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Tablet: Android or iPad? I like the greater exposure to the guts that Android gives you, but the interface gets panned in a lot of the reviews I read
Aaron Milano's profile photoDarwin Campa's profile photoTom Darby's profile photoMichael Bacon's profile photo
Caveat: I'm a Mac head of the John Gruber ( mold, in that I generally love what Apple makes, have a laundry list of things I'd like them to do better, and am more than willing to give Apple's competitors a fair shake.

Pretty much every Android tablet I've seen and played with falls short of the iPad's user experience. The UI generally feels laggier than an iPad, the physical design and build don't feel as solid as the iPad, and a lot of them just feel flat-out incomplete (with some tablet makers basically coming right out and saying so.) Also note that most Android devices don't come with "pure" Android on them and will require varying degrees of work to get pure Android on them.

That said, if you have concerns about Apple's "walled garden" approach to applications and installations, or if you want something more than the "just jailbreak it" school of thought for getting into the innards of your device, you should consider something other than an iPad. It's a very locked-down device in that respect. Now, it happens that I'm fine with this, and despite the device's locked down environment, I don't ever really feel like it's a detriment to my use and enjoyment of the device.
That's definitely helpful, Tom, thanks.
c. yang
What matters to you, BaconM? Is overall UX tops, several-x above other factors (utility, cost, etc.) I imagine myself generally a value consumer, so I try to balance value, quality, & utility. Fortunately, I also get the occasional opportunity to check out a whole lotta other toys, too.

I agree with Tom, there's no tablet that tops the overall UX of the iPad experience (alone - just iPad experience, w/o the whole you gotta have iTunes BS. That BS actually figures in large for me.) *There are some seriously bad-ass phones, bordering on ridiculous-for-phone sizes, too, for the wee-tablet desirous.

If you're in it for ease of use, gotta lend it to parents, non-techie grandparents, etc. go for the iPad. There's a lot to be said about the 9"+ size for the bigger paw'ed folk. The viewing angles are nigh effing amazing (& while Samsung is comparable, they also carry a load of peripheral/dongle-related BS).

If you're developing apps...get what you know you need to get to do the right job.

If there're apps you MUST have for some reason (e.g. medical) that are iOS what you must.

If you enjoy Adobe Flash (um...say you're hooked on Edgeworld)...well, y'know what you have to do there....

If you''re a value consumer...decide if you want a cell radio (if "yes", give me a ring), if not, there a whole field of tablets you could try out (I suggest the Amazon premium, which isn't much these days anyway, & direct from Amazon - for their return policy for respectful tech buyers.)

Things you'll typically pay a premium for, or make a big feature trade-off for: cell radio, processor speed, Android 2.3 and above pre-installed.

Personally, in your place, I'd keep a close watch on prices around & after 10/4.

Unless you're a total gearhead with all manner of resources to burn:
Avoid: RIM Playbook, anything that doesn't have direct xUSB connectivity (& preferably supports USB GSM modem dongles), the Viewsonic ~10" sloth, the 5" Dell Streak that'd lag you to death, the really cute but total air-BALL Kyocera Echo.

Mildly consider: the Color Nook if you've got software mod'ing time to burn using your little paws; a brand new Galaxy Tab ~10" that's under $400 (say with coupon or some such), a Touchpad to tinker with if you can get one for under $200.)

Seriously consider: old Viewsonic Viewpad 7" (ships with Android 2.2, but isn't a gamer, and only has a half GB onboard app storage, though expandable and versatile, 3G GSM); the new 7" from Camangi - which'll likely be the new Viewsonic Viewpad 7".

It was wanting to try out the mobile Google+ experience that moved me from Symbian back to Android. I'm a frequent commuter so I rock a 7" and happy answer the many inquires posed by those who strike up a conversation over it.
Honestly, I know it sounds odd to say for a tablet, but typing ease is a big thing, which is probably why I'll stay in the 8.9"+ range. Also, since I have no smart phone, cell radio is a requirement, ideally one that can do mobile hotspot, although the carrier surcharge for those is a pain.

Thanks for the tips. I doubt I'm going to want the Amazon tablet, but you're right, it may shake the market some.
c. yang
oh - and I didn't mean the Amazon tablet itself, but to try some Android tablets you're seriously considering (like, you'd keep it if you like it) by buying via Amazon - they're nice to their customers.
I'll second the "wait for 10/4" advice. Apple's got a big iPhone event that day, and while they probably won't bump the iPad, other tablet makers will want to try to steal some thunder...
i just got a ipad for work and find it extremely limiting compared to my android phone. i suppose if you're used to the apple line go for it, but if you've ever put your hands on anything android, that's the way to go.
Get whichever your phone is not. I have an Android phone and iPad. Its great because I can muck around with custom roms and stuff, but I get my iOS fix (fast ui, flawless if limited apple experience) from the iPad. 
Yeah, I actually think I want the full-feature tablet, not just the Kindle. Definitely a cool little device, though.
If you're looking primarily for a consumption device, then definitely give the Fire a close look. The Fire plus Amazon Prime looks like a very good combination at first blush.
At least in how I've been thinking about using it, cell radio is a must-have feature. Fire looks like a very nice extra-large iPod Touch with Amazon's content behind it, including the Prime streaming stuff. Not really what I'm after at the moment, though...
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