Tablet face-off: budget models from Acer and Asus vs. Apple’s iPad 2

The Apple iPad 2 and the Asus Transformer Pad 300 are highly competitive, but the Acer Iconia Tab A200 falls behind.

By Melissa J. Perenson, PC World |  Consumerization of IT, Acer, Android

All About Apps

Which brings us back to iPad 2 vs. Transformer Pad 300: Which is best? Well, the answer there, as with any tablet purchase today, depends largely upon how you plan to use your tablet.

The toughest sell around Android tablets today remains the rough state of Android tablet apps. There are a handful of apps that impress, and the rest, well, don’t. And finding apps truly optimized for 10-inch class tablet remains a challenge, more than a year on from the introduction of the first Android tablet operating system. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has not been the great savior for tablet apps as was once hoped; too many apps continue to look like blown-up smartphone apps, instead of apps that truly take advantage of a tablet’s extra screen real estate.

By contrast, Apple continues to have the more mature app ecosystem, even if your capabilities are sometimes limited by Apple’s walled-garden heavy-handedness. The lack of file-level control and direct file transfers (only syncing and file transfer via iTunes or the cloud) remain unfortunate constraints on Apple’s otherwise appealing tablet.

If you’re buying into a tablet because you’re looking for nifty software, and want to keep your costs down, you’re still better off with iPad 2. But the Android platform has its advantages, too, and the Transformer Pad 300 remains the best value choice today—especially if you opt for the 32GB version at $400. Not only will you get a lot of bang for your buck at that price, but the Transformer Pad’s Tegra 3-optimized graphics are capable of some impressive tricks over the iPad 2, if the handful of games optimized for the platform appeal to you.

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Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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