honeycomb : William Harrel – Journalist

Sony Tablet P – a slate with a different view.

We were wowed by last year’s debut of the Sony Tablet S—a remarkable feat of slate engineering that remains our favorite Android tablet to date. The Tablet S is beautiful and extremely comfortable to hold and use. Plus, it has a gorgeous screen and performs wonderfully. Still, as unique as it is, it looks pretty much like what it is: a tablet.

We can’t quite say that about Sony’s latest offering, the Tablet P. From a distance, there’s no telling what it is. It’s not until you have it in hand and are using it that you realize it’s an Android-based slate. Even then, it’s so profoundly different from what’s come before in tablets that you might find yourself doubting its usefulness. (At first, we did, too.)

As you can see in the image below, the Tablet P is two things. It’s a tablet that folds in the center to make it more compact and easier to carry. But, depending on how you look at it and use it, it’s also a slate with two discrete screens…

Sony Tablet P

Read this review at Computer Shopper

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus – Samsung quality with some glaring omissions.

Just over a year ago, Samsung’s first Android tablet, the original 7-inch-screened Galaxy Tab, was hailed as the first true competitor to Apple’s iPad. A noble excursion into the tablet market, that Galaxy Tab was, for its time, an impressive machine. It had a great screen, two cameras, expandable storage, and several other features that were missing on the first iPad (and that remain missing on the iPad 2).

After a full year, though, the Android 2.2 operating system (a.k.a. Froyo) on the Galaxy Tab had begun showing its age. Also, the tablet’s design was starting to look dated—at least as dated as any year-old piece of tech can. For both reasons, in early 2012, Samsung replaced this model with the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus.

Like Samsung’s other Android-based tablets—the Galaxy Tab 10.1and the Galaxy Tab 8.9—the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is a good-looking, well-built slate. However, a couple of Samsung’s design decisions, such as leaving out dedicated HDMI and USB ports (instead, relying on optional adapters), coupled with the promise of the company’s soon-to-be-released Galaxy Tab 7.7, gave us a few reservations about this tablet.

See the review at Computer Shopper.


Archos 101 G9 Tablet

Archos 101 G9 Tablet – Not bad for an under $400 Android tablet. Not bad at all.

News flash! The last thing the world needs is yet another entry-level, me-too Android tablet. But that hasn’t stopped adventurous tech companies from trying to carve out a space in this highly competitive market.

The low-end side of this market is especially cutthroat. Manufacturers of low-cost full-size tablets (roughly, those under $400) must cut corners to meet certain price points. Several, for example, run older versions of the Android OS, such as 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread), rather than the 3.xversion (Honeycomb) or 4.x version (Ice Cream Sandwich). Others skimp on construction material, encasing the tablet in a cheap-feeling plastic chassis, or by using inexpensive, lower-quality thin-film-transistor (TFT) LCDs, instead of the much more capable in-plane switching (IPS) displays that premium tablets such as the Apple iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 use. Other cost-trimming practices include substituting inexpensive, slower processors, cutting back on system memory, and providing minimal storage. When comparing low-cost tablets to one another—and to their higher-priced competitors—we determine which options and features were stripped out to hit their price targets and then decide whether those compromises still result in a good product for the price.

See the review at Computer Shopper.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 - Small, thin, light and gorgeous.

I’ve looked at a bunch of tablets lately. This one stands out. It’s small, light, and thin. Easy to hold and use, just overall gorgeous. Samsung left off some convenience features, and that’s disappointing. But overall, I’d rather carry this one around than several others I’ve reviewed. See the review at Computer Shopper.

Sony Tablet S

Sony's Tablet S - Finally an Android that doesn't start by yelling, "Me Too,"

After looking at many Android tablets, I’ve finally found one that doesn’t look and act like the others. Sony has come out with quite the entertainment value here. Click here to see the Computer Shopper review.