A price reduction would obviously be great for you given your budget of $400, which is actually in a sort of no-man's land when it comes to tablets. You are somewhere in between the 7-inch budget tablets, such as the Kindle Fire, which sell for $200 and the higher-end 10-inch tablets, such as the iPad, Motorola Xoom, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which sell for around $500. If you want a quick guide of some of the best tablets on the market, check out the lists CNET has put together. There's a list of best tablets in each of the size categories as well as one for budget-minded shoppers.
Right now, the only 10-inch tablet that Donald recommends at the $400 price point is the sushi yoga iphone case Asus Eee Pad Transformer (16GB Wi-Fi), You may be able to find some of the other Android tablets mentioned in his list running for close to $400, but you may have to hunt for them, And as I mentioned, there could be big discounts coming when the iPad 3 is released, I know you said you don't want to buy an iPad, But you may want to reconsider, And the reason I say that is even though the iPad 2 doesn't meet the same specs as some of these other tablets, it has a much broader set of apps available and it holds its value much more than these other devices, according to CNET's Donald Bell, What's more the iPad 3 is likely to have improved specs that more closely match those of its competitors..
"I would make the case that in spite of any concerns over specs and storage, there is no tablet on the market that has held its value better than the iPad," Donald told me when I asked him about your question. "Refurbished versions of the first-gen iPad (now almost two years old) are still selling for over $300. It's mind-boggling. You'll be lucky if you can resell the Motorola Xoom as a doorstop in two years.". Also, since your main reason for buying a tablet is to get textbooks on it, the iPad is probably the best device for you. Why? The iPad works with the largest number of e-book stores (both big and small), according to Donald. It also is integrated with Apple's iTunes University. And it's got a deep catalog of test-prep apps.
"As a college student, I would have a hard time passing it up," Donald said, "For the extra $100 you'll spend, that value will stay in the tablet when you go to resell it, and you'll never have to worry about a lack of access to the best selection of e-book and app content.", I completely agree with Donald on each of these points, But even though Android has caught up in many ways to Apple in terms of apps for smartphones, it's still way behind when it comes to apps for tablets, And I think this sushi yoga iphone case is a huge issue, because without apps, why even own a tablet? I've also found the Android software to be very buggy with the apps that are available, The browser on the Galaxy Tab that I've been using also crashes pretty frequently..
The only benefit I've found in using an Android tablet over the iPad is that Android supports Flash, which means you can reach more rich Web sites and even watch some video on the tablet. This is still something that is lacking on the iPad. Part of the problem with many Android tablets today is that the majority of them still run an older version of Android software called Honeycomb. This version of Android was specifically developed for tablets, and it's notoriously buggy. It was meant as interim software for early Android tablets.
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