Like my eReader Review Roundup post, this is a gathering of reviews for tablet devices. There are other tablets on the market besides the ones I’ve chosen to include here, but I picked these because they are either made by eReader companies, or have solid eReading functions, or are the tablets that you typically find major electronics stores. In other words, they are the tablets that you’re most likely to use for eBook reading, in my opinion.
Apple iPad 2 Reviews
Engadget – “It might frustrate the competition to hear this, but it needs to be said: the iPad 2 isn’t just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market.”
TechCrunch – “Let me sum all of this up in a simple way: the iPad 2, should you buy one? Maybe — it depends on a few factors. Will you want to buy one? Yes. Use that information wisely.”
PCMag – “The clear standout in the ever-widening sea of tablets, the Apple iPad 2 brings a slimmer design, faster processing, dual cameras, and FaceTime video chat to a tablet that already had a leg up on the competition.”
PCWorld – “The iPad 2 remains the tablet to beat, even though its improvements represent just a satisfying aesthetic and spec evolution over its predecessor. ”
CNet– “The iPad 2 refines an already excellent product. Its easy-to-use interface, vast app catalog, and marathon battery life bolster Apple’s claim to being the king of tablets. ”
Wired – “Skinnier profile shows mercy to your joints. Big performance boost makes apps, games and web browsing more zippy. Same $500 starting price and 10-hour battery life. Mediocre cameras make still photos look slimy. Thinner body makes physical buttons on the side a little harder to press.”
Nook Color Reviews
Engadget – “So, is the Nook Color worth your hard-earned cash? Well, we’ll say this — if you’re a hardcore reader with an appetite that extends beyond books to magazines and newspapers, the Color is the first viable option we’ve seen that can support your habit. Not only does Barnes & Noble have an astoundingly good selection of e-book titles, the company seems to be aggressively pursuing the periodical business, which is a big deal.”
TechCrunch – This page is specifically for the “Nook Tablet” not the Nook Color. Same basic deal though. Not a full review. TechCrunch doesn’t seem to have a full review on the Nook Color.
PCMag – “More than an ebook reader, less than a full-blown tablet, the Nook Color’s artful compromises make for a compelling, color reading experience that is ideal for both books and magazines.”
PCWorld – “Highlights of this premium e-reader include an intuitive, elegant interface and an LCD screen with minimal glare. ”
CNet– “Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color is a very capable color touch-screen e-book reader that offers much of the functionality of an Android tablet for half the price of an iPad.”
Wired – “Nook Color is the only ‘reader’s tablet,’ straddling dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle and multipurpose tablets like the iPad. I was expecting tradeoffs. I wasn’t expecting its advantages.”
Amazon Kindle Fire Reviews
Engadget – “The Kindle Fire is quite an achievement at $200. It’s a perfectly usable tablet that feels good in the hand and has a respectably good looking display up front. Yes, power users will find themselves a little frustrated with what they can and can’t do on the thing without access to the Android Market but, in these carefree days of cloud-based apps ruling the world, increasingly all you need is a good browser. That the Fire has.”
PCMag – “The first easy-to-use, affordable small-screen tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire is revolutionary.”
PCWorld – “The 7-inch, Android-based Amazon Fire will appeal to those who buy books, videos, and music at Amazon, but it will frustrate those looking for a more versatile slate.”
CNet– “Though it lacks the tech specs found on more-expensive Apple and Android tablets, the $199 Kindle Fire is an outstanding entertainment value that prizes simplicity over techno-wizardry.”
Wired – “iPad killer? No, the Kindle Fire is not. And it doesn’t even match the iPad in web browsing, the one area in which its hardware should have sufficient performance to compete. But the press has definitely supercharged Amazon’s product launch with a level of hype and enthusiasm that would make Apple proud.”
Kobo Vox Reviews
This gadget is perhaps too new to have many solid reviews online, but I’ve dug up what I can:
Engadget – This is Engadget’s basic informational page about the Kobo Vox.
PCMag – A “Hands on” post, not a full review. “In fact, the fact that the Vox is an Android tablet serves as a rather stark reminder that Kobo’s strength is its application … inside the Vox’s social Pulse e-reading application, I didn’t want to leave.”
PCWorld – Not a real review. This is more of a news post.
CNet – Again, not quite a real review yet, just information.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Reviews
Engadget – “The conclusion we came to after using the Tab 10.1 Limited Edition mimics the conclusion we’ve drawn here: this is the best Honeycomb tablet to date, and lucky for you, this one’s available to purchase!”
PCMag – “The Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 takes the thin, powerful tablet and adds blazing 4G LTE speeds, but it ratchets up the price as well.”
PCWorld – “Thin and stylish, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 hits all the right marks. And at 1.24 pounds, this is the lightest 10-inch-class tablet you can buy. ”
CNet– “Sleek, sexy, and light, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gets as close to the iPad 2 as any Android tablet before it.”
Wired – “The trouble is that both hardware and software are rough around the edges. Honeycomb feels like Linux on the desktop before Ubuntu came along, and the Tab 10.1 itself feels like somebody made a toy plastic iPad. The screen stands alone as being quite excellent, but it’s not enough to save the rest.”
Motorola Xoom Reviews
Engadget – “Besides boasting what we consider to be the most complete and clearly functioning version of Android, the hardware which is packed inside Motorola’s tablet is really quite good. The tablet is fast and sleek, and while not exactly being really futureproof, the fact that you’ve got a path to a 4G upgrade is tremendous (and frankly, something no one else in the industry is offering).”
TechCrunch – “Few tablets have met with such widespread anticipation as the recently-announced Xoom. It is the closest anyone has come to an iPad equivalent for the Android set. I was impressed with the speed, design, and quality of the device, and although there are a few caveats, I came away optimistic for the new crop of Honeycomb devices that will follow this one.
PCMag – “The Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom is a solid Android tablet with Flash support, but it doesn’t measure up to the Apple iPad 2 in terms of app selection.”
PCWorld – “The Xoom is well-conceived and well-constructed, but some rough edges, a middling display, and a high price may deter early adopters.”
CNet– “The Xoom’s spec sheet is enough to make any tablet tremble, but the price is high and Google still has some work to do before its tablet software experience is as fleshed out and intuitive as Apple’s.”
Wired – “As Sly Stone said, the nicer the nice, the higher the price.”
This is just a quick post to say that I’ve updated the eReader Comparisons page. It now has the Nook Color and current prices for all of the devices as of today, December 8th, 2010.
Check it out for tech specs and other important comparisons between all of the top ebook readers, including size, weight, prices, file formats supported, and more.