Tablets

Leading tablet feature-to-feature comparison chart

Jack Wallen breaks down the feature offerings of four of the leading tablets in the United States.

In a previous post, I highlighted four of the leading business smartphones in the United States. However, with the increase of BYOD and the mobile workforce, tablets have become a popular choice for many organizations. With that in mind, I selected four of the leading tablets currently on the market for a feature-to-feature comparison.

Click on the chart below to zoom in on some of the more notable tablet features to find out which one is more suited for your business needs.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

33 comments
Regulus
Regulus

I have been waiting for some kind of 'comparison chart' for about a couple of years now. Thank you for getting it started. First, I'd like to suggest that you consider using a spreadsheet for this. Next, it would be nice if this was a 'work in progress', updated at least monthly. Our esteemed colleagues here have made numerous valuable comments to continuously 'fine-tune' this project. Thank You for keeping up with the community.

Dented
Dented

I use the Surface Pro for my business. My sis-in-law uses her RT for fun. I make money, she makes bills.

Sul52
Sul52

Very limited list. I'm in agreement that it is hard to figure out how "leading" was determined. Doesn't appear to be either sales or features. Were these the ones you had brochures on your disk that caught your eye? Surely the ENTIRE line of Samsung devices should have or could have been on a list of leading tablets for business. And missing the feature of a stylus. For business use, the inclusion of a working stylus (as a part of the package, Wacom or N-trig) is HUGE in a business environment.

jlwallen
jlwallen

It's all so subjective. I've seen companies roll out IPADS to their employees when it's obvious an Android tablet would work better with what they do (and vice versa). The reason they roll out one over the other most often comes down to that's the technology the person making the decision likes. There are those that like X over A -- for whatever reasons -- and they simply won't bother with A. I prefer the Linux platform. Why? That doesn't matter because it's subjective. Yes, I can point out facts and such, but for every fact I point out, the other camp will have an equal fact to trump my original. In the end, it reminds me of politics, and it can be fairly exhausting. ;-) The silver lining? We have choices and all those choices will, in the end, help us to get our jobs done.

jlwallen
jlwallen

I want to preface this by saying, this isn't me, defending myself. This is me bringing up an issue that I've witnessed (and been burned by) on a number of occasions. Many times I am handed marketing spec for a product. I get excited about the product and report about said product -- only to find out the spec sheet I was handed was wrong. Companies create their spec sheets and send them to marketing firms and then, for whatever reason, something will change in the production -- be it to save money or whatever. Well, that spec sheet is still in the hands of the marketing firm and the manufacturer doesn't always think to distribute new spec -- or it's just too late. How many times have you ordered a product based on a certain set of specs, only to find when the product arrives it doesn't meet those specs? It's burned me a number of times. In many cases, there's nothing the consumer can do about it. This happens a lot within the world of mobile devices as well. I've been handed marketing spec and a product. When I compare the two, there are almost always differences. And then there's good ol' Wikipedia. Shouldn't manufacturers be held responsible for making sure Wiki entries for their products reflect the actual product? I know, I know...it's Wikipedia -- it's full of incorrect information. Can something be done about this and SHOULD something be done about this? When a company advertises a certain spec on a product, should they be held to that spec or has it just become understood that the spec most likely will change?

sean10
sean10

Currently trialing a Dell Latitude 10 and a Samsung ATIV Pro (XE700T). Both Windows 8 Pro, on the domain with group policy, full MS Office 2010, Cisco/Shrewsoft VPN client for shared drives and terminal services and 3G for 24/7 network access regardless of location, Both have docking stations available. So far they both tick all the boxes for the perfect business tablet and are the only tablet devices that have the potential to be a full Desktop/Laptop replacement. The only major downsides? The Dell's Atom processor isn't powerful enough and the Samsung is too expensive and too big. Although this may be an unpopular statement, I instantly disregarded all Android and IOS devices as an option and I still struggle to see their relevance in a business environment.

slobodan.hajdin
slobodan.hajdin

First thing that puzzled me was connection between GPRS and GLONASS. Or GPRS and A-GPS. Then I was puzzled by ignorance of non-US carriers. Oh, wait... you are US centric WWW site? You know what WWW stands for? Then I was puzzled by choice of devices... Leading tablets? By sales? By screen size? By OS? By what??? Mixing units was next... How should I compare Wh and mAh? Then... "Battery specs not released..." WTF? Have you used device at all? Have you TESTED it? You believe someone else for testing results? I have heard about thing called "testing" and something called "investigative reporting". I doubt you have heard about these things... [edit] I have to apologize... just now noticed "leading tablets in the United States" part. But the rest of my comment stands, I think... [end edit]

raff.vargas
raff.vargas

I tried to pull a metric from the tablets you selected but couldn't find any. Would you please tell us the criteria you chose? Based on specs, there are some serious competitors who are missing. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Ainol Novo 9 (both Quad-cores, and the Ainol with Retina display), among others which may surpass the ones listed here. Based on screen size, the Nexus wouldn't fit.

grayknight
grayknight

Even if the incorrect items already noted are fixed, this table needs more tablets listed. A Samsung Galaxy model, some of the new tablets coming out, and the other 7"/8" tablets (Kindle Fire, iPad mini, etc.) would make the table actually useful.

midlantic
midlantic

Of course understandable with MS's confusing marketing but the Surface Pro runs full Win 8, not RT. Sort of changes some of the specs, especially software capabilities.

silvpol
silvpol

Google Nexus 7 doesn't support 5GHz WiFi, it only supports 2.4GHz. From the Google Spec sheet: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've never taken a serious look at this class of systems as a personal device. I've always wondered about the usefulness of a device dependent on the availability of a WiFi connection. Are these widespread enough now that it's worth considering a device that has 'always depended on the kindness of strangers', or is finding an available connection still an issue?

