Tablet Showdown

It is raining tablets these days, and the situation in Nigeria is no different. The tablet craze is catching on. The portability and the PC-like functionality for the average user make tablets a logical choice for a wide range of people.

The Nigerian market is awash with tablets now, from the iPad/iPad2, Samsung Galaxy Tab, BlackBerry PlayBook, Encipher Inye, to Ovim. Here at Mobility Nigeria, we are taking time to examine the tablet options available so you the consumers are adequately informed.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Tablet Showdown 1The Galaxy Tab is a value for money device. This device has a GSM radio built-in, Wi-fi, hotspot functionality, and the standard Android 2.2 repertoire.

Samsung has tweaked the user interface a bit and in a nice way to make it more pleasant to use than the stock Android interface. However, while you have access to download free apps from the Android MarketPlace, you will not be able to purchase paid apps till Google lists Nigeria in the MarketPlace.

Battery life is exemplary, with the Tab going as far as a full day on a full charge many times.

Price: N99,500.

BlackBerry PlayBook

Tablet Showdown 2RIM’s first tablet device is out in the market now. We had a brief time with it months ago and the user interface was amazing, to say the least. The PlayBook also sports a 1GHz dual-core processor.

The pre-production model that was demoed to us certainly ran fast. Everything was fast, fluid and mostly fascinating.

However, the PlayBook does not come with email, calendar and contacts apps built-in as at this time, which will count against it (though RIM say those apps are on the way). You can purchase apps from the BlackBerry AppWorld using your Nigeria-issued credit/debit cards.

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Besides what we saw during the demo, all we have on the PlayBook right now are the manufacturer’s specs

Price: from N95,000

Disclaimer: Mobility Nigeria only had limited hands-on time with a pre-production unit of the PlayBook back in February 2011.

Apple iPad2

Tablet Showdown 3The iPad2 follows in the steps of the world’s best-selling tablet till date, the iPad, particularly because of the user interface. Couplethis with the Apple-A5 dual-core processor that powers the iPad2 and you can be sure of a user experience without hiccups.

Do note however that if you intend to replace your netbook with the iPad for business use, this shiny device has severe limitations. Just as with the original iPad, there is no USB mass storage mode, so you can’t just plug it into a PC and copy your documents to and from the device, among others.

Also, while you can download free apps from the Apple AppStore, you will not be able to purchase the apps of your choice till Apple lifts that restriction. But that’s exactly the same with all the tablets running Android.

If you can live with the above limitations, the iPad2 is a difficult tablet to ignore.

For battery life, Apple claims up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music, which sounds impressive.

Price: from N120,000.

Disclaimer: Mobility Nigeria have not had the opportunity to test the iPad for real-life performance.

Encipher Inye

Tablet Showdown 4Encipher’s Inye has a 7-inch display, runs on 800MHz and Android 2.1. An advantage that Inye has, according to the manufacturers, is that it works with Etisalat’s E1550 modem out of the box with no extra installation required and currently testing out CDMA based modems at the moment. The official specs claim 4-6 hours dependent on usage.

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The display is resistive, not capacitive.This will count against it somewhat in real use. Yet, it has certain advantages, like the modem support mentioned above.

While you have access to download free apps from the Android MarketPlace, you will not be able to purchase paid apps till Google approves Nigeria there.

Price: from N45,000

Disclaimer: While we had a brief hands-on with a pre-production unit of Inye back in 2010, Mobility Nigeria have not had the opportunity to test Inye for real-life performance.

Fasmicro/Microscale-Embedded Ovim

Tablet Showdown 5The Ovim tablet has a 7-inch display and runs on a 800MHz processor and Android 2.2, so it looks good on paper. However, like Inye, its display is resistive, which is certain to be a usability letdown compared to its competitors sporting capacitive displays.

The manufacturers say it comes with a built-in 2G/3G radio and also claim up to 8 hours of usage after a full charge.

While you have access to download free apps from the Android MarketPlace, you will not be able to purchase paid apps till Google approves Nigeria there.

Price: N50,000

Disclaimer: Mobility Nigeria have not had the opportunity to test Ovim for real-life performance.

MyPad

From Starcoms, this tablet runs Android version 2.1, and has a 10.1-inch resistive display. The resistive display sounds like a weak point. However, the myPad comes with a free iZap wifi internet router and free 3 months internet subscription.

