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

Recent production woes make the Eve V a worse buy than it once was

Our Eve V review looks at a crowdsourced detachable tablet that checks some boxes for its backers. Its delay in making it to the market holds it back in some areas, and Eve Technology is an unknown quantity.
Deals

Walmart Back to College sale: Save big on computers, TVs, tablets, and more

Walmart's Back to College sale is your chance to score big discounts on name-brand electronics, so whether you're getting ahead of the new school year or just doing some shopping, we've picked out the best deals that can save you hundreds…
Deals

Need a new tablet? Check out the best iPad deals for August 2018

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 July 2018.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

How to find a lost phone, whether it's Android, iPhone, or any other kind

Need to know how to find a lost phone? Here, we’ll help you locate your lost or stolen phone using both native and third-party apps and services, whether it’s a smartphone or an older variety.
Computing

These 30 apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find for the latest MacOS and how they can help out your…
Photography

How iPhone photographers connect the world using only ‘basic’ gear

August 19 is World Photography Day, marking progress from the daguerreotype to the iPhone. But how do today's photographers create a connection to viewers using basic gear? We talked to iPhone photographers and influencers around the world…
Computing

New Apple MacBook may appear in September at $1,200

Apple may reveal new products in September including an entry-level 13-inch MacBook based on Intel’s seventh-generation processors. Apple originally intended these units to rely on Intel’s now-delayed 10nm “Cannon Lake” processors.
Mobile

AirDrop makes sending files to Apple devices easy -- here's how

Want to send files or photos to your friends when you're standing directly beside them? Instead of texting or emailing, why not learn how to use AirDrop? Here's everything you need to know about using AirDrop on both iOS and MacOS.
Deals

Save up to $900 with the best smartphone deals for August 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Apple

New patent suggests multiuser support could one day come to Siri

A new patent suggests that a major improvement may be in the works for Apple's digital assistant. Nothing has been confirmed, but Apple may soon work on implementing multiuser support for Siri.
Mobile

iPad battery explosion prompts Apple Store evacuation in Amsterdam

An iPad battery exploded in an Apple Store over the weekend, causing breathing issues for staff members, and requiring the fire brigade and an ambulance to attend. The incident took place in Amsterdam.
Mobile

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
1 of 2