Chaz Chance#
Chaz Chance#

The nexus 7 appears to be a bit of a wimp compared to the others. What was the reason for including a single 7 inch tablet in the review? If you needed a budget tablet, then Samsung have a 10 inch offering which has enough features to make the others look overpriced. I am also curious about the iPad feature "thousands of business class apps..." . I don't think that the manufacturers of the others would be very impressed at the implication that there wasn't thousands available for their tablets, which of course there is.

Malleable69
Malleable69

So the article should be titled "4 tablets I selected", as you arent using an independent metric. What is your definition of "Leading"? Sales? It can't be features (or the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro would be on the list, as well as others).

jlwallen
jlwallen

I now have the Samsung Note and having a stylus makes a HUGE difference. What was once cumbersome is now incredibly easy. I would say that anyone considering a tablet for business should first look at tablets with this feature.

markavo
markavo

I wouldn't count the Kindle Fire as a device with any realistic "business" application.

Slayer_
Slayer_

It doesn't seem to get n speeds. But it could be that the nexus 7 has like the slowest SSD ever.... It's like how a floppy disk is to a hard drive...

grayknight
grayknight

At home or at work. If not, I also can just tether to my phone. So I do not need to get a tablet connected to a cell carrier network.

jlwallen
jlwallen

I actually had no input into the list of tablets. I was given that list by someone very qualified to make that decision, so I respected his choices.

JLogan3o13
JLogan3o13

You think Jack is going to qualify his "sources", or back up his statements? Are you new??? :)

markavo
markavo

I recently returned a Nexus 7 because I didn't like the sluggish response time. The OS was gorgeous, it just needs a better package to shine. I'm not unrealistic though, I knew I was taking a chance with a cheaper tablet.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

.I don't need one at work or home; I have desktops there, and no need for mobility at either location. What about on the road? Has WiFi become ubiquitous to the point a traveler doesn't have to worry about availability, or will he be eating all his meals at McDonald's? I'm one of those hold-outs without a smart phone; just a pay-as-you-go, make-all-the-fun-of me-you-want flip-phone. Tethering isn't an option. But that does explain why two of the tablets described have no carriers listed. I assume the manufacturers intend tethering as the solution for cellular connections. Thanks.

markavo
markavo

Surface Pro doesn't run Windows RT. Surface RT runs Surface RT. Surface Pro runs Windows 8 Pro. It's kind of an important difference. I think that both the RT and the Pro should have been represented with sub-columns so that the differences are clear.

jsargent
jsargent

Next time take control, choose your own list and you'll be able to back it up with your own knowledge and experience on the subject. I wouldn't have minded you said "xxx recommended these tablets, let's see how they are". That would give a very differ feel to the article.

Slayer_
Slayer_

He accidentally wrote two half decent articles, but now hes back to normal making stuff up and not providing sources or reading comments.

Slayer_
Slayer_

That's all my nexus 7 will get over the lan.... That's horrible. Wireless B maybe....

GSG
GSG

The places where I'm most likely to want to use my tablet I've almost always had access to some sort of public wireless. The places I didn't were while I was riding in the car on an extended road trip and was bored and wanted to surf, and at my hairdressers. Those weren't for any sort of need to get online. I did break down and get a smart phone, so if I really, truly wanted to get online, I could have used the phone as a mobile hotspot. Otherwise, public wifi is ubiquitous enough that most national chain restaurants, coffee shops, malls, department stores, etc... do have some sort of free wifi. Edited to add: if you do have a smart phone, rather than paying for a data plan on the phone, of which I personally don't use a 10th of the cheapest plan, and another one on the tablet, you're better off just getting the plan on the phone, and using that wifi for your tablet.

markavo
markavo

He could have also used the list and corrected the inaccuracies. I would like to think he could have added/removed tablets from the list if he wanted to as well.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I hope to hear more from you. Your Linux blog is usually interesting.

jlwallen
jlwallen

believe it or not. I really do apologize for not visiting more often. there is a silver lining. it is my belief that, the end of the year will open up my schedule so I'll have enough time to frequently post in the forums.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Wow. Probably should have said "1st post" :-)

jlwallen
jlwallen

At the time of writing, the Nexus 7 had 5GHz support listed (I didn't take a screen shot of the site -- unfortunately). It looks like, now, that spec has been removed. This could have been an error on the company site or a change they made. I made sure, for this comparison, to only take specs from the manufacturer's product page or information directly from the reps I deal with (the reps are generally marketing firms associated with AT&T, Verizon, etc). And I would love to spend time in the forums discussing posts and such, but I unfortunately have two other full-time jobs that demand my attention. But since it seems readers would like to have me checking out the forums, I can certainly make a better effort to do so. I apologize for my absence here.

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