For Everyone: Amazon Kindle Fire
The Kindle Fire has been the hot item for this holiday season. The Kindle Fire outsold the iPad at big box retailers like BestBuy. It’s looking to take home the gold for “most sold tablet of the season”. Why are people so in love with this tablet? Is it because of its low price point or because it’s an all around great product? It is a combination of both fields.
This is a dual-core tablet with the capability to be rooted for under $200. Maybe I am crazy but that sounds like a deal to me. If you chose to keep this unit stock, the Amazon ecosystem should surely suffice your media consumption needs. While young, the platform has a huge potential and possibly longevity. Amazon offers an “Amazon Prime” membership at $79 a year. The membership comes with a Netflix like streaming service and free two-day shipping on all purchases from Amazon.com.
The Kindle Fire does not run a normal distribution of Android. Amazon chooses to use its own brew of the Android OS. This means that the tablet is somewhat crippled by not having some basic android apps such as gmail, maps, and the Android Market. What it does have is Amazon’s own App Store and to be honest the Amazon App Store is well equip with the basic necessities.
Best Performance: Asus Transformer Prime [Delayed]
The Asus Transformer Prime is the best tablet on the market no questions. It sports a quad-core Tegra 3 processor code named “Kal-el”. The Tegra 3 clocks in at 1.2GHz, that’s 4 cores in the palm of your hand. Not to mention the 500MHz companion core that manages processes such as email, music, and monitoring your network. That’s a whole lot of punch in one sexy and smooth tablet. The Asus Transformer Prime does not ship with Ice Cream Sandwich but is said to be on the upgrade list.
Even tho the Asus transformer prime is the first ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet to hit the market there is no word on if it’s the blessed Android device of this year. The price could scare some away, coming in at the same point as an iPad 2. The Transformer Prime has been delayed till early 2012, but lets be honest I would be a bit miffed if I opened up an original Asus Transformer on Christmas day. If patients is not a factor I would say purchasing this tablet for Christmas.
Best App support & all around functionality: iPad 2
Here comes the champion. While the iPad 2 should be shaking in its smartcase it still manages to be the be the best all around tablet. Until Android fixes its fragmentation and lack of rich content developers it will always sit in the back seat when it comes to everyday use. The iPad 2 has a solid design, a plethora of cases, and accessories galore. It integrates perfectly with your iPhone and Mac computer via software like iCloud and iTunes Match.
The iPad 2 is about 3-4 months from a refresh. We should see a new iPad sometime before the end of March. This spells trouble for new owners of the holiday tablet madness. While this is strictly a superficial stance, this could prove a problem in the way of the iPad 2. iOS 5 is the best all around OS on the market at the moment. It has a few shortcomings when it comes to its tablet use. The basic layout of icons on a screen feels cluttered and lack luster. Even though iOS is a stronger operation system and has great app support, it does feel a bit like an extra large iPhone. The application support is much richer and the capabilities of said applications are much richer than their counterpart iPhone versions. However, it does trouble me to see a large screen with no widgets or useful information.