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Android Tablets, iPad & Windows Tablet Reviews  
Acer Iconia Tab A100 (Android 7") Aug. 2011
Acer Iconia Tab A200 (Android 10") Jan. 2012
Acer Iconia Tab A500 (Android 10") April 2011
Acer Iconia Tab A510 April 2012
Acer Iconia Tab A700 July 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Oct. 2013
Amazon Kindle Fire HD Sept. 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9" Nov. 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire Dec. 2011
Asus Eee Pad Slider (Android 10" with keyboard) Oct. 2011
Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10 March 2013
Asus Transformer Pad TF300 May 2012
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 July 2012
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Jan.2012
Asus Eee Pad Transformer (Android 10") May 2011
B&N Nook HD nov. 2012
B&N Nook Tablet Nov. 2011
BlackBerry PlayBook April 2011
Dell Streak 5 Android tablet and phone Nov. 2010
Dell Streak 7 (Android 7" tablet) Feb. 2011
Fujitsu Stylistic M532 Oct. 2012
Google Nexus 7 (2013) Aug. 2013
Google Nexus 7 (1st gen) July 2012
Google Nexus 10 Dec. 2012
HP TouchPad (webOS, 9.7") July 2011
HTC EVO View 4G (7" Android) June 2011
HTC Flyer (Android 7") May 2011
HTC Jetstream (Android 10", AT&T 4G LTE) Sept. 2011
Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite Oct. 2012
iPad mini with Retina Display Nov. 2013
iPad mini Nov. 2012
iPad Air (5th gen) Nov. 2013
iPad with Retina Display (4th gen) Nov. 2012
iPad 3 (new iPad) Mar. 2012
iPad 2 Mar. 2011
iPad April 2010
Leader Impression i10A July 2012
Lenovo IdeaPad A1 (7" Android) Feb. 2012
Lenovo IdeaPad K1 (Android 10") Aug. 2011
Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 July 2012
Lenovo IdeaTab S2110 Oct. 2012
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet Oct. 2011
LG G-Slate (8.9" Android) May 2011
Motorola Xoom (10" Android) Feb. 2011
Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2 Dec. 2011
Motorola Droid XYBoard 10.1 (10" Android, Xoom 2) Dec. 2011
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (has S Pen) April 2013
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (has digital pen) Aug. 2012
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Feb. 2014
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 March 2014
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 July 2014
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 May 2012
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus Nov. 2011
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 March 2012
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Oct. 2011
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 June 2014
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 July 2013
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 May 2012
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Oct. 2013
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 June 2011
Samsung Galaxy Tab (7" Android) Nov. 2010
Sony Xperia Tablet Z June 2013
Sony Xperia Tablet S Sept. 2012
Sony Tablet S (9.4" Android) Sept. 2011
Sprint ZTE Optik March 2012
T-Mobile Springboard 7" 3G/4G Nov. 2011
Toshiba Excite 7.7 July 2012
Toshiba Excite 10 May 2012
Toshiba Thrive 7 Dec. 2011
Toshiba Thrive (10" Android) July 2011
Vizio 8" Tablet (Android) Aug. 2011
Windows 8 Tablets & Convertibles  
Acer Aspire P3 July 2013
Acer Aspire R7 May 2013
Acer Aspire Switch 10 June 2014
Acer Iconia W3 Aug. 2013
Acer Iconia Tab W510 Jan. 2013
Acer Iconia W700 April 2013
Asus Transformer Book T100 Oct. 2013
Asus Transformer Book TX300 June 2013
Asus VivoTab TF810C March 2013
Dell Venue 8 Pro Dec. 2013
Dell XPS 12 (2nd gen) Jan. 2014
Dell XPS 12 (1st gen) Jan. 2013
Dell XPS 18 July 2013
HP ElitePad 900 Oct. 2013
HP Envy x2 Feb. 2013
HP Split x2 Nov. 2013
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 Jan. 2013
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11s July 2013
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Oct. 2012
Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx April 2013
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix July 2013
Lenovo ThinkPad 10 June 2014
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 March 2013
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist Dec. 2012
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 July 2014
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Oct. 2013
Microsoft Surface Pro Feb. 2013
Microsoft Surface 2 Nov. 2013
MS Surface RT Oct. 2012
Nokia Lumia 2520 Feb. 2014
Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T Feb. 2013
Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T Dec. 2012
Sony Vaio Duo 11 Nov. 2012
Sony Vaio Duo 13 July 2013
Sony Vaio Tap 11 Jan. 2014

Windows 7 Tablet PC Reviews

 
Windows 7 Slate Tablets  
Asus Eee Slate EP121 Mar. 2011
Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 Aug. 2011
Samsung Series 7 Slate Dec. 2011
   

Window XP and Vista Tablet PCs, Convertible Style

 
Averatec C3500 Nov. 2004
Fujitsu LifeBook T4010 May 2005
Fujitsu LifeBook P1510D (8.9" display) May 2006
Fujitsu U820 (5.6" display) April 2009
Fujitsu U810 (5.6" display) Nov. 2007
Gateway C-120X and E-155C May 2007
HP TouchSmart TM2 Editor's Choice! Jan. 2010
HP TouchSmart tx2z May 2009
HP Pavilion tx1000 June 2007
HTC Shift March 2008
Lenovo X201 Tablet March 2010
Lenovo ThinkPad X200t July 2009
IBM (Lenovo) ThinkPad X41 Oct. 2005
Lenovo T400s (touchscreen option, screen doesn't swivel) Oct. 2009
Toshiba Portege M780 July 2010
Toshiba Portege M750 July 2009
Toshiba Portege M400 Sept. 2006
Toshiba Satellite U500 (touch screen optin but display doesn't swivel) Jan. 2010
ViewSonic PC V1250 March 2004

Windows XP Tablet / Slate Style
 
Electrovaya Scribbler 2200 (newest) March 2005
Electrovaya Scribbler SC2010 March 2004
Fujitsu Stylistic ST5112 March 2007
OQO model 02
(handheld size)
Nov. 2007
OQO model 01 (handheld size) Aug. 2005
Samsung Q1 Ultra
(UMPC)
Aug. 2007
Samsung Q1 (UMPC - Origami) May 2006

Tablet Reviews

tablets

Additional Review Sections:

Android Tablet Reviews Android tablet reviews
iPad reviews
Tablet Comparisons: MobileTechReview's Tablet Smackdowns tablet comparisons
Android Tablet Comparisons tablet comparisons

 

Tablet Introduction, Everything You Need to Know

Android tablets entered the market in late 2010, and we're sure to see a wide selection in 2011. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the first widely available, high quality Android tablet available in the US. In early 2011 the Dell Streak 7 on T-Mobile and the Motorola Xoom on Verizon launched,, both with dual core Tegra 2 CPUs and the Moto with Android OS 3.0 Honeycomb optimized for tablets.

Motorola Xoom

You'll find a variety of budget tablets at Best Buy, Fry's and other retailers, but these tend to lack 3G cellular radios for data and have lower resolution resistive touch screens rather than the capacitive multi-touch display used on the Galaxy Tab, Streak, Xoom and Apple's iPad running iOS.

Dell Streak 7

 

Windows Tablet Reviews and Information

Introduced Nov. 7, 2002, Windows Tablet PCs feature color screens that you can write, doodle, and draw on using a special EMR pen included with the notebook (also called an active digitizer and digital pen). These older tablets were not always touch sensitive, which means you had to use the pen rather than your finger to write on or point at something on the screen. They work much the same way Wacom digitizer (graphics) pads work, only you get to interact directly with the screen rather than using an intermediary accessory tablet. You can also use the stylus as a mouse, pointing at items on screen, clicking buttons, highlighting text and so on. If you've never gotten along with the trackpads and eraser sticks built into notebooks, you'll probably love the stylus.

Asus Eee Slate

With the advent of the capacitive touch screen, first widely used in the iPhone, and Windows 7's significant support for both pen and touch input, we saw more tablets offering touch or both touch and an active digitizer with pen. In fact with the advent of Windows 8, most offer just touch.

