Tablet War: Is the Android Tablet Gaining Ground?

With the release of the iPad 3 early this year, Google followed a couple of months later with the recent launch of the Nexus 7.  The tablet war appears to be accelerating with different industry players trying to gain the upper hand to lure consumers to their side of the camp.  Despite the number of players in the field, the real war being waged is between the Apple iPad and Android tablets.  It’s a war between operating systems of Apple and the rest of the brands – the iOS and the Android.  Though the iPad has been the clear market leader, recent hardware improvements on different brands of Android tablets is continuing to chip at Apple’s market share.

The strength of the iPad 3 lies on its high-resolution Retina display at 2048 x 1536 pixels for an eye-popping 264 ppi.  The images and color on an iPad 3 are absolutely crisp and gorgeous.  Considering that the face of the tablet is its most defining feature, the iPad’s Retina display alone gives it a large edge over any Android tablet.  It trumps other popular tablets like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE.  The new Google Nexus 7 is a smaller tablet, but it still falls short at 216 ppi.  Though the Nexus 7 uses a backlit in-plane switching panel (IPS) with great contrasts and viewing angles, it still doesn’t match the iPad 3 in color saturation.

Where the Android tablet gained much ground is the use of the NVidia Tegra 3 quad core processor versus the iPad 3’s A5X chip.  The hardware upgrade coupled with the smoother Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS has consumers giving Android Tablets a second look rather than dismissing them altogether.  Tests conducted on both engines for comparison show that the Tegra 3 is faster in terms of Java and HTML rendering.  The Tegra 3 likewise fared better in CPU and memory performance – performing complex calculation twice as fast as the A5X.  However, the iPad A5X had a faster graphics processing unit (GPU).

Though the iPad 3 remains the clear leader in the race, the Android’s improvements and affordable price has it inching closer.  But unless an Android tablet is launched with new and innovative features instead of just matching Apple’s technology, it may never get the chance to overtake the iPad and grab the lead.