In 2010, Barnes and Noble proved that it could produce a low – cost hybrid tablet like device, that could compete with the more expensive tablet computers in the market place; such as the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab. The Barnes and Noble Nook Color proved to be a hit; even though it didn't feature a camera, a G.P.S module, or blue tooth capability. This month the retail giant released an updated version of the Nook Color, it's called the Nook Tablet. The biggest difference between the Nook Color and the Nook Tablet is the hardware inside. The tablet features a dual core processor and 1 GB of Ram, which means it performs better than the Nook Color as a tablet. You can feel the difference in small ways. Websites seem to load a little bit faster and pages scroll in and out, a little smoother, One of my favorite new features is the inclusion of a microphone. Parents can now record their own voices reading, Enhanced Children's Books, which are very popular on the Nook. The Nook Tablet also has 16GB of on board storage expandable up to 32 GB, via micro SD cards. The bottom line here is that Barnes and Noble kept all the good aspects of the Nook Color and upgraded the rest for better performance.
With the Nook Color, Barnes and Noble stressed that it was a hybrid tablet type device, with the main focus being on the ereading experience. This time it's obvious where the focus is because of the name of this device. By tablet being in the name we can conclude there has been a slight shift in philosophy. So with all the hoopla about this device being a tablet, you are probably wondering does it still stack up as a top tier ereader. The short answer is yes. I have actually read for hours on the Nook Tablet and enjoyed the experience. Outside, it handles natural light a lot better than the average LCD. The ereading experience on the Nook Color and Nook Tablet are similar; the only difference being the Nook Tablet is a tad bit faster. You still tap or swipe to turn pages, tap in the middle to bring up options such as text size, color schemes, share quotes, bookmarks, add notes, favorites, and share reading status with friends. Magazine reading is still as good as ever. You can scroll through magazines a lot faster and smoother then you could on the Nook Color. The Barnes and Noble ebook store has over 2 million ebooks, over 5000 interactive children's books and over 400 magazines and newspapers. There are also 100's of app books in the app store, aimed at kids that offer interactivity and animation. For those on a tight budget there are 1000's of free ebooks in the Barnes and Noble ebook store. They are not advertised however, they are easy to find with a little digging and patience.
There are also millions of free ebooks on the internet in general which can be downloaded directly to the Nook Tablet. If you are on a budget like I am, you can enjoy your Nook Tablet without purchasing any ebooks from Barnes and Noble. Like I stated before there are lots of free ebooks out there and you can also visit your local library and download free premium books that would cost you otherwise. That's a good idea especially for those who do not have access, to an internet connection at home. As a color ereader the Nook Tablet gets high marks thanks to a combination of good hardware and software. As a tablet, this device doesn't have all the the features found on the more expensive tablets such as Bluetooth capability, G.P.S, or a camera. Me personally I don't use Bluetooth and I own both a stand alone G.P.S device and a professional camera. So for me the iPad is severely overpriced; especially if you don't care for the apps. I think the apps on the iPad are awesome; however, they don't justify the price of it. One essential that the Nook Tablet has is an app-store. It's barely a year old so it doesn't have nearly the amount of apps contained in Apple's app-store. To date there are over 1300 apps and lots are being added both daily and weekly. Some of the most popular apps are already in the Barnes and Noble app-store such as angry birds, Netflix, and Hulu-Plus.
The 7-inch display on the Nook tablet is absolutely stunning. Two or three people can share the screen without having to worry about color distortion. The Nook Tablet is capable of streaming HD video from Netflix or Hulu-Plus with no dropped frames or pixelation. The user interface is simplified and attractive, which makes the Nook Tablet less intimidating to less tech-savvy users or as I like to call them, technophobes. Similar to the Nook Color, there are multiple home screens you can customize with your favorite books, magazines, apps, themes and wall papers. Though the Kindle Fire is 50$ less than the Nook Tablet, I still like both but prefer the latter; mainly because the Kindle Fire seems to require the Amazon Prime subscription service to use some of its more attractive features. In conclusion, Barnes and Noble has done it again. They have created a compelling tablet without having to out-spec every other device on the market. The fact is you can do 90% of the things you do on the iPad, on the Nook Tablet. My wife has an iPad and I have played with it a lot; however, I still prefer the Nook Tablet and even my Nook Color, especially when it comes to ereading. The improved performance and extra features makes this device my top pick, for a tablet computer this shopping season. As an ereader, no other tablet computer even comes close to competing with the ebook reading features built into the Nook Tablet. Not even the iPad2.
