"I gotta have one!" – that's probably the thought bouncing back and forth in the mind of anyone who witnessed the iPad Air
announcement. And we cannot blame them. After all, Apple has clearly put quite a lot of effort in designing its newest tablet, thus making it significantly superior to its predecessor in more than one way. The iPad Air is faster, thinner, lighter, and good-looking, so we won't be surprised if we see it selling like hot cakes once it is released.
However, the iPad Air isn't necessarily the best tablet of this size that money can buy. Some might need something more affordable, while others might prefer and Android or a Windows 8 based slate instead. Well, for them we have prepared a list of iPad Air alternatives that anyone should take a look at prior to impulsively adding Apple's slate to their shopping cart. Will any of these tablets end up in your hands instead of the iPad Air? Let us know in the comments!
iPad Air alternatives
iPad Air alternatives
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition)
The Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition) isn't just the best tablet by Samsung to date. It is one of the most capable Android tablets that money can buy right now, which makes it a potential alternative to the new iPad Air. Owners of the Note 10.1 will get to enjoy its high-resolution Super AMOLED screen, the high performance of its Snapdragon 800 chip, and the pretty pictures taken by its 8MP camera. On top of that, the S Pen is bundled with the slate as well.
Price: starts at ~$550Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Review
2. Sony Xperia Tablet Z
If weight is of utmost priority, then the Sony Xperia Tablet Z might be the tablet you're looking for. Sure, the iPad Air is already the lightest full-sized tablet around, but Sony's slate is just a few grams heavier, and the average consumer might not be able to tell the difference between the two. Plus, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is resistant to water damage, while the iPad Air is not.
Price: starts at ~$499Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
3. Google Nexus 10
It might have been out for quite a while now, yet the Google Nexus 10 tablet still has a thing or two to stand out with. Its super-high resolution 10.1-inch display is one of them, and the buttery-smooth performance of Android in its purest form is another. Plus, you get support for multiple users out of the box, in case you'd like to share the Google Nexus 10 with others.
Price: $399Google Nexus 10 Review
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 2
At $899, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is far from the most affordable tablet on the market. But in exchange you get quite a lot – a full-fledged Windows 8 Pro computer run by an Intel Core processor well capable of handling all apps and games that the Windows ecosystem has to offer. All of this power is packed in a solid, magnesium body.
Price: starting at $899
5. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
Amazon sees nothing wrong with selling you hardware without actually generating any profit from that, as long as it gets to keep you as a loyal Amazon customer. That's why the $379 Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 offers quite a lot of bang for the buck, including a 2560x1600 pixel 8.9-inch display, Qualcomm's best SoC, and a camera that is actually usable. The catch? Well, you'll have to rely solely on Amazon's App Store to get your software and content from.
Price: starts at $379
6. Asus Transformer Pad (TF701T)
No matter how you look at it, the new Asus Transformer Pad is a a truly premium Android tablet. Inside its gorgeous metal-made body ticks a powerful Tegra 4 quad-core processor, handling all the heavy computations while your eyes feast on the device's 10.1-inch 2560x1600 pixel display. Optionally, you can grab a matching hardware keyboard dock to go along with the tablet, adding more than a few hours of battery life.
Price: to be announcedAsus Transformer Pad TF701T hands-on
7. Asus Transformer Book Trio
The Asus Transformer Book Trio is a rather unusual device, and we mean that in a good way. When not in its keyboard dock, it runs Android 4.2, but when docked, you can instantly switch over to a full-blown Windows 8 desktop environment. The two independent hardware setups under the hood make that possible – a low-powered Intel Atom chip handles Android, while the Windows 8 part of the equation is run by a high-performance Intel Core processor.
Price: to be announcedAsus Transformer Book Trio hands-on
8. HP Slatebook X2
As you can tell just by looking at the image, the HP Slatebook X2 can be used either on its own, or paired with its hardware keyboard dock. Specs include a Tegra 4 SoC, 10.1-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels, and a pair of cameras. All of that comes at a pretty reasonable price considering that the dock you see pictured is included.