There are two types of tablets emerging, the sofa tablet, with a screen of around 10″, that serve the same function as an iPad, and the other form factor, the 7″ tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which serve a slightly different purpose. We’ve pitted the three ten-inchers against one another in a battle of the sofa tablet to see which comes out tops. Can the iPad keep its crown when pitted against the cheap as chips Advent Vega and the input-friendly Toshiba Folio 100?

Price
There’s an enormous gulf between the price of the iPad, the Advent Vega and the Toshiba Folio 100. The iPad runs from £430 to £700, depending on whether you get a 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB options, and whether you stump up extra for 3G. The Toshiba Folio 100 will set you back £330, and the 10.1″ Advent Vega is a snip at £250. Remember to take into consideration the data contract you’ll need if you get an iPad though. The iPad is the only device here with a data plan, as it’s the only one currently with 3G connectivity, and if you want 3G connectivity in the Toshiba Folio 100 or the Advent Vega you’ll have to wait until next year, when new models with 3G functionality will be added to the Tosh and Advent tablet line up.

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Screen
The iPad, Toshiba Folio 100 and Advent Vega also devices have almost exactly the same screen size: the iPad has a 9.7” screen whereas the Toshiba Folio 100 and Advent Vega have 10” screens. The Advent Vega is on the cusp of HD, it supports above 720p but not full 1080p on its 10.1″ capacitive screen that reaches 1024 x 600. The iPad has a 9.7″ screen, with 1024 x 768 resolution. The Toshiba Folio 100 has a 10.1″ screen as well, and

Content
The iPad has access to the Apple App Store, with over 250,000 apps, 25,000 of which are built for the iPad. The Toshiba Folio 100, because it is only Wi-fi, has the Toshiba Marketplace pre-loaded. The Advent Vega has the Archos AppsLib which has 5,000 apps available. The Toshiba Folio 100 and the Advent Vega do not have the Android Marketplace available since neither have 3G connectivity (both will be available with a 3G option in the first half of next year).

If you want apps: magazines, newspapers, games, photo tools and everything else that apps content brings that a browser can’t, then the iPad is by far the best bet, and while only a portion of the apps currently on the App Store have been optimised for the iPad, what’s there is higher quality and in larger numbers than with the limited Toshiba Marketplace or the AppsLib.

Operating System
While it’s impossible to assess three operating systems thoroughly in a couple of paragraphs, there are a few important things to remember about these three tablets. The Toshiba Folio 100 and the Advent Vega are running Android Froyo 2.2, and Google has said that tablets of this form factor should not be running Android, as it isn’t built to run on such large devices. 7″ tablets like the Tab can get away with it, but for 10″ babies like these, there might be some minor glitches in rendering and the like. The iPad on the other hand has its own dedicated version of iOS, with no chance of glitching, and so if you’re looking for the most reliable operating system, you might be wise to look in the direction of the iPad.

Storage Size
The iPad is available in three sizes: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The Advent Vega takes a microSD card of up to 32GB as well as having an SD slot, which comes with a 4GB card straight out of the box. The Toshiba Folio 100 has 16GB of internal space, which is expandable via the microSD slot by up to 32GB.

Inputs
Apple is notorious for its reluctance to add inputs to its devices. The Toshiba Folio 100 and the Advent Vega therefore have an advantage. While the iPad has no inputs, the Advent Vega has a USB connection, SD, and microSD slot, and the Toshiba Folio 100 has a USB port, SD card slot and HDMI port.

Conclusion
While the Folio 100 is heavy on inputs, and the Advent Vega is super cheap, the fact that they are running Android 2.2 might cause problems. The Vega has a reasonably powerful processor to back up Froyo, and is running a stripped back version of Android 2.2, meaning it might get on better with the operating system than the Toshiba. Overall, despite the high cost, if you want to take full advantage pf the 10″ tablet form factor, it’s worth shelling out for the iPad, for the apps content and operating system. If you’re looking for a cheap tablet for casual use: for browsing and watching YouTube at home without having to get the laptop out, then the Advent Vega is where you should be looking.

  • MrbewA

    Don't forget the Vega will have Gingerbread on it when that's available according to previous video's etc… :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620300204 Joe Walters

    Its a pity they pushed the Vega back two weeks to the 14th. Having looked at Currys website it is now obvious why. They didn't want it competing with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab that launched today. Get everyone to buy the tab at an inflated cost (although it is a good device) then release the Vega later once all the anti-ipad users have been sesated.

    Roll on the 14th (if it happens)

    • http://twitter.com/utrt Graeme Simpson

      it's now the 18th I believe

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620300204 Joe Walters

        Grrrrrr

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      I think it will happen Joe, and I wonder how much the opposite will be true – how many people will have tured away from the tab to the vega now they've heard about the ridiculous price difference between the two. I think you're right to point out that the tab launch could have played a part, but it also makes me wonder how much the vega could hurt the tab sales. are you headed for a vega?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620300204 Joe Walters

        Not to give too much away from where this came from but most people can guess ..

        “hi guys the vega is officially launched on the 18th.

        I Received the launch pack for all tablets we are going to be stocking before christmas.

        These include:

        Samsung galaxy tab – November 1st

        Toshiba Folio – November 1st (exclusive 21 day launch)

        Advent Vega and Amico – 18th November

        Archos Tablet – cant remember launch think its 1st

        again there we one or two more of the cheap alternatives but am unsure of all the details, I will Repost the info on monday with exact information.

        Sorry for not being 100% but I didn't bring a copy of the information home and cannot remember all of the details. I do know we will be sticking the Galaxy tab also on contract with T-Mobile.

