I had a chance to go to Best Buy and interact with some additional tablets at Best Buy on Monday Night. I took my three-year-old son to the Mall of America to simply get out and walk around (It’s been wickedly hot and humid here in Minnesota for nearly three weeks) in the later part of the evening. The Best Buy in the Mall of America is on the third floor, and used to be a sporting goods store when the Mall originally opened.
I specifically wanted to look at music on the devices, so I pulled up Lotti’s Mass in C from the IMSLP (I had converted a version of the Lotti Mass to a SAB version earlier this summer) on each device. Unfortunately, I was unable to do so with the HP TouchPad, as one device had no battery left (aren’t they supposed to be plugged in, full time, while on display), and the working unit had no internet connection.
Overall, if a consumer just wanted a tablet to be able to browse the internet and compose e-mail, any one of these tablets would be fine. They load pages quickly, and images are sharp. As an iOS user, I had no issues whatsoever navigating on any device.
I had a chance to interact with the “Big Three” Android tablets, the Motorola Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Asus Transformer. All three were wide screen tablets (I thought the Galaxy Tab was supposed to be 4:3), so understandably, music was either very wide but limited in height, or full page, but narrow (much more so than the iPad) with an odd overlap to the next page on the bottom of the page. Each tablet opened the PDF with a different app (Adobe, Open Office, and one other I cannot remember). As mentioned in this blog before, there is a lack of a music-focused PDF reader for the Android platform. As another interesting side note, all the tablets have glossy screens. I know there’s a movement on the internet that is trying to get companies to stop manufacturing glossy screens–yet every tablet had one.
Again, were I looking for a device that just needed general internet capabilities, I’d have no issue buying one. But for (generally) the same price as the iPad (the Asus Transformer is $100 cheaper), and (generally) the same functionality as the iPad (minus the Apple experience, an App Store with over 100,000 iPad apps, and 25 million fellow owners), I’d have a hard time choosing one of these tablets over the iPad. At this point, I’d just want one to be able to review Android apps. A couple of pictures appear below: