Ultimate tablet head to head: Asus vs Apple vs Samsung

Asus! Apple! Samsung! In the year of the super tablet, three top tabs check our boxes for just what an internet-surfing, media-playing slate should do. But for wallet-related reasons – and we suppose, common sense – there can only be one to drop your hard earned dosh on.


Will it be the Asus Transformer Prime, Apple iPad 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1? Behold our biggest ever head to head to help with that momentous decision.


Head to head: tablets


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Sure, it's slim (8.6mm to be exact) but the matte-gloss plastic of the Galaxy Tab is barely worth noting aside from the fact that it rather looks like the iPad 2. At least it's sturdy – and upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich soon.

Asus Transformer Prime Like the Autobot it was named after, T Prime is well designed and even better built, its aluminium 8.3mm-thin body made extra functional by the bundled, slot-in keyboard dock.


Apple iPad 2 If there's one thing Apple always gets right, it's design. Whether fan-Droid or Apple-lyte, anyone would be hard pressed to deny the pick-me-up factor of the slinky aluminium iPad 2 and its uber-elegant iOS 5 interface.


Apple iPad 2


GO FOR: Apple iPad 2
The Transformer Prime and its steely style came mighty close, but while sex appeal shouldn't apply to tech, the iPad 2 won out for making us feel rather sweaty indeed.

Entertainment factor

Galaxy Tab 10.1 With drag-and-drop media file transfer and video support for tons of online video including DivX, you can watch anything on the Galaxy Tab, while Wi-Fi and HSDPA support keep you surfing whether you're on the sofa or the bus.

Transformer Prime A quad-core chip and high-visibility, true HD display means heavy-duty gaming and high definition video is a glorious possibility. Commuting internet fiends may miss the HSDPA support though.

iPad 2 iTunes makes it super easy to sync your media collection and grab new stuff, but a lack of Flash support or most forms of online video makes this a tough sell for anyone not buying into the iTunes megalith.


Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime


GO FOR: Asus Transformer Prime

A quad-core chip promises 3D, HD games and movies in the near future making this an easy win for T Prime.


Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet apps on the Android Market are jumping in quality and quantity (and the people are responding), and the store revamp means you can now cherry pick the best tablet-optimised ones.


Transformer Prime It accesses the very same Android Market as the Galaxy Tab, but the Prime will be privy to higher-quality games – when the quad-core optimised stuff begins to launch.

iPad 2 With more and more magazines landing as iPad apps and a total software count of 100,000 and soaring, the sky's the limit when it comes to innovative, diverse and downright awesome apps for the iPad.


Apple App Store


GO FOR: Apple iPad 2
The Android Market is improving its tablet offering, but at over 100,000 apps and tons of digital magazines optimised for its format, the iPad 2 still comes out ahead - but this could change in six months.

Productivity points

Galaxy Tab 10.1 The preloaded Polaris Office app fulfils your document and spreadsheet needs but what really amps up its working-on-the-go cred is the availability of Bluetooth keyboards and other accessories for mobile productivity.

Transformer Prime You can't beat a bundled keyboard for £499, especially when it comes with pleasantly quiet chiclet keys and even a function row to head Home, control the Media Player and take screenshots. Polaris Office is free, too.

iPad 2 Grab an Apple-approved keyboard dock for £56 and the iPad 2 doubles in usefulness – but you'll have to shell out for any document creating or editing apps.


Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime - productivity


GO FOR: Asus Transformer Prime
Asus thought of everything, with a comfy, well-built keyboard that even offers an extra 12 hours in battery life. The unbeatable choice if you need your tablet for work as well as play.

Overall performance

Galaxy Tab 10.1 Excellent social and email features make this a fluid, powerful tablet for the comms-hungry, and its dual-core 1GHz chip and 1GB of RAM keep multitasking smooth. Like all Android devices, you can personalise your home screen with favourite icons and useful widgets.

Transformer Prime The nonexistent hum of a quad-core chip running multiple programs is pleasing indeed and the maxed out specs of the Prime are perfectly executed, from eight-meg snapper to desktop-like Gmail. Preloaded and downloadable widgets let you keep a real-time eye on what's going on in email, social networks, news, weather and more.

iPad 2 iOS 5 is streamlined and intuitive, but also restrictive when compared to the Android offering. Programs run smoothly and transition quickly, but if you want to customise your home screen or simply love the real-time info offering by widgets, Android would be a better choice.


Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime


GO FOR: Asus Transformer Prime
In tech, new is everything, and as the youngest contender here, the Transformer Prime gets to boast the only quad-core chip and true HD display, bolstered by customisable, powerful software and futuristically stylish hardware.


Read our full review here


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Mobile Choice

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