Top 10 iPad Alternatives

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Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptopmag.com, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. John Spence Says:

    Let me guess, AT&T tethering charge.
    This looks promising, a good idea for travelers/business people.

  2. Joesph Pough Says:

    htc flyer clear winner of them all because of stylus intergration

  3. Brad Bittinger Says:

    Can’t believe you didn’t include the exoPC.

    Oh wait! It’s actually shipping!!

  4. K. T. Bradford Says:

    Yes, already shipping. But, we have a hard time recommending it given our review.

  5. Dave Slinn Says:

    I’ve read tablet article after tablet article and never a mention about true windows-based tablets. I want my tablet to be a computer, not a media device/toy. For me, the ASUS ep121 is what I’ve been waiting ever so patiently for. When I saw an article titled “Ten iPad Alternatives”, I thought for sure it’d be mentioned. How is it not considered an iPad alternative?? I was given an iPad as a gift, used it for a month and then sold it for a more-expensive Asus one because I wanted a Windows tablet. And I’m sorry – any discussion about Apple having the advantage over other tablet manufacturers is crap if you consider full-on windows. 65,000 can’t compete with millions.

  6. Asus eee ep121 Says:

    What a biased review. Are all these or most of them not tethered to a contract? I agree with Dave – PC tablets are the way to go and I too have been waiting for the Asus EP 121. I hope, though, that they address the sorry battery life…

  7. Imhotep Says:

    Another recommended app
    is the ElectricityCalc.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/electricitycalc/id436453765?mt=8
    You can see what your product use in electricity and what it cost

  8. Luc Says:

    What about entry level tablet pc’s? E.g. Lenovo S10-3t for $500 and no contract (plus 8 hour battery life).
    Also there are several windows slates coming: Viliv X70 slate, Fujitsu Q550, Samsung slider PC7.

  9. Jose Says:

    My main trouble with these lists is that products not yet here are “better” than “not as good” products available now. For me this is non-sense.

    Regarding Win 7, I believe the real one (not the phony one) is not ready for it’s touch-prime. There are no millions of touchy apps, not even 60000. Well, there are probably 60000 VERTICAL Win apps, but not a chance to see them in Windows Marketplace. Keep in mind that Apple sees iPad as a secondary device and they still trying hard to put MacOS X at every home with an iDevice.

  10. anthony Says:

    This might be an ok tablet if it weren’t for the brand. Sooner or later it will need service, which is something you can never expect from ACER. They have the worst customer service among any of the brands i have owned.

  11. Lolz Says:

    You missed the A1CS X220 Tablet, best seller on Amazon for a reason.

  12. i told u so.com Says:

    funny thing is Ive tired most of these, and am very appauld that the HP touchpad isnt the 1st alternative option smh, I guess thats politics.

  13. T Horne Says:

    Hey Morons…. I’m not sure who is not doing their job on this site but you totally forgot the HP Touchpad which is better than all of these other tablets you mentioned.

    It has a better cooked OS, honest and efficient mu;lit tasking, The OS looks beautiful and add to that some fabulous homebrew support.

    Not sure if I can take this site seriously from here on.

    Good job in showing your incredible bias.

  14. Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief Says:

    Appreciate the feedback. There are aspects of the TouchPad we really like but it didn’t make the cut here because we don’t recommend that tablet. It’s not oversight or bias. We also wish the software update did more to improve performance but it didn’t. We’re hoping that HP can work out the kinks because we’d like to recommend it.

  15. Ken Stoner Says:

    Uhhmmm … Where is the Motorola XOOM? In my opinion this is hands-down the best slate/tablet on the market today.

