Android Tablets
Below is a listing of the current 5 best selling 10 inch tablets together with a brief summary of each:
After capturing a wave of social media headlines, the Google Nexus 10 stormed its way to the top spot this holiday season as shoppers announced their approval with their wallets. The massive 10.1-inch display with its stunning 300 pixels-per-inch resolution and attractive mid-range price point was enough to convince consumers to overlook a visually plain design and vault this device to the top of the charts. There are several features that make this device worth considering including the ultra fast dual-core ARM Cortex A15 processor, super thin body style (8.9 mm), and advanced MIMO WiFi capability for accelerated web browsing. There are two models available in this size, a 16GB Nexus 10 for $399 and a 32 GB version for $499.
The number two spot goes to the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity 10.1 Inch Tablet. It features a 1920 × 1200 resolution Full HD touch screen with scratch resistant glass and runs on the powerful latest new Android 4.0 OS Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. For processing power, the device draws on the lightning-fast quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU along with a robust 1GB of DDR3L memory and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. Other key features include Bluetooth and full wireless 802.11bgn capability, front and rear facing cameras (2MP front and 8MP rear), a micro SD card slot, a micro HDMI port, and a long-lasting 19.5Wh Lithium Polymer Battery with enough power for nearly 10 hours of use between charges. The slim design will make you wonder how so much power was packed into a device that weighs in at just under a pound and a half. The size and functionality make it well-suited for business travelers and those who are just looking for a little entertainment on a long flight or road trip. Priced at just $499 for the 32GB model and $599 for the 64GB version, this tablet delivers the perfect blend of advanced features and value.
Claiming the number three spot is the 10.1 inch Samsung Galaxy Note available in two different versions, 16GB and 32GB. With just a $50 price difference between the two, the 32GB easily edges out the lighter 16GB model in popularity. The Galaxy Note tab runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and features a blazing quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor with 2 GB of RAM. The 10.1 inch widescreen HD display delivers movies, games and online content with crystal clear brilliance and impressive speed. One big draw to this device is the built-in Adobe Photoshop Touch image editing software. It also has support for Flash and while it will slowly be phased out, it will be a long time before it is purged from the depths of the web. Anyone who owns an iPad is familiar with the frustration of stumbling onto a favorite website only to find that video content cannot be accessed will appreciate the full Flash support. The ultra-light body weighs in at just 1.5 pounds giving users sleek, on-the-go access to a 5 MP auto focus front and 1.9 MP rear facing camera along with full WiFi and Bluetooth capability. Priced at $499 for the 16GB model and $549 for the 32GB version, the Samsung Galaxy tab is fairly priced and represents an attractive buy for consumers looking for an alternative to the iPad.
The number 4 spot goes to the Motorola Xoom and after the recent $100 price drop, may have a chance to compete with the Galaxy tab for the number three spot. This next-generation tablet was built on the Android 3.1 OS but is fully upgradeable to the newest 3.2 version. The device is powered by a dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor with 32GB of internal memory. Two cameras are offered including a front facing 2 MP camera for video chat and a 5 MP rear camera with LED flash and HD video capability. Support for Adobe Flash, a 10 hour battery life, and a micro SD expansion slot round out the key selling points.
The number 5 position is currently held by the Viewsonic G-Tablet with 10″ Multi-Touch LCD Screen, Android OS 2.2. This device is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 T20 Dual cortex A9 (1 GHz) processor and 512MB of DDR2 RAM. Flash is available in this tablet for those who may not have realized the beauty of Flash on their current Android phone. This model has a webcam and includes a mini USB port. 16GB of internal memory and 1080p HD video make this a great choice for budget conscious consumers.
Not making the list but earning an honorable mention is the Acer Iconia A500-10S16u with a blazing-fast NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core mobile processor and 1GB DDR2 RAM. It runs on the Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS but can be easily upgraded to the latest version. The 10.1 HD multi-touch screen offers the user a sharp and fluid 1280×800 resolution with full Flash support for HD movies and video content. Additional features include a 2MP front facing camera for use in chat or as a webcam and a 5MP rear facing camera built for high quality still images. The standard 16GB or internal memory is upgradeable to 32GB through a micro SD card slot for those who require a boost. For gamers, this powerful device even comes with hit titles such as Need for Speed: SHIFT and Let’s Golf pre-loaded so users can start to enjoy the device the minute it comes out of the box. The battery life checks in at a respectable 8 hours and while it does not quite make it to double-digits, most consumers would be hard-pressed to notice a difference. With a price point of just $359, it is only a matter of time before this device works its way up the best seller list.
Internet tablets are still relatively new in the technology world. It can help to research the top 5 best selling models in order to narrow your search to the right device. Just as with computers and cell phones, it is important to look at both business and personal needs. The other key factors you will want to take into consideration are speed, weight, battery life, display quality, memory, and price. One should also consider how often the tablet will be used when home or away. This will help with decisions involving display, speed, and memory. It is important to remember that aside from a smartphone, the tablet may be the easiest way to stay connected when mobile.
It is increasingly important to have access to mobile web and internet functions. WiFi is an absolute must and being able to connect on the move and still get work and personal tasks effectively handled is vital in today’s fast paced world. Remember that there is wisdom in what others are doing and there is probably good reason for the best-selling devices to occupy the position they do. Focus your search on the products that other users like and have responded positively to and you will be well on your way to finding tablet Zen!
While this list focused on the 10-inch models, remember that there are some excellent devices in the 7 to 9-inch range as well. The 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet is one of the top selling tablets of all time and fits even the tightest budgets with a retail price of just $159. This family oriented model runs on a robust 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and has the power it needs to run popular apps. If Amazon prices the larger tablet as aggressively as the smaller device, the days of market domination by Apple in this category may be numbered.