        I may be able to upload some of the launch pos for the vega and galaxy soon but I'm not quite sure how I stand with work if i upload it, but then again its just a little bit of info and specs nothing we don't know already.

        Cheers again guys.”

  • http://www.droid-den.com Rachid

    i'd also mention the benefits of android over ios.

    It's extremely easy to add the android market to those tablets too (at least the vega), so really that shouldn't be a negative!

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      So much of the pros and cons with OS's, particularly when comparing Android and iOS, are the taste of a user. It's impossible to tell everyone every detail of an OS that they will want to know. So much is in the detail.

  • Trevor Pearson

    Don't understand why access to the Android Marketplace needs a 3G connection surely you should be access and download stuff using a Wi-fi internet connection?

    • bensillis

      It's more that Google only (Supposedly) gives permission for a manufacturer to install it (and consequently get a lot of other apps) when 3G is included. That aspect of Android isn't open source, and GOogle only really wants it on phones for now.

      • Trevor Pearson

        Hmm that seems a bit short-sighted on Google's part so maybe we need to persuade them to rethink their strategic direction especially if they want to knock Apple off its perch

        • bensillis

          Well you can't blame them really for not wanting their name tarnished by cheap tablets running apps at resolutions they were never made for. Google is saying Gingerbread will be the big tablet push for Android, so that all may change soon. I think the issue here is that Google didn't move fast enough on pushing tablets to be honest. Apple really did catch everyone napping.

  • Timi

    the Vega will get Gingerbread AND THAT UPDATE WILL HAVE MARKET!!!

    • Jenniferlucyallan

      Timi, you're right, but there's very little that's official news on Gingerbread, so we wouldn't want to go basing our recommendations on that. According to what we've heard from the category manager, as well as a gingerbread update, a new model of the vega will be arriving in the first half of next year which will have 3G

  • http://twitter.com/SirMuttley Alex Stansfield

    How can the Vega support 720p if the screen is 1024×600?

    Do you mean, like the iPad, it supports 720p video which it downscales to fit it's resolution?

    I was also under the impression the Vega has an HDMI which isn't mentioned here. Can you confirm?

  • sola

    Some extra info:

    The iPad has a single core 1Ghz CPU (Apple A4), while the Vega and the Folio have dual-core 1Ghz CPU (tegra2).

    The Tegra2 machines have roughly twice the processing power of the iPad.

  • sola

    The iPad has only 333Mhz RAM, while the Vega and the Toshibe will likely include 400-800Mhz RAM (DDR2). The Toshiba AC100 ships with 800Mhz RAM so it is likely that the Folio will also have the same type of RAM. The Vega RAM speed is not yet known but it is likely to be faster than the iPad since all Tegra2 tablet seem to come out with 400+ strength of RAM.

    So the iPad is the weakest link with RAM speed.

  • sola

    The Vega and the Folio have HDMI out ports while the iPad doesn't.

    So the iPad alone will never play a movie on your HDTV, you will need to buy expensive extras for that. The Tegra2 tablets will do that, you only need and HDMI cable.

  • Paul (London)

    The Toshiba Folio 100 10.1″ Capacitive Tablet with 16GB SSD is available NOW at Curry's in the UK.

    I was playing with one all afternoon! Very good touch response superfast Internet with Opera and other built in Browser. £329

    (Store, Charlton London SE7)

  • http://twitter.com/Ekul_itsul Luke

  • Kan9al

    I thought the Advent Vega was supposed to not have 3G connectivity. I hope there are 2 models; non-3G and 3G (coming 2011Q1?) I hope they're competitively priced..

    The amount of available RAM was never disclosed before (for the Vega and Folio) so it could be 512MB or 1GB. If it is 512MB this would be in the league of current smartphones (Droid2, Desire Z, Galaxy S), but the 1GB would allow the on-board GPU and dualcore-CPU to really fly (like a tablet should, especially for performance intensive applications).

    During a video (@3:20) it was told that the screen resolution for the Advent Vega is above 720p but below 1080p. If this is true it is likely to be 1366×768 and that would mean the graphics would look nice and sharp but natively allow HD content (digitalTV, no compression needed for videos etc) but only once Gingerbread is ported.

    Or it could've been an accidental mistake to say the Vega can playback more than 720p but less than 1080p content… via videoOUT but not on the device screen. Because froyo can only do 600p max. And this is also upsetting because it would imply the device has 512Mb RAM (the bottleneck), because the Tegra2 chip is supposed to be able to smoothly playback 1080p video.

    On another note, if you're going on long trips (overseas/plane/train etc) you have the option of removing the battery on the Toshiba Folio 100 and not on the iPad. The Advent Vega doesn't look to have a removable battery but we don't know yet.

  • Anonymous

    The vega in my opinion is a waste of money, it is to slow, there is no market on there, I just wish i had enough money to afford the ipad.
    It freezes most of the time, everything you try to do on it,just seems to take forever, I have had the vega now for 3 weeks, and i am fed up with it, if anyone out there is thinking of getting one of these machines think again, if you can afford it,go for the ipad2, it is much faster, has more apps on it, it just does everything the vega will never do.

    • Anonymous

      The iPad’s only £80 more than the Vega now, if that helps.

    • Journeyman

      Vegacomb

  • N Cuthbert2

    question, for various reasons I need a pad to perform as a video player only. anyone have thoughts as to best buy (accept its overkill) and best model for max video storage please?

    thanks

    • Anonymous

      If it’s just video you’re after I suggest the Archos 10.1 Android tablet. Plays everything – and also can stream over SMB so you’re not limited by storage space.

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