  16. Luella Rollind Says:

    I’ve read tablet article after tablet article and never a mention about true windows-based tablets. I want my tablet to be a computer, not a media device/toy. For me, the ASUS ep121 is what I’ve been waiting ever so patiently for. When I saw an article titled “Ten iPad Alternatives”, I thought for sure it’d be mentioned. How is it not considered an iPad alternative?? I was given an iPad as a gift, used it for a month and then sold it for a more-expensive Asus one because I wanted a Windows tablet. And I’m sorry any discussion about Apple having the advantage over other tablet manufacturers is crap if you consider full-on windows. 65,000 can’t compete with millions.

  17. Daniel Says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh boy, that was a good one. Pretending there are real alternatives to the iPad, that is too rich.

    If laptopmag is switching to comedy this is a great start. You should give The Onion a run for its money.

    Ptttt!

  18. Jotek Says:

    Uhh, just sayin’. The Nook Color at the end looks a WHOLE LOT like a Samsung tablet…. right down the the Samsung stamping on it…. (perhaps a picture change may be in order)

  19. Mike Stark Says:

    RIM Blackberry PlayBook??? Fantastic device. Especially at heavily discounted prices. True multitasking O/S is a real treat. Screen is superior to ALL other tablets (including ipad2). 1080P external hdmi. Swipe bezel. How can you not mention this wonderful tablet? Such bias.

  20. Mygiza Says:

    Maybe the reviewer should see CNET tablet reviews. The Toshiba Thrive is quite impressive. The regular USB port is rather a smart feature.

  21. Jeff Says:

    Please kill the annoying Toshiba Flash popup or require an “x” so we can close it…I hate seeing an ad for every tablet…ironic also that the Toshiba Thrive was left off the list

  22. Neil Says:

    Absolutely agree with Luella. Desperate for good tablet options with a real operating system. These silly little “apps” that can basically do nothing are just rather pointless. Easy to say “why don’t you just get yourself a real laptop?” but to be fair, I’m greedy. I want a tablet that has laptop functionality, not a mobile phone with a bigger screen. There seem to be a couple of options: Dell Inspiron Duo or a bunch of Asus tablets.

    So, given my perspective, can anyone tell me the best tablet that will allow me to do some serious work (run real windows/MAC applications), but then the portability to jsut take to bed and read a book?

    Cheers!

  23. Mark Says:

    I just got an iPad, and while I like it, I would not get another one. Computing capability aside, with Apple’s “proprietary” happy attitude where you have to buy or subscribe to Apple versions of normally free programs, like Adobe Flash Player, and any songs you download at the itunes store can only be played on Apple devices, unlike songs in the MP3 format, I am already disgusted with Apple and looking for a Droid replacement since I am very happy with my Droid Razr cell phone.

    MJK

  24. Andi Says:

    Kindle Fire is NOT compatible with Ipad; I just returned it. You can’t hook it up to a tv and Ipad can.

  25. FanOfNone Says:

    Missing off this list is the Motorola Xoom – the first dual core tablet that had both a front and rear facing camera (before the ipad 2). It was also the first Android tablet to use Google’s Honeycomb OS.

    Some of these other tablets are in the same league, but the Kindle, and the Nook are just toys.

    Seeing how the kindle toy is shown prominently as Mr. Spoonauer’s first alternative, Amazon must be sponsoring this article. What a joke.

  26. John M Says:

    I’m a little disappointed with the model acer you listed A100 to be compared with an Ipad (there isn’t one), Try the Acer A500-16 or 32 and then your in the same league as the Ipad in terms of features and performance.

  27. Eric S. Says:

    Check out the Viewsonic 7E pad; at $ 169.99, it is the best sub-$ 200 tablet out there.

  28. nettie feldman Says:

    i, too, am looking for a tablet that acts like a laptop. Any ideas out there?

  29. Matthew Says:

    Mark says: “Computing capability aside, with Apple’s “proprietary” happy attitude where you have to buy or subscribe to Apple versions of normally free programs, like Adobe Flash Player, and any songs you download at the itunes store can only be played on Apple devices, unlike songs in the MP3 format”.