When Amazon first announced that they, were working on a tablet, many people in the tech world labeled it as an iPAD killer. The Kindle Fire is fully integrated into the Amazon store which features a giant library of video, music, apps, books, magazines and movies. Even though the Fire is likely to put a dent in Apple's market share; I would hardly call it an iPad killer. From a hardware standpoint, the fire feels identical to the Black Berry Playbook, which makes sense because both tablets are made by the same company. The Kindle Fire's screen is gorgeous. Videos look awesome and the touchscreen works nearly flawlessly. The brightness on the Kindle Fire can be turned up so high it can actually blind you. It only make since that a lot of work was put into the display technology, because the Kindle Fire is designed for consuming media like streaming movies and graphic novels. As for as the battery; even with the brightness turned up it lasted all day. The battery does drain noticeably faster when watching movies on Netflix or streaming content from Amazon; but streaming content tend to negatively affect battery life on all tablets; with the only exception being the iPad. I would recommend purchasing a case with this device, because the battery tends to get noticeably hot to the touch, after about 2 hours of continuous use.
Although the hardware isn't exactly on par with the iPad, the Kindle fire can go neck to neck with Apple when it comes to getting the stuff you want to watch, read, or listen to. Not only does Amazon have a killer library of books, movies, and tv shows, but; it also has the best subscription service to newspapers and magazines on the internet. What's amazing about the fire is all these media consumption items are built into the Kindle Fire; giving consumers quick access to Amazon's excellent music store, plus thousands of movies and tv shows, for immediate streaming or downloading. If the Amazon library of movies isn't enough for you; both Netflix and Hulu are also integrated into the Fire. When you first turn on your Fire, you may be surprised to find all the apps you previously downloaded from Amazon's app store, already in the Kindle Fire's app library. All you have to do is tap each one and they will sync, quickly. Just as with the Nook Color and Nook Tablet; apps are being added daily, but don't expect any other device to compete with the amount of apps already optimized for the iPad. Apple's market share domination is to great for any other tablet to compete with, this generation.
As an ereader, the Kindle Fire does just fine. If you are one of them E-Ink addicts like I am, you probably will not use it for ebooks. The main reason plain old ebook readers aren't going anywhere any time soon, is because they are more superior as ereading devices, then their tablet cousins. So reading an ebook isn't nearly as pleasurable on the Kindle Fire as it is on, other E-Ink devices such as the Kindle Touch. Consumers who purchase a Kindle Fire as their first tablet will have an enjoyable reading experience, since they are more likely to not have been exposed to the awesomeness of E-Ink devices. When it comes to the silk browser, there is nothing ground breaking about it like Amazon claimed. Right now it's probably one of the worse android browsers on the market and I already here rumors of updates coming soon to improve performance. Despite its flaws, the Kindle Fire is only $ 199. There is no other tablet out there that costs as little as the Kindle Fire, and can match it's performance; except the trusty old Nook Color which also has been reduced in price to $199. While the Kindle Fire may slightly out perform other 7-inch tablets such as the Black Berry Playbook ($500) and HTC Flyer($300), I don't see it ever competing with the iPad. It still is an awesome media device and if you already own content within the amazon market place, then the Kindle Fire is a must buy.
Through tv ads or everyday conversation you are probably hearing more and more about tablet computers. Seeing tablet computers in action for the first time can be an exciting experience. Even if it don't leave you wanting one immediately; it probably got you wondering what you might use one for. A tablet pc, basically is just a touchscreen portable computer that's smaller and more portable than a laptop. They are almost, always designed to be fast and accessible; which is why all tablet computers are based on touchscreen technology and usually feature a simplified user friendly interface. People such as seniors and tech haters, who usually shy away from traditional desktops and laptops, are falling in love with tablet computers.
If you are one of them tech haters that never booted up a desktop computer; the tablet computer was designed especially for you. It's really so easy, even a cave man can use it. The standout feature of all tablet computers is the touch screen. Most tablets look simply, like a glass screen. There may be a few touch sensitive buttons around the screen on the front of the device, and a few jacks or buttons around the edge;however most of the interaction is done via direct selection with the touch screen. These high resolution screens excel at displaying video, pictures, web sites and video games.
The portability offered by a tablet is one of it's most appealing features. There is no need for a keyboard or a mouse because all the hardware is built-in, behind the screen. Wireless networking is another feature you will find in any tablet computer, all of them come equipped with WiFi for getting online. Some are available with 3G and 4G capability for connecting over mobile phone networks. The holy grail of the touchscreen tablets and smartphones alike, are the apps(applications). There are over 200,000-easy to use apps, for nearly anything you can imagine. Many of the apps can make your life very easy, so if you are not careful; you can easily become addicted and dependent on them, and not know it until your tablet breaks.
When shopping for a tablet computer its important to remember that their are multiple models of each device. For instance, their are 6 different models of Apple's device(I-pad). One is sold with Wi-Fi capability and no 3G in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage space. The second offering is sold with 3G and Wi-Fi capability with the same three storage options. So if you choose to buy an I-pad, your main decisions would be on how much storage space you need and whether you wanted 3G capabilities. The same choices have to be made when deciding on, other tablet computers that are on the market today. Me personally, even though I am a professional reviewer; I usually read lots of user reviews before deciding on a product. You never know which professional reviewers may be biased, towards certain companies, and some may even work for the actual people they review. Tablet computers may eventually, replace laptops, just as the I-pod replaced cd's.
