Following the release of the original iPad, the tablets market has truly exploded. All the major manufacturers now offer a tablet of some design, and whether you’re a Windows, Google or Apple person, there’s something to choose between.
But not all tablets are created equal, so here’s a quick breakdown of each of the major tablet choices, and then a wildcard if you’re looking for something a little different.
Apple iPad Air
For Work; The iPad Air is, like all of Apple’s products, better used for media consumption than creation. On the other hand, the sheer range of apps out there means that you’ll be able to find enough tools to get by when outside of the office.
There are apps out there that allow for some easy video editing, creating and editing documents, checking email, making sketches, and taking notes. While not a replacement for a proper laptop, it gets the job done as a portable work tool.
For Play; This is where the Air really excels. It’s not just the massive range of great games that are available on the platform, it’s also the iTunes for films, TV and music. It’s the handy camera on the front and the back. It’s the slick web browser and long battery life. The iPad Air will entertain you, regardless of your tastes.
Galaxy Note 10.1
For Work; The Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) comes with a stylus pen that is an integral part of the device. Pulling the pen out from its cradle will automatically launch a menu with features such as “action memo”, “scrap booker,” “S Finder,” and “Pen Window”. It’s hard to quantify in words, but using a pen is a very natural way to work, and while you can get stylus’ for other tablets, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is designed around the pen experience, and it does help make it a more natural work tool.
For Play; Google’s Play Store doesn’t have the same range of entertainment options of the iPad, but it is of course no slug. It’s purely a matter of personal preference between the two, though it should be noted that game developers prefer working on the iOS platform, where piracy is less of a problem, and so the better games tend to look and play better on Apple’s platforms.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
For Work; Undeniably, the Surface Pro 2 is the superior work tool. The keyboard is effective and built into the device, and the tight integration with the Windows environment makes it easier for tech teams to link the device into the corporate network. Of all the tablets out there, this one is, by far, the one that is most likely to be a genuine replacement for a laptop.
For Play; While it’s a capable device for gaming and entertainment, it also doesn’t quite have the range or support of the other devices. But still, it does have its unique features; if you have an Xbox, for instance, this device links with the game console to enhance your entertainment at home.
Sony Tablet S
For Work; In most ways the Tablet S is a fairly standard Android tablet for work use. It lacks the features of something like the Galaxy Note 10.1, and doesn’t have the range of apps available on the iPad Air. It also lacks the keyboard of the Surface Pro 2.
As a device it works fine, but because it doesn’t excel at work compared to the big guns, it’s been largely overlooked for the office.
For Play; It’s here where the Tablet S is a wild card, and there are some very good reasons why you might choose this over its rivals. As a Sony device, there’s a service coming shortly called “PlayStation Now” which will allow you to play full console games on your tablet that were released on the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3. This service will be available on other tablets too, but we suspect that it will work best on a device designed by Sony.
Sony also offers robust video and music services of its own, so for people that do like their media entertainment, the Tablet S is a very good choice indeed. It is also the nicest-looking tablet ever designed, for people who care about aesthetics.