Again, while you have access to download free apps from the Android MarketPlace, you will not be able to purchase paid apps till Google approves Nigeria there.

Price: N75,000

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Disclaimer: Mobility Nigeria have not had the opportunity to test Ovim for real-life performance.

If we had to pick a tablet now….

We would recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Its the only one that we have used and tested extensively here at Mobility Nigeria, and it scores well on most points.

Until we get real-life testing of the other tablet options, we are unable to score or recommend those. Still, if you hunt around the internet, hopefully you can find bits and pieces of information that may help you arrive at a sound choice to meet your specific needs and budget.

PS: Don’t forget that you can pick up any of the above tablets on an instalment plan from Mobility Nigeria’s mobileRave Club.

MobilityArena

Mobility Arena publishes useful tips, tutorials and help articles for mobile users. Follow us on Twitter @MobilityArena, Google+, Instagram,and like us on Facebook.

0 thoughts on “Tablet Showdown

  • May 12, 2011 at 7:06 am
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    My obvious choice would have been the iPad 2. But when I used the galaxy tab 10.1 that is expected to be released in July by Samsung, I had to review my hasty decision. I had a brief hands-on with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 at the gNigeria event in Lagos last week. The Tab runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). It’s as super fast as the iPad 2 which I also had a hands-on at an Apple authorised reseller at VI. What struck
    With galaxy tab, was the Pc-like interface, superb multiple-tab browser and well thought off eye-candy user interface which was carefully interlaced with Samsung’s exquisite Touchwhiz ui.

    Then I knew that there was no clear winner for me. However, in the third party application front, the iPad 2 was the clear winner with more than 65,000 native third party apps! But I need to wait until July to read reviews of the upcoming galaxy 10.1 tab before deciding which tablet to buy. Tablets cost an arm And a leg. So my advice is that you shouldn’t be in a hurry but decide which is best for you among the lot and also fits your need before buying!

    If not, post-shopping depression may inevitably be yours reward.

  • May 12, 2011 at 10:33 am
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    Apart from the hardware and the OS of a tablet, the apps available goes a long way in determining who wears the cap as the flagship device.

    Like they say, one man’s meat is another’s poison, meaning that different people would for various reasons, decide that a particular device meets their needs or fits their lifestyle.

    That said, the fact on ground is that a lot of people find Apple’s iPad as the closest device in the market that meets most of their needs. I have not bothered viewing the changelog of the Android 3.1 update, but a lot of people would agree that the Android 3.0 was released before its time. So much expectation for the Motorola Xoom, so much disappointments.

    Samsung should count their gains on the Galaxy tab and spend the money wisely. Would they make half as much impact like they did with the galaxy tab going neck to neck with the ipad in the 9.7+ inch screen category? I doubt.

    I have used the ipad extensively and no longer wonder the cause for its fanatical followership. Of course i can list its flaws on a foolscap sheet or more, but i might need more than that for the android platform.

    Most will agree that iPad2 is all the first generation iPad should have been, no thanks to the forgettable features that was introduced but the surprising fact is that a lot of other devices are still playing catch up with iPad 1! Rumours are rife about what to expect with the iPad 3 but all i can say in summary is that no device would come close. No, “you can’t touch this!”

  • May 13, 2011 at 11:58 am
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    Your point noted Artwales. I had similar opinion with you after having used the original ipad for a limited period of time and also had some time with the original galaxy tab 7 inches.

    I’ve always felt that the ipad2 was so much better than the competition. However, with a brief hands-on with the new yet unreleased Samsung Galaxy 10.1 running Android OS 3 (Honeycomb) , I was flabbergasted – to say the least. And all the shortcomings of the ipad 2 became all the more glaring to me.

    The Galaxy tab 10.1 has a higher resolution, a better almost desktop-like tab browser when compared to the ipad 2. The browser betters the one on the ipad2. Also, third party multi-tasking is now up to par with the intuitiveness of that in the ipad 2. Then the general allotment of widgets, screen estate and virtual back button and so forth gives one the impression of a stellar UI and a device that seems out-of-the-world.

    Don’t get me wrong; the ipad 2 is cool. And it wowed me when I had a hands-on with it at VI. I was amazed at the speed and how fast it could render graphic intensive games. And how responsive the UI was with my fingers. It was as if, the ipad 2 could read my thoughts And machine and man was one person! It was love at first sight but as a Geek I need to get the better of the two devices. I couldn’t afford the two. Which one meets my needs?

