Just had a play with one of these.
Overall, pretty damn good. Compared to the iPad 2? Faster, more responsive, sleeker, more grown up buttons, proper keyboard with a TAB key, MUCH greater browser functionality (including ‘incognito mode….) equal video and camera capabilities but with the added versatility of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).
Flexibility is where this is at. For one, IT HAS AN SD CARD PORT! so non of this Appleonian fascist lockdown crap, at last you can move your data around as if you actually created and owned it! Imagine!
If you have an Android phone (i Don’t) you’ll be more familiar with the interface but even as a layman, i was impressed with the simplicity and ease of use. I wasn’t as impressed with the rows of empty screens where an iPad auto-creates them according to app population so there was a fair bit of dead space at first but soon that will get filled by all your apps and links to your favourite stuff.
The speed is the most notable, i only have the wi-fi version here so i couldn’t comment on 3G connectivity but it’s very good at what it does. Maps are fast to load, plenty of screen ‘real estate’ and pinch gestures as you’d expect, it has all the functionality of Google maps. Transfers in and out of apps are silky smooth and rapid and file sharing is seamless. It’s nice.
The camera is equally as poxy as the iPad 2’s and the displayed image is only a portion of the screen, leaving a big black border around it and making it look a bit cheap and basic. There are nice digital zoom features though and saving, clicking and sharing are all nicely handled. The absence of a home button to get back to the main screen is easily got used to as it’s kind of a pleasure to use the stylish little neon buttons which are hidden unless needed. little features like that make it a definite game-changer.
In conclusion, It’s function over form. It’s Ranulph Fiennes in a tux to Apple’s Tom Cruise in a wheelchair, if you get me. The similarities are so close that they’re almost irrelevant, it’s just peronal choice and reasons for buying.
I’d say a very worthy contender in the tablet market. 9/10