    Two points:
    1) Adobe no longer supports Flash on mobile devices so that is a dead technology.
    2) All songs downloaded on iTunes store are free of restrictions (DRM) and can be played on any device. Just burn to CD, export/transcode to MP3 or whatever you like. Many years ago, the iTunes store used DRM at the behest of the music companies, but Apple renegotiated and removed all DRM.

  30. Paul Stuart Says:

    My Asus t201 ( Transformer Prime ) has been one of the Best electronic devices I’ve ever purchased. It’s a Tablet and/or Laptop, it’s Your choice! The “silly” apps referenced above are Easily replaced by Truly Useful “pc quality” tools. Now, with Drive, I can Easily WORK or PLAY anywhere using my FREE WiFi Hotspot from my TMo Sensation. And DAMN, does this TransPrime FLY ! The Fifth Core increases steady-use for 2 days quite easily and with “normal” use that can extend to a 3rd day just as well. All this without the laptop accessory (which adds an extra 8 hours of constant use). The ONLY competition this Asus has MIGHT be with the soon-to-be-released Atrix 2 “phonepad” coming from Moto … AND the early summer release of the EXCEPTIONAL (spec-wise & pure Android Experience) Asus Google Nexus 7″ quad. Another Plus of the TransPrime is the thisclose Pure Android experience it offers. GPS has Not been an issue with me. However, if GPS IS important for Your use Fear Not as Asus will Very Soon be releasing the TransPrime with a plastic back … Not quite as Beautiful as the original Spun Metallic of the TransPrime but Also at a $99.00 discount from the t201!
    ANY way you look at this you’ve already won the battle of theTablet Choice.

  31. Shirley Says:

    I agree! I have the TF201 Prime transformer and it is truely marvelous!

  32. Roz Says:

    I am using the Blackberry Playbook and love it – has Flash too.

  33. Dan Says:

    I had the asus transformer prime, then acers a200, and finally caved in and bought the iPad. The wifi was terrible on the Prime and although the prime has superior hardware, the software didn’t utilize it fully like the iPad software utilizes the iPad hardware. Without the selection of apps and accessories like what is offered for the iPad offered to a single android tablet, android will never compete with apple. Im somewhat hopeful that Microsoft might become a iPad competitor, but I’m not confident they will be able to rid themselves of the huge resource hungry os’s they always put out. I’m happy with my iPad, but hate being considered an apple customer and would jump if there were someone else that offered a true competing full solution: hardware, os, apps, and accessories.

  34. Kenneth Says:

    Its a matter of preference (I’m Danish, so don’t waste comments on my spelling) … I-anything has still got the feel and design price (Not the HW price, but the latest screen on the new Ipad is really something) I use a transformer myself, and very happy with it (I compared it to some of my mates Ipad 2′s) And here…. on every count the ASUS kicks Ipad. But like in the beginning, it really dosent matter.

    Only reason I never use anything with an I is because : ITunes really sucks – When your laptop HDD dies…. No way you can get the music (Witch has taken you days to load) over on a new one from any device. And why is it the Apple should dictate all contents on all apps? Is this China or something? I can write an app for Android an put it on a server and share it, try that with and I infront…. Did you know that apple has rejected several apps because they dident like the content? And come on, whats up with all the lawsuits? On SLIDE-TO-UNLOCK?? haha even the early MS had that on it pre the win mobile. Please concentrate on moving forward with nice gadgets instead, and stop trying to stop the others with looser lawsuits, and beat them on tech instead.
    btw: The internet still uses Flash!

  35. Pieter Says:

    I would like to ask for some advice. I have two daughters, one of 8 and one of 3,5 years. I am looking for a light (in terms of weight) device that they can use from time to time to watch movies/documentaries and use for games. To date they are using my laptop, but that is not convenient for me, so I like to offer them something they can use by themselves. I am not rich and I don’t care for brand names, so it doesn’t need to be the flashiest of all; rather something that offers a solid performance with a reasonable viewing quality and is easy to handle. Practical, so to speak. I am not in the electronics business, as by now you’ll have figured, which is why I am coming here, hoping someone can guide me. Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and helping me out.

