iPad may be the latest fad these days but it’s not everyone’s deal. For one, there is a brigade out there against anything Apple who would rather seek the same features in an Android device. Secondly, an iPad may cut into one’s tight budget and it would be wiser to seek cheaper options. Competition in this industry is close and tough, so there are quite many devices out there which could easily pass off for iPad alternatives. Here we pick three and review them for you.
Google Nexus 7:
Google Nexus 7 is among the best 7” tablets available in the market today, only that iPad 3 has a 9” screen. However, Nexus 7 has a few perks over iPad in terms of its sleek design and the fact that it would fit more compactly into your palm thank the bulkier iPad. You may have to miss out on the iPad’s screen resolution and pixel density but if you can easily make do with the difference in display quality and sharpness, Google Nexus 7 would be your best bet.
- Google Nexus 7 functions on Android 4.1 to 4.3 and weighs just 340 g, half of what you’d lug along with an iPad.
- It has a 7” screen with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels and 216 ppi pixel density. The 9.7” iPad scores way above Nexus 7 in this aspect.
- The screen has light sensor, proximity sensor and a scratch resistant glass.
- With the dimensions 7.81 x 4.72 x 0.41, Google Nexus 7 is slimmer than iPad and practically fits anywhere, be it your purse or your back pocket.
- It has a soft touch matte black finish for a sleek appearance.
- With its quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 T3OL system it offers you excellent speed for a lot of smooth gaming.
- With almost all iPad apps optimized for Android these days, you won’t miss much of the handiness that is there in the iPad. Apart from these, Nexus 7 has its own range of exciting apps such as Riptide GP 2 and Prince of Persia.
- You are bound to get the best sound quality out of Nexus 7 which is equipped with surround sound powered by Fraunhofer.
- Its battery allows 9 hours of video playback.
- Like iPad, Nexus 7 sorts your music according to the album, artist and playlist.
- Voice commands, voice recording and inbuilt wireless charging let you use Nexus 7 without having to be deft with your fingers all the time.
- Nexus 7 also has easy internet browsing, unlimited phonebook entries, GPS, video calling, Wi-fi and a lot more exciting features.
- However, Nexus 7 falls short on its ability to support some file formats in the music player as well as the document viewer as compared to iPad.
Good: Google Nexus 7 is a sleek and compact tablet with the kind of processor speed, sound system and utilities, you won’t even realize that you’re missing iPad.
Bad: Nexus 7 doesn’t have iPad’s screen resolution.
Verdict: If it’s a cheaper option you seek for the iPad without having to miss out much on your core requirements, Nexus 7 is a must have.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD:
Amazon Kindle Fire HD is way cheaper than iPad with a difference of about $200 in price and delivers greatly. It is thinner than iPad for one. Also being from Amazon allows you to explore the same sheer diversity of amazing apps, magazines and music from Amazon.com for Kindle Fire the way you would buy from iTunes for an iPad. The best part however, is that while Apple products have limited functionality on non-Apple devices, Amazon products once bought can be used across a wide variety of devices.
- Kindle Fire HD comes with an 8.9” screen, only a trifle smaller than iPad.
- With the dimensions of 9.40×6.40×0.35”, it is about 6% thinner than iPad, making it easier for you to handle.
- At 254 ppi pixel density, it is difficult to tell apart from a 264 ppi iPad. It makes a close call that doesn’t seem to be very distinguishable for most users.
- Dual stereo speakers and Dolby Digital Plus in Kindle Fire HD ensure that you have the best sound quality in your tablet.
- The Wi-fi, processor and device storage are exactly what you’d expect from iPad.
- Kindle Fire HD has a great HD camera for super sharp images. However, unlike iPad, it only has a front facing HD camera and not rear facing.
- If you want to experience the handy usefulness of Apple apps, you have a whole range of social apps, gaming apps, organizers, music apps, e-mail options, movie apps and browsers for Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
- What is most interesting about Kindle Fire HD is that while watching movies, you can tap on the screen to get to know some important information about the actors in the movie. Something you will not find in iPad.
- Kindle FreeTime for Amazon Kindle Fire HD lets your kids easily handle your tablet without posing problems for you. Each child can be given a custom profile with set daily time limits. You can add books, TV shows, movies, apps and games for them on your Kindle Fire HD tablet without worrying about their safety.
- Bookworms rejoice! Prime allows you to borrow from over 180000 popular books for Kindle Fire HD, another feature that iPad won’t offer.
Good: Interoperable Amazon apps, the movie feature and the general similarity of Amazon Kindle Fire HD with iPad at a significantly lower cost put it a notch above iPad itself.
Bad: People who worry a lot about graphics and photography may find the iPad better.
Verdict: Amazon Kindle Fire HD is probably the closest you can get to iPad within your given budget.
Barnes & Noble Nook HD:
Nook HD from Barnes & Noble comes at an unbelievable price. It is priced at roughly a quarter of what iPad would cost! Looking for a catch? Surprise again, there is actually none. Nook HD’s 9 inch screen is by no means a dwarf before iPad.
- Nook HD has a high definition 9” fully laminated screen with a 1920×1280 resolution display and a pixel density of 256 pixels per inch, standing up quite closely near iPad’s specs.
- Nook HD is a few ounces lighter than iPad.
- As opposed to iPad’s 1.0 GHz Dual Core processor A5X, Nook HD scores a notch higher with its 1.5 GHz Dual Core OMAP 4470 for great operating speeds.
- Nook HD has an expandable memory to let you store more and more media than ever.
- Its battery lasts for up to 10 hours of reading or 9 hours of video play.
- The content offered for Nook HD exceeds that offered by iPad viz., books, magazines, newspapers, movies, TV shows, apps, catalogs and Google Play.
- Nook HD supports Google Chrome for e-mail and web browsing and lets you easily access YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail.
- You can create personal profiles for each family member on your Nook HD tablet.
- Nook HD also has a scrapbooking feature.
- In Barnes & Noble stores, you get free Wi-fi on your tablet and you can read NOOK Books for free.
- It allows you to lend and borrow books and sample books are available for free.
- It also offers free cloud storage.
- B&N have an excellent in-store support and ensure an ad free experience for you.
- Nook HD also supports MS Office suite.
- For those with kids, Nook HD offers you better parental control over your child’s activities on the tablet.
Good: Nook HD has a range of extra features especially for books. Also, with its processor and Chrome browser along with YouTube, Gmail and Google maps, you have the best of internet utilities.
Bad: The display and graphics aren’t as good as iPad.
Verdict: On the utility side, Barnes & Noble Nook HD is certainly a must buy instead of the significantly costlier iPad.
Don’t have an iPad? It isn’t the end of the world. Not only do you have the option of picking one of these three great and exciting options, in some ways even better than iPad, you also have a wide range of other tablets waiting out there in the market to be explored. Just decide what you really want from your tablet and pick your choice. You could get more than your bargain, in a good way of course.