With the Apple iPad recently making its official debut into the Indian market, things are heating up for the competition. It’s not dying down anytime soon and that’s a good thing. With more and more tablet devices making their way into the Indian market we’re getting spoilt for choice even in this segment. For those wondering what’s out there right now, here are your tablet choices –

Apple iPad

Wi-Fi + 3G:
16GB – Rs. 34,900
32GB – Rs. 39,900
64GB – Rs. 44,900
16GB – Rs. 27,900
32GB – Rs. 32,900
64GB – Rs. 37,900

Better late than never is Apple's motto for India it seems

At one point of time, although the technology was still gathering steam at the time, the iPad, even with it’s flaws and initial ‘raw’ feedback it received from the community was considered the definitive tablet/mobile computing device. With the sudden explosion of Android powered devices, Apple’s device faces quite a bit of competition as newer tablets are being launched with interesting USPs and prices that could make or break the California based company. But Apple’s going nowhere and the iPad still remains a favorite amongst quite a few of today’s tablet consumers despite its shortcomings. The 3G version will require you to have a micro SIM for connectivity with a 3G plan.

Galaxy Tab – Rs. 29,000

Low key at the moment

The Galaxy Tab was supposed to be the iPad’s biggest competitor in 2010 offering quite a bit of functionality over the Apple’s offering. It was the first to make it out in the country with what was then Android’s very latest version of the OS i.e. version 2.2 aka Froyo. The device, like all Android based tablets that came before it was also equipped to be a fully functional mobile handset as well offering 3G connectivity, with Adobe Flash 10.1 support for browsing and all the goodies that Google OS has to offer including a 3MP camera and a secondary camera for video calling. The Tab can be used with a standard sized SIM and although available with 16GB of onboard storage, it allows for more memory via microSD cards.

Olive Pad – Rs. 23,990

Not too shabby at all

The Olive Pad was an unlikely candidate to usurp the tablet throne from Apple’s iPad. Not that it did. It was however the first tablet device to officially make it to the Indian shelf. The Olive Pad came offering a simplistic design with stereo speakers, a 3MP AF camera (plus secondary VGA in front), external memory support and full mobile handset functionality for calls and text messages. The OlivePad is also available with Froyo out of the box. Olive is also shipping the Olive Pad with a customized user interface that offers quite a bit of unique functionality.

Specs – Click to enlarge

Viewsonic ViewPad 7 – Rs. 32,000 and ViewPad 10 – Rs. 38,000
Suffice to say the ViewPad 7 is the OlivePad’s twin, only higher priced and lacking a custom UI. From the processor to OS version, dual camera resolutions and even touch sensitive button placement the ViewPad 7 is simply the same with a different branding.

Best of two worlds

The ViewPad 10 is the first Windows based and Dual boot tablet to be released in India. It offers users the flexibility of using Android 1.6 or switching over to a Windows for a Windows 7 tablet experience. It’s the best of two worlds for mobile computing. Thanks to its Intel Atom processor running the x86 architecture it should even be possible to run other 32 Bit OS’ on this device. The 16GB SSD ensures that you have enough space for your data but that too can be boosted via a microSD card for which provisions are made. You can also access data stored on pen drives since it supports USB on the go. It’s a fully functional netbook in tablet form.

Dell Streak – Rs. 35,000

It's a tablet… no it's a phone…

I’m still indecisive about whether this should even be considered a tablet. I will concede to it being called a hybrid, although that too is a little far fetched. It’s definitely something in between though. No one can argue that the Streak is not a good looking piece of hardware. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz processor is designed to make this a speedy device for your regular needs and all other purposes as well. With an updated OS version the Streak is as good as any high end mobile, the only difference is it still looks a bit silly holding it up to your ear. Thank goodness for A2DP, right?

LAC’s Magnum Tablet – Rs. 13,999 (4.3″) and Rs. 15,999 (5″)

The low budget choice?

The Magnum could be considered India’s low end tablet. It’s more like a large media player with a few extra connectivity functionalities thrown in. Unlike most tablets, the Magnum doesn’t allow for SIM Card insertion, this means you’ll need to tether the device to a Bluetooth enabled handset for internet connectivity. It’s devoid of Wi-Fi which puts the pricing a little bit on the steeper side. It runs on a Windows CE 6.0 OS and requires the use of the bundled stylus for some apps. Unlike typical tablet devices or smart products we’re used to these days, the Magnum’s OS and 500MHz processor doesn’t offer the best multitasking experience but it manages to do some. External memory is all you have to work with via microSD cards. 

Specs – Click to enlarge

Given these choices that are available right now, what would you pick? You can let us know by leaving your comments below or posting them on our Facebook Page. If you’re undecided, the good news is, there’s much more to come in 2011, the Year of the Tablet. Stay Tuned.

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