Apple iPad Alternatives from Amazon, HP, Dell and More

hp-slate-dell-mini-5

The iPad is a first-generation product, and will likely advance significantly, as the iPhone did, over the next two or more generations. That is a fact of life, and no real reason to delay buying something. But there is a chance a different device might fit your needs better than the iPad does as this market matures. That certainly is still the case with the iPhone for most of us. Let’s look at four products that should be in market the same time the iPad is, and walk through what makes each better in some way than the iPad initially, or ever, will be.


apple-ipadiPad

Before we start, I think we should refresh on what the iPad is. I’m going to pick the configuration I think is best. That is the 32GB model at $729 with the $30 per month unlimited data plan (some think these prices will need to change). This gives a benchmark cost of around $1,450 over two years, with data. First-generation shortcomings are a lack of multi-tasking (limits productivity work), LCD screen (not great for reading particularly outdoors), 4:3 rather than 16:9 screen, no phone features, AT&T data network only, limited ports, limited memory, and a lack of initial iPad-size applications. Recall that the first-generation iPhone was very limited, and initially widely panned, but eventually successful. Many of these shortcomings will be corrected or otherwise addressed in the next two product generations.

Now let’s look at some contenders.


amazon-kindle-2Kindle

The Kindle should continue to have an advantage with reading, particularly outside. It remains cheaper, as the total price includes lifetime wireless connectivity, and the books, for a time, may be cheaper as well. This last is already changing as book publishers shift to Apple’s model, causing book prices to increase (at least for new, popular titles). The positive to this is books we couldn’t previously get on the Kindle are now showing up; The negative is they are about $5 more expensive. Strangely enough, right now, I just want the book, and it hasn’t sunk in that I’ll likely be paying $5 more now for books I would have paid $9.99 for earlier. The Kindle won’t replace your iPhone or laptop, but then neither will the first-generation iPad. Note that the Kindle should get an update before year’s end that should close the functional gap with the iPad; you may want to wait for it. Price is currently $259 for the small one or $489 for the big one. When you factor in data costs, the Kindle is effectively $1,200 cheaper than the iPad over 2 years. (So for folks on a budget…)


hp-slateHP Tablet

If you want to actually have the possibility of leaving your Windows laptop at home, the HP Tablet will be better. It should have a dual-core processor and multi-tasking will be turned on (important for a productivity product). You’ll likely give up some battery life – likely about half. The tablet is estimated to cost about $600. Adding $60 a month for two years of data puts total cost at $2,040, but this configuration should do all of what the iPad does, plus Microsoft Office and the full suite of Windows applications. It will also run the better Blio reader (which should also run on the iPad), or the Kindle Reader (already on the iPhone) software as well (so if you currently use a Kindle you can migrate to this). However, it will have the same indoor-only reading shortcomings that the iPad has. It’s basically a netbook in slate form.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.
Deals

Need a new tablet? The best iPad deals for January 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Computing

Changing a PDF into an EPUB file is easier than you might think

If you like to read on a tablet or ebook reader, you'll find that ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. With this guide, we'll show you how to convert a PDF to EPUB in a few quick steps.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

How to use iOS 12’s Passwords and Accounts tool to autofill passwords

Keeping track of all your passwords and accounts can be a real chore. If you use an iPhone with iOS 12, then you don't have to. Here's how to use iOS 12's own password manager to autofill passwords.
Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.
1 of 2