Ipad 2 Review
We know what you are wondering: Now that Apple's upgraded to the i-Pad 2, is it time to upgrade? If you've already got the original iPad, do you need to trade up? Well, here's what the experts are saying: The upgrade—it’s a third thinner, 15% lighter, and twice as fast—may not look like much on paper, but wait until you hold the thing, says David Pogue of the New York Times. “My friends, I’m telling you: just that much improvement in thinness, weight, and speed transforms the experience.” “It's evolutionary rather than revolutionary like the first model,” says Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. There are drawbacks—why, for example, can’t it connect to 4G networks?—but it’s still the best tablet for “average, non-techie users.”
The only new features are the cameras, and those “are no great shakes” taking quality video, but “barely adequate” stills, says Rich Jaroslovsky of BusinessWeek. So in my opinion, if you’ve already got an i-Pad, you don't have to spend your hard-earned money on the I-pad 2. “But let’s face it: Many of you are going to anyway.” “From an industrial design standpoint, the iPad 2 just seriously raised the bar on sleek, sexy computer hardware,”. “It might frustrate the competition to hear this, but it needs to be said: the iPad 2 isn't just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market, says Joshua Topolsky of Engadget.” As for me however; I'm equally impressed with the I-pad 2, but I am not compelled to upgrade unless it adds flash support.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Review
I have had my Galaxy Tab since launch around November. First impression is that the hardware is impressive. Speed, touch, multi-touch, all on par with the i-Pad. What I like the most about the Galaxy tab is it’s size. Yes, the in between size. To me, sometimes I want to carry a tablet ( something bigger than the phone ), but is still small enough to fit inside a jacket pocket. I tried carrying the i-Pad to meetings and social gatherings but that just doesn’t work well. Most social gatherings, I go to are setup like a cocktail party. You walk around with a drink, sometimes a snack. In that setting, I found the Galaxy tab to be perfect.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab fit comfortably in my hand when i held it. If you are one who thinks the i-Pad is too huge and would rather choose mobility over screen real estate, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab is for you. The 7-inch screen is big enough for running games and applications yet small enough to easily fit in your bag. The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the first real Android tablet in the market at the time it was released in 2010. This device easily became the first choice for tablet-users looking for an alternative to the Apple i-Pad. The Galaxy Tab uses Android 2.2 (Froyo) but Samsung has done a great job in optimizing the phone OS for tablet use.
The 1024×600 screen is easy on the eye and the resolution works for most applications. The screen is TFT LCD, not the AMOLED type Samsung is known for. There is really nothing bad about the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s screen but it would have been really nice if Samsung used an AMOLED screen on this device. Navigation is fairly quick on the Samsung Galaxy Tab device. Animations and page transitions stutter on occasion; but if you aren't a techie, you probably will not notice them. Overall though, I can say I was very impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It has flash support; unlike the I-pad 2; that reason alone compelled me to purchase one. Here is the list of specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab:
- Android 2.2 running TouchWiz 3.0
- 7-inch TFT LCD with 1024 x 600 resolution
- Weighs 380 grams
- 1GHz Cortex A8 processor
- 16GB or 32GB internal storage
- microSD expansion for up to 32GB additional storage
- Front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera and rear 3 megapixel camera with flash
- 4,000mAh battery
- 3G data / voice
- 5GHz dual-band 802.11n WiFi
- Full HD video support
Overall you can't go wrong with either the I-pad 2 or the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Tablet computers seems to be the new craze, and there are many tablet computers being produced my many different companies. In my opinion as of May 2011, the I-pad and Galaxy Pad are my top 2 tablet computers. If you are an ebook enthusiast I wouldn't purchase any of these tablets for that purpose. However, if you want all the perks that comes along with owning a really fun tablet computer, that also serves as a decent e-reader, then both the I-pad and Samsung Galaxy will get the job done. As a child I hated to read; but then I picked up a book that changed my life. So now that I am a book enthusiast, tablet computers just don't cut it for me.
Tablets can be hard on the eyes if you read for more than a hour continuously. However, for casual readers the reflective screens on tablet computers shouldn't be much of a problem. For the life of me, I don't understand why so many reviewers try and compare the I-pad and Kindle as ereaders. They are two totally, different devices. Ask anyone who actually owns both of them like me. Tablets are optimized for internet usage, multimedia, and apps. E-book readers are obviously, optimized for e-book reading. The Nook Color is the only true, formidable hybrid of both categories(e-readers-tablets). So if you can only afford one device, then you have to decide what is most important to you. The versatility and fun that comes with owning a tablet computer or a superior e-reading device. I hope these e-book reader reviews helped you.