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Best new Apple iPad alternatives

Don't forget those Android tablets

New iPad

Apple has unveiled the new iPad. It was expected to be called the iPad 3, but it’s simply iPad. It features a super-high resolution retina screen, a quad-core graphics processor, Full HD video recording and a 5Mp camera. The iPad won’t have it all its own way though – Which? rounds up the best of the rest.

New Apple iPad v Apple iPad 2

The screen size is the same, and on the surface it’s very similar, but the new iPad offers a lot more. First of all is the Retina screen. At 2048 x 1536 pixels, it’s higher resolution than a Full HD TV screen. And the new 5Mp camera far exceeds the 0.7Mp sensor in the iPad 2. 

More about the differences between the new Apple iPad and Apple iPad 2.

Android

Android-based tablets will provide the main alternatives to the iPad 3 for the foreseeable future. Android tablets can be highly customised, tend to be cheaper, can play Flash-based online videos and graphics and, like the iPad, normally offer access to a huge app store. 

Sony Tablet S

Sony Tablet S

With DLNA for swiping content to your TV wirelessly, a built-in remote control and access to Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services, the Sony Tablet S has gadgets galore. 

It also has a very practical wedge-shaped design that keeps the screen propped up when its laid on a table making it easier to view. To do this with the iPad, you need to buy the optional cover – or prop it up using something spare you can get your hands on.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The subject of a legal dispute between Samsung and Apple last year, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 focuses on ease of use, with a speedy processor and your music, video, games and other content stored in ‘hubs’ for quick access. 

It’s available in sizes up to 64GB, and unlike the iPad also offers a micro SD memory card slot. A new model is on the way so the price is likely to start falling.

Toshiba Excite X10

Toshiba Excite X10

The new iPad weighs 635 grams and is 9.4mm thick. It’s thin, but it’s not the thinnest – and there are even those thinner than its predecessor. 

Enter the 10-inch Toshiba Excite X10 – it’s 99 grams lighter and at just 7.7mm it’s super thin. Like many Android tablets, it runs Android 3.2 with an expected upgrade to Android 4.0 to follow. 

The magnesium alloy rear looks good and feels strong – a world away from some plasticky tablets we’ve tested.

Asus Transformer Prime

Asus Transformer Prime

Frustrated by slow touchscreen typing? The Asus Transformer Prime has a physical keyboard that attaches to the tablet turning it into a mini-laptop. Not only that, the battery inside the keyboard boosts overall running time considerably – just what you need when you have a long day of work – or play – ahead. 

It also has a class-leading 8Mp rear-facing camera, and is one of the few tablets to sport a quad-core main processor.

Motorola Xoom 2

Motorola Xoom 2

There are two of these, a 10.1-inch and an 8.2-inch. The smaller version hits a comfortable middle ground between tablets like the iPad that some people find too big, and smaller tablets that have screens that are simply too small for enjoyable video watching and web browsing. 

The angled corners to the otherwise rectangular shape makes the Xoom 2 stand out.

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