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IT Show 2013 - Telco, Tablets, GPS & Mobile Accessories Buying Guide

Tablets

Tablets Buying Guide

The tablet market is more crowded than before, with Apple iPads taking the lead and Google Android tablets fast catching up. Microsoft's Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets are beginning to make their presence felt in the tablet scene.

 

TABLETS TODAY

If you want to get a tablet today, there are three main options available: Apple, Google Android and Microsoft.

Apple is the company that started the tablet craze three years ago with its 9.7-inch iPad. Drawing lessons and experience from developing iOS for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Apple replicated the same formula and strategy successfully in the tablet space with four generations of iPads. 

It entered into the 7-inch tablet space last October when it unveiled the 7.9-inch iPad mini. While the market conditions were no longer friendly to Apple, the company managed to achieve significant sales of the iPad mini worldwide.

A wide range of tablet accessories, a robust mobile platform combined with an intuitive user interface and support of tablet-optimized apps enables Apple to stay ahead of the competition.

Before the introduction of the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, Google left the tablet wars in the hands of its Android vendors, who met with little success in toppling the market leader, Apple. 

Having decided to take things into its own hands, Google partnered with ASUS to manufacture the 7-inch Nexus 7 and offered it at extremely attractive price points. It also launched Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the smoothest Android experience to date. Towards the end of 2012, Google collaborated with Samsung to build the Nexus 10 which has an ultra high resolution display.

Since then, there's a race to the bottom in the tablet market as Android vendors built low cost, entry level tablets.

A smoother, more fluid user experience, coupled with the growing support of developers for the Android ecosystem may finally give Apple and its iPads a run for their money.

 

 

The tablet market has grown to be too big and important for Microsoft to ignore, and the Redmond company ventured into the tablet space with not one, but two Windows operating systems.

To compete with the sea of ARM-powered Android tablets and Apple iPads, Microsoft specifically designed a special Windows operating system, called Windows RT that can be used on devices powered by ARM processors.

As the competition has yet to conquer the enterprise sector, an area that is especially friendly towards Windows operating system, Microsoft licensed Windows 8 to its partners to develop tablets that can provide the same functionality as laptops and desktops.

Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, Fujitsu, Acer have since jumped on the bandwagon to offer Windows 8 and RT tablet devices.

If you are looking for a desktop-like environment on a tablet, you can consider the diverse range of Windows 8 and RT-powered tablet devices from the various partners.

 

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Should you get a 7-inch tablet? 7-inch tablets are better suited for reading due to their 4:3 aspect ratio. In addition, 7-inch tablet form factor offers better mobility and portability. However, if you are into heavy multimedia consumption and require larger screen real estate, it is obvious that 10.1-inch tablets are recommended. As a general guideline, there is no one size fits all for tablets. It depends on individual preferences, what and how you use the tablet.

Do tablets come with keyboard accessories? Yes, some tablets come with optional keyboard accessories while others are included as a bundle. For example, the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 comes in two packages : standalone tablet or tablet with keyboard docking station. Apple iPads, being the most popular tablet devices, tend to enjoy more support from third party vendors who make a wide range of Bluetooh keyboards for them. 

Should you get a Wi-Fi or cellular model of the tablet? Some tablet models such as the Apple iPad, iPad Mini and ASUS Nexus 7 are available in two variants: Wi-Fi only and cellular. The cellular models will definitely cost more, but bring the convenience of staying connected on the move. However, you have to fork out extra cash to sign up for a multi-SIM card or another data SIM card for the tablet. In addition, cellular models will take a hit on battery performance since they are constantly connected and searching for data connectivity.

It also depends on where and how you will be using the tablet. If you tend to use the tablet at home or office, it is advisable to get a Wi-Fi model as you can connect the device to the office or home's Wi-Fi network. If there is no Wi-Fi network , you can always tether from your smartphone. On the other hand, a cellular tablet model will come in handy if you tend to be outdoors most of the time. 

For more information on getting a tablet, check out our Tablet Tech Guide.

Check out the latest tablets at our HardwareZone Tablets Product Guide.

 

Tablets Deals at the Show

Here are some highlighted tablets deals at the IT Show this year.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) 3G 8GB

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and a dual-core 1GHz processor. For its price point, the Samsung slate offers good build quality and handling with microSD card support.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $398 (3G, 8GB)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free Samsung Bluetooth headset worth $38, 16GB Samsung Class 10 microSD card worth $19.90
  • Brochure
  • More Information: HWZ Review

Location

LEVEL 1, BOOTH 1421

MSI Enjoy 71

The MSI Enjoy 71 is a 7-inch tablet which runs on a dual-core 1GHz processor, Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and 1GB RAM. Other specs include a microSD card slot (support up to 32GB cards), 3,200mAh battery and a mini-HDMI port.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $229
  • IT Show Promotion: Free Envio case for the first 200 customers, Free mini-HDMI cable
  • Brochure

Location

LEVEL 1, BOOTH 1521

Toshiba Regza Tablet AT300

The Toshiba Regza Tablet AT300 runs on NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB RAM. It has 32GB onboard storage and comes with a memory card slot that supports up to 128GB.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $599 (Usual Price: $849)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free Norton Tablet Security (worth $19.90), Toshiba 16GB SD card (worth $21.90)
  • Brochure
  • More Information: HWZ Review

Location

LEVEL 1, BOOTH 1232

ASUS Nexus 7 32GB (3G)

The only tablet to garner our Editor's Choice award so far, the Nexus 7 is the best Android tablet on the market right now. Do not be deceived by its lower than average price point as its solid build quality and performance will blow your mind.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $469 (Usual Price: $499)
  • IT Show Promotion: NIL
  • Brochure
  • More Information: HWZ Review

Location

LEVEL 1, BOOTH 1205, 1317

Apple iPad (128GB)

Apple upsized the storage capacity of its 9.7-inch iPad to 128GB in late January. This will meet the increasing needs of people who find this huge storage invaluable in their line of work.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $1,048
  • IT Show Promotion: Free Divoom Bluetooth speaker, Altec Lansing earphones with mic, Gosh! iPad with Retina Display Ostrich leather case, Griffin Lightning Cable, OOPS TouchMate Pen + Stylus, total worth $264
  • Brochure
  • More Information: HWZ Review

Location

LEVEL 1, BOOTH 1532

Samsung Ativ Smart PC

Powered by the Intel Atom Z2760 processor, the 11.6-inch ATIV Smart PC (3G) runs on the Windows 8 OS, and features a 10-point touchscreen along with a optional detachable keyboard-docking system which enables easily switching between a clamshell notebook PC and a tablet PC.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $688 with StarHub's MaxMobile Elite (6GB) at $30/month (2-year contract) or $588 with StarHub's MaxMobile Elite (11GB) at $51/month (2-year contract)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free keyboard worth $199
  • Brochure

Location

BASEMENT 2, HALL E, BOOTH B818

 

IT Show 2013 Tablets Portal