  36. ca0656 Says:

    @Pieter How about you get your kids toys? An eight and four year olds don’t need tablets. Try getting them stuff that they can play outside with, or even better, use their imagination.

  37. IXOOMit Says:

    Mark, Really, the Xoom has all these beat, I did a lot of research before I selected my tablet and by far the best choice is the XOOM, how did you miss that? I think you need to go back start over. I did a head to head comparison of the IPad and xood and the Xoom smoked the
    IPad please do your home work, and look at these products with an open mind, I call a do over !!!!!!!!!

  38. shivani Says:

    wow your i pads photos r excellent

  39. ross ballantine Says:

    I see davids slinns comment is a carbon copy of Luella Rollinds….who’s kiddin who ?

  40. Bubba Says:

    @Kenneth Only reason I never use anything with an I is because : ITunes really sucks – When your laptop HDD dies…. No way you can get the music (Witch has taken you days to load) over on a new one from any device.

    Some time ago Apple made it possible to retrieve all purchased music and software on any new machine via the cloud. All your stuff moves with your account. I find it convenient – I run a lab with various brands of tablets and computers. I realize that the Apple ecosystem is not for everyone, but it’s pretty easy for people to use and copy on all devices.

  41. Qbancelli Says:

    Typical Apple shill/fanboy, if you don’t want an Apple product you must hate Apple.

  42. Mark Says:

    And yet, there is no mention of the Amazon 8.9″ HD, 64GB 4G? Bias is one thing, but leaving out the something like that is tragic!

  43. logansmith Says:

    I am use Samsung tablet PC and love it

  44. ConcernedParent2013 Says:

    Kids under 15 should not own tablets, iPads, iPhones or anything expensive! they will break it or find something they should not find. The internet is an unsafe battle ground for kids who don’t know what to expect.

  45. John Whiteman Says:

    I bought an Asus TF300t about a month ago, I must say for 450.00 keyboard included, I like it a lot. But it will never be as good as a windows based pc, IMO.

  46. ed sandford Says:

    I’m retired and will be travelling. What’s the best band for the buck for web browsing, taking and sharing pictures, emailing and possibly watching movies? I want a tablet that has two cameras, and that my wife can handle easily.

  47. John Patrick Says:

    Even though the date at the start of the article is recent, the content has not been updated. The Nook Color HD has had software updates that allow full access to Google Play and you can use 3rd party launchers if you want a true Android look. Several launchers have themes that will for the most part make it appear that you are running the Jelly Bean version of Android. The Nook have been heavily discounted for Mom and Dad’s days and are still running at 129.99 at Target. Great tablet. Currently the best screen on any 7 inch tablet.

  48. Christina Says:

    No matter how many lists you come up with there just isn’t one other tablet out there that can be equally compared to the ipad. Several combined maybe. I am grateful for what I have and I am sticking to what works … nothing is perfect.

  49. Audrey Says:

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 looks good… I might get it.

  50. lynn Says:

    After 48 hrs with the iPad’s new iOS 7.0 I am now ready to send my beloved iPad off to Gazelle and buy anything from Android. 7.0 is poorly designed as far as functionality … AND it’s ugly as #%^*. Plus Apple won’t let us go back to our old 6.* OS.

  51. CROCO Says:

    BIT LIKE CARS IN THE END THEY ALL DO ABOUT THE SAME THING FORD APPLE HATER PLENTY OF ALTERNATIVES ABOUT

  52. Lucia Says:

    For study informatio at varsity the environmental studies

  53. Mariana Teles Alface Says:

    Gostaria de saber as caracteristiscas de uma tablets para o meu marido, pois tem problemas de olhos

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