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The tech world witnessed the launch of two prominent tablets yesterday, Apple's iPad Air and Nokia's Lumia 2520. Over the next few weeks, consumers will be considering these two slates as options when they go shopping during the festive season. Another tablet that will be taken into consideration will be the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was launched yesterday in India.
In fact, given their powerful specifications, these three tablets can be looked upon as the poster boys of the operating systems that they use, ie, Lumia 2520 for Windows 8 RT, iPad Air for iOS7 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 for Android.
Given that more and more consumers are choosing powerful tablets over heavy and chunky laptops, these slates will be an ideal choice. They have compact form factors and hardware that's good enough for everyday productivity. Let's compare the three tablets.
While all three slates have about the same display size, which is about 10 inches, the deciding factor will be screen quality and pixel density. The Note 10.1(Super clear LCD display) is ahead with its 299 pixels per inch (ppi), while the iPad Air (IPS Display) follows closely with 264ppi. The Lumia 2520 comes in last with 218 ppi. Higher pixel density translates into a better screen, so the Note 10.1 wins this round.
Winner: Galaxy Note 10.1
Apple's A7 with 64 bit architecture steals the show in this round. Why? Well, it might only have a Dual core, 1300 MHz processor, but out benchmark tests how that the A7 beats every other mobile or tablet processor that's ever been made. Samsung and Nokia have used Snapdragon 800's in their slates, and these are powerful processors. However, they aren't as good as Apple's A7.
Winner: iPad Air
Yes, a camera isn't really a very important factor when it comes to tablets because very few people use their slates for photography. However, its important that your slate has a solid front camera since you're going to want good quality for video chats. Even thought we've never had any qualms with Apple's front cameras, this slate comes with a 1.2MP sensor up front for imaging. Samsung and Nokia have added 2MP sensors into their slates for imaging. However, Samsung brings in the better rear shooter at 8MP, easily better than the Lumia 2520's 6.7MP rear shooter.
Winner : Galaxy Note 10.1
While the Galaxy Note 10.1 has been given a price tag of Rs.49,000 for India, pricing for the other two slates have not been announced as yet. Apple is expected to price its iPad Air at about Rs.38,000, while Nokia might price the Lumia 2520 at about Rs. 30,740. Among the lot, it looks like the Lumia 2520 might just offer more value for the money. However, we don't expect that consumers will find Windows RT appealing.
In the end, it depends on what OS you prefer. At the moment, Android and iOS are almost on par, since they both offer a good selection of apps and services. However, Apple has the upper hand since there are tons of custom-made iPad apps. This is something that Android tablets do not enjoy at the moment, since most Android mobile Apps are just stretched to fit tablets. Moving to Windows RT, it offers a very, very poor selection of apps, a matter of great concern for those considering the Lumia 2520.
The iPad Air has more value for money when compared to the Samsung Note 10.1 Why? Its about Rs.10,000 cheaper and has some of the best apps that we've seen on tablets so far. While the Lumia 2520 is less expensive and might offer some great hardware, the lack of enough Apps on the Windows RT OS is a very, very bad thing.
Winner: Apple iPad Air