The tablet wars are being waged across the world, with every manufacturer trying to catch up with Apple’s lead. The Android tablet market is especially crowded, with the XOOM, Galaxy tablet, and others all competing for market share. So do we really need another tablet?
The Advent Vega comes to the fight with some impressive specs. First of all, and probably the first thing that consumers will notice, is the price. The Vega is fully half of what other tablet computers are retailing for, which is certainly going to earn the Advent Vega tablet some significant market share among those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on their latest high tech gadget. But are the rest of the specs worth spending even that small amount on?
The Vega features a 10.1 inch, 1024×600 resolution display with a capacitive touchscreen. Apple’s iPad has a 1024×768 display, but it’s only 9.7 inches. The new Motorola XOOM features a 10.1 inch display that is 1280×800 display. The Vega seems really competitive in this vital area.
The Vega has a 512 MB flash drive, and comes packaged with a 4 GB microSD card. The iPad and the XOOM both max out at 32 GB of storage. It’s clear that the Vega lags far behind in storage; there are smartphones with more built-in memory than the Vega has. 32 GB microSD cards will probably be available eventually, but until then you will be limited to 4 GB.
The Vega and the XOOM both have a dual-core processor built in. The iPad 2 also has a dual-core processor, but the original only has one core. The Vega is on equal footing with the big boys in this respect.
The XOOM and the iPad 2 both come with the option of 3G connection; the XOOM goes further and offers 4G thanks to Verizon’s infrastructure. The Vega is limited to WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, which will certainly limit its appeal. Advent promises that a 3G version is in production, but won’t be available for early adopters.
The XOOM and the Vega are both Android-based tablets; however, there is a difference between the versions of Android that each uses. The Vega is running Android 2.2 (Froyo), which is the latest version running on smartphones. The XOOM runs 3.0 (Honeycomb), which is optimized specifically for tablet computers. While Froyo is an outstanding OS, the advantages Honeycomb provides (a tabbed browser, 3D transitions, private browsing, and more) make it a better OS, especially for the tablets it is optimized for. Of course, the iPad 2 will be running iOS 4.3, which will be offered to smartphones and tablets alike.
It looks like the Advent Vega tablet, while a very affordable option for many consumers, will not be the iPad killer that some hope. At its price point, however, it is a good (not great) tablet.