Microsoft Surface RT tablet

Above: the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Windows 8 tablet.

At the end of October 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8 with the new Modern UI (Metro) that's geared towards touch. It also has the standard desktop UI that's similar to Windows 7. Windows RT runs on ARM family CPUs like the NVidia Tegra 3 that's also used in Android tablets. Windows RT tablets can't run x86 .exe programs designed for Windows 7. Windows 8 run on Intel and AMD machines and it supports Windows 7 .exe apps, unlike Windows RT that only supports apps from the Windows Store. Most convertibiles and tablets run on Intel rather than AMD CPUs.

Convertible and Tablet Designs

Windows tablets come in two variations: convertible and tablet. The tablet design looks like a slate and has no keyboard, or it may come with a detachable keyboard. The convertible tablet is more common and it ostensibly looks like a standard 11 or 13 inch laptop, but you can rotate the display to use it in tablet mode where it looks like a large slate. Thus you get the best of both worlds: a full keyboard and trackpad and a tablet. The drawback is obvious: convertibles weigh more since they have the traditional notebook 2-section design with a display panel and a bottom panel that contains the keyboard and guts of the computer. Convertibles weigh from 3 to 5 lbs. and cost $400 to over $2,000. Mainstream models with Intel Core CPUs generally cost $850 to $1,500 and these are made by HP, Asus, Sony and other major manufacturers. More affordable models with Intel Bay Trail Atom CPUs are more common in tablet form, but there are a few convertibles and detachables like the Dell Venue 11 Pro and Asus Transformer Book T100.

 

HP TM2

The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro convertible tablet.

 

General Tablet Features: Handwriting, Inking and Digital Art

All Windows tablets allow you to handwrite in any application using the tablet input panel even if the application isn't handwriting-aware. If you're a graphic artist, you'll love drawing directly on the screen using Alias Sketchbook, Corel Painter (a fantastic natural media paint program) and Photoshop. The pen technology used in many tablets was developed by Wacom, the big name in digitizer tablets, and N-Trig entered the market in 2008 with their dual digitizers that feature both a capacitive touch screen and active digitizer. As of this writing, Adobe Photoshop supports pressure sensitivity with Wacom digitizers but N-Trig digitizers get support only on Sony Vaio products. In 2014, Adobe will make the move to supporting pen pressure in their CS suite.

Wacom digitizers typically have 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity (vs. 2,048 on higher end Wacom tablets that sit on your desk and plug in via USB) and the pen has a single button and an eraser. Wacom Tablet PCs have active digitizers use EMR pens that are battery-less (the display provides the power rather than the pen).

N-Trig is the other big name brand in digitizers, and their pens currently offer 256 levels of pressure sensitiy. That's lower than Wacom, but N-Trig fights back with better pen location accuracy, particularlyt near the edges of the display. N-Trig pens are using in several Sony products including the Vaio Tap 11, Vaio Duo 13 and the Vaio Flip series. This pen uses a single AAAA battery that lasts a year.

Since superb handwriting recognition and digital ink technology are built into the Windows operating system, don't expect much variation between competing brands and models. Windows can handle even terrible handwriting and you can write quite quickly these days. In the old days of tablets, you had to write slowly to give the recognizer engine time to turn your scrawl into text, but that's no longer the case.

There's also an on-screen keyboard and Windows7 and Windows 8 detect whether you're currently using a pen or finger and puts up a different on-screen keyboard to suit each (this is called palm rejection). The finger-friendly keyboard is large and easy to use.

Applications that are well-suited to handwriting include MS Office (particularly OneNote and Word), Windows Journal (included with Windows) and art applications like Corel Painter, ArtRage and Photoshop.

Models with capacitive touch screens generally support multi-touch and 5 to 10 touch points, so you can pinch zoom and rotate documents using your fingers.

 

Related:

Acer Tablet Reviews

Samsung Tablet and Smartphone Reviews

Motorola Tablet and Smartphone Reviews

Apple iPad Reviews

 

 

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