    All those facts considered, one need to appreciate that Samsung has done wonders to the beast called GT 10.1! USB ports, HDMI out and true multi-tasking makes this tab almost indistinguishable from a full-fledged laptop. With Honeycomb v 3.1 and USB-On-The-Go, wow; this beast may be difficult to resist. Not to mention full Flash support.

    However, despite all these and drawing parallel to the fact that the new Galaxy tab is yet to be released, the ipad 2 reigns supreme. Especially when you factor in the 65,000 plus native ipad 2 apps compared with only a few hundred Android tab native 3rd part apps.

    The taste of the pudding is in the eating. One needs to wait until July and have a dispassionate look at third party review of the new Galaxy tab 10.1 before one make proper Conclusion which is better! For now, it’s just possible that the ipad 2 has a worthy challenger!!

    • May 18, 2011 at 1:56 am
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      @afewgoodmen

      sorry but i have 1 question: was the galaxy tab that u reviewed the original 10.1( renamed 10.1v) or the revised version(soon to be launched in june) ?

  • May 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm
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    One major problem I have with Apple is it’s extreme proprietary restrictions. After just a couple of days with my iPad, I had it “jailbreaked”. Sorry, apologies to no one.

    That said, it is very nice to know that there are products that would give the iPad a run for its money in the offing, after the disappointment of the motorola Xoom.

    BUT, it still seems to me like a game of catch-ups, considering that the Samsung is just about at par with iPad2 when Apple is already working on what everyone considers as what will be the revolutionary iPad 3. The release can be as early as 9 mths from now.

    Well, let’s see as it goes.

  • May 18, 2011 at 9:50 am
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    @Afewgoodmen, apologies for being a doubting Thomas, read the review of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on engadget, your summation was right on the mark.

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/17/samsung-galaxy-tab-10-1-limited-edition-review/

    Very funny, but i never expected anyone to meet up with the ipad, not in ages to come.

    Samsung should enjoy the few months of glory till the 3rd coming of the ipad and of course, release of IOS 5.

    However, quoting the latest edition of PC World, nothwithstanding the deficiencies in the iPad IOS, it still remains the top tablet OS as it has the best formed environment for productivity and entertainment.

    And i think in terms of buyers’ acceptance too, it comes tops.

  • May 18, 2011 at 11:18 am
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    Looks like my first tablet is going to be Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1. Time to retire my almost 3-year old Acer AspireOne netbook.

  • May 18, 2011 at 11:29 am
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    @yomi same here I’m getting it as soon as it drops. Downside is it aint pure android experience like “XOOM” 🙁 would have love that to be the case for the TAB 10.1 because that will mean us getting updates as soon as they drop
    Anyway the tab is up for preorder: http://m.engadget.com/default/article.do?artUrl=http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/18/galaxy-tab-10-1-goes-up-for-pre-order-at-jandr-makes-june-8th-see/&category=classic&subCategory=&icid=eng_latest_art&type=&postPage=

  • May 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm
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    @Hussein Ghandour; Artwales said it well. It is the version that will be released in June. But will be launched officially in Nigeria in July by Samsung.

    • May 19, 2011 at 11:50 pm
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      @afewgoodmen ok i hope im still in the country so i can get the 3g version. i wanted a xoom but its CDMA not GSM. thx anyway

  • July 15, 2011 at 9:41 am
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    Just fell in love with Samsung’s galaxy 10.1 tab. Much much beta dan apple’s ipad2. Wat i value most is clear and sharp pictures cz to me ders no point spending a fortune on stuff dat gives me dull and blunt pictures. Well, having compared d two,samsung’s tab does it right!. So it’s S*A*M*S*U*N*G G*A*L*A*X*Y 10.1 all d way..yeah

  • July 15, 2011 at 9:56 am
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    Wait a minute..dont get me wrong!! Am not saying ipad2 doesnt av clear pictures but dat galaxy 10.1 has a clearer sharper one.

  • August 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm
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    Can someone actually tell me where the Tab 10.1 can be bought in Lagos? I havent seen it at all anywhere

  • August 24, 2011 at 12:12 pm
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    Any Idea where samsung GT 10.1 (not the 10.1v) can be obtained in Lag? And the price too cos I too can’t seem to find it anywhere. Thanks.

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