The Contenders

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by JRowe, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. JRowe

    JRowe Member

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    I'm interested in a very narrow selection of Android tablets. The 10.1 inch iPad clones with capacitive touchscreens are the only ones worth my time, so I'd like to start a thread considering the various features and selling points of the upcoming batch of tablets.

    The iPad is worth mentioning, simply because eventually someone will figure out how to hack Android into one. The specs, however, are inferior for the price ($499.)

    The Archos 101 is the most obvious contender, since Archos is a reputable vendor, and this isn't their first rodeo. They've got a proven support infrastructure and will actively maintain their products. It's got an A8 Processor, 256 MB ram, 8/16GB disk, and all the usual slots and radios. At $299 for the 8 GB version, it's a good buy. only 720p output.

    The Advent Vega doesn't have the same level of support infrastructure as Archos, but it certainly isn't a fly-by-night operation. They'll probably have good support, and the hardware in the Vega is nothing to smirk at. It's got an A9 dual core processor, 512 MB RAM, 512 MB storage, a 3G slot, and a 4GB SD card. 1080p output, so you can watch HD video. The lack of significant built in storage space is a downer for me; I'll want at least 8GB built in storage for files and apps. At $392 USD, it's definitely a good buy, and the more powerful hardware will sway some who might settle for less power for more storage.

    The big contender I'm seeing right now is the Flatpad A10T - It's got the A9 dual core processor, 1GB memory, 8 GB storage, and 1080p output. It looks like the all around winner, even though the company is relatively new. At $395, it's the most expensive, but it's also the most feature complete and future proof of the bunch.

    Are there any others that compare to these 3? $250 to $500 price range. Thanks!
     
  2. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    Not sure how the Tegra will stack up against the Cortex A8/A9, but I'm gonna bide my time until early next year, and see how the Asus 10" (and other mainstream manufacturers) performs:

    Asus 10-inch Tablet to be Released in Q1 of 2011

    Also seeing some interesting stories today about future Android updates (Gingerbread and beyond)...the consensus is that several manufacturers are waiting for Gingerbread source to be released before offering their tablets. I like Froyo, but I have a hunch that Android 3.0 on a tablet will be a very nice experience. Definitely worth waiting for, and I think we'll see several nice machines in the $400ish range.

    -Matt
     
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  3. JRowe

    JRowe Member

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    Should I be concerned about the quality of the Flatpad's software? There also seems to be some question as to whether the Tegra chipset is ready for primetime. I'm a technophile with no problems getting my hands dirty, so upgrading firmware and drivers isn't a big issue. I don't mind installing software, but I'd rather have a device that doesnt have a lot of issues.

    I know for sure that Archos will at least provide firmware updates and that their device will be professionally supported. That might be the deciding factor for me.

    1GB Ram is pretty sexy. So is the dual core performance gain over a single core. 1080p output is also a great feature. Those are all meaningless if usability is lacking in some way.

    I think I might get the Archos 101 to start with, as it's built on already proven technology, has a solid support system, and the build quality is very good. I will buy another tablet come next summer.
     
  4. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Better question What don't I own, Oh a generic APAD
    I agree with Gadgetrants, but also want to offer how I decided. (BTW: I ended up getting the 101) If was in part:How long do you want to wait.
    I did the same sort of fuzzy math evaluation you did. (and spent money on other Tabs "to learn".

    What tipped me to Archos was consider prior history. The Archos has a known history with their PMPs and their Tablets. The Flatpad looks really sexy but both Flatpad and Advent do not have the same base set of build history. The same can honestly be said for almost all the other Android competitors.
    This base skillset for their PMPs, Small Tablets give them a headstart on what to avoid.
    I have a love/hate relationship with Archos. I love what they can do. I hate how Archos tries like Apple to make a profit out of things that should be integrated. That is why there are groups like ArchosFans. If you read the really hard core, they all feel the same way about it. I cannot speak to the quality or capability until I have one in my hand.
    But I do not need the high capacity drives like I did on my Archos PMPs. Maybe I am in a rut. But I find it is easier to have my mood of video on a set of flash cards that I can change on demand. I have done that with my A81-E. I created a template core on three 8 Gb flashcards and each have a different mood for music. I will likely do the same with my 101.

    OK I admit I likely sound like an Archos FanBoi. But if you look at my sig. I am fairly broad in my Tablet interest.
     
  5. JRowe

    JRowe Member

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    That makes good sense. I have a 1TB external hard drive I use to store things on, and honestly, I don't need to copy it all onto every device. I'll have photos, music, and movies, and likely use Netflix and Hulu far more often than a local video. This will be a good chance to venture into the 'cloud computing' arena for me, as well.

    8GB is plenty, and I'm comfortable with carrying a 32GB thumb drive if I absolutely need more. Honestly, I want the experience of a tablet, and I want to learn Android. The 10 inch is a must, although I can see that a 7" would reign supreme as a home media controller.

    This last week has been very enlightening, and I'm looking forward to getting the Archos 101. They've got the right price, and looks like they've got a solid piece of equipment in both their 7 and 10 inch models.

    I would urge anyone buying tablets to do their own investigations into the features and support surrounding the available products. Even in 30 days, the market will have solidified, and there will be a much clearer view of what you're getting with the purchase of a given device. What we've talked about here in this thread may not apply at all.

    Know what you're getting - most of these devices will share a broad range of features, so it will be the little things that should decide for you, like weight, what the case is built from, support infrastructure, existing communities, company history, and so on. Most of all, keep a watch out for consumer reviews. I'm sure there will be lots of good input from this community, so just keep watching. :)
     
  6. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    From what I hear, the Tegra 2 isn't ready for primetime quite yet. Probably needs to wait till Honeycomb. After the Zenithink = Cortex A8 fiasco, I find no reason to give anything they make any merit. The Flatpad franchise is a rebranding one. Don't expect quality from their products, nor any form of real support.

    With any Android tablet, you are looking for high levels of adoptation. Fragmentation is a real problem. However, you can still save yourselves by getting something running one of the more common chipsets that are well proven. Tegra 2 isn't one of them yet.

    The Archos hardware does look solid. But I'd give Asus and other manufacturers who have a proper technical support support a shot before I try Archos.
     

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