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Slim, sleek and so­phis­ti­cated, tablet com­put­ers have never been so user- friendly, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Nicholson

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

SONY TABLET Sony, $ 579-$ 689; sony. com. au

Sony’s first tablet doesn’t look like any other. It looks and feels like a mag­a­zine that has been folded over, thanks to one side be­ing thicker than the other and tex­tured for easy hold­ing. Though an un­usual de­sign, it’s com­fort­able in the hand, weigh­ing only 598g, which is lighter than the ipad2. Sony’s Tablet S runs Google Android 3.2 soft­ware smoothly thanks to a 1GHZ du­al­core pro­ces­sor and 1GB RAM. Sony also of­fers a 5- megapixel cam­era, ba­sic front- fac­ing we­b­cam, a mem­ory card slot, and ac­cess to its Playsta­tion Store for games, mu­sic and video stream­ing ser­vices. This oddly shaped 9.4- inch model has all the trap­pings of a stand­out model. All but a 3G net con­nec­tion, that is. The 16GB and 32GB mod­els rely on wi- fi only.

ACER ICO­NIA TAB A100 Acer, $ 479; acer. com. au

They may not be for ev­ery­one, but 7- inch tablets are con­ve­nient. Acer’s small model is no ex­cep­tion, as the Ico­nia Tab A100 is small enough to slip into the pocket of a pair of cargo pants or a back­pack. The Tab runs Google Android Hon­ey­comb soft­ware in an im­pres­sively fast fash­ion, thanks to a dual- core 1GHZ pro­ces­sor and 1GB RAM. It comes with 8GB mem­ory built- in, though more can be added with a mem­ory card, and a 5- megapixel cam­era out back and 2- megapixel cam­era on its front. The A100 con­nects to the in­ter­net via wi- fi only, but users may be put off by its slightly chunky 410g body and its screen, which of­fers a very re­stricted view­ing an­gle.

PENDO PAD Dodo, free with sub­scrip­tion; dodo. com. au

With its sleek 7- inch screen, curved back and rounded home but­ton, the Google Android 2.1- based Pendo Pad looks like an over­sized smart­phone. Sadly, its 360g body, mea­sur­ing 19cm by 12cm, is too large to hold com­fort­ably in one hand and the touch­screen is a bit grippy, fail­ing to make a smooth tran­si­tion from one app to the next. With a built- in 2GB mem­ory there is not a lot of room for pho­tos or mu­sic. On the plus side, the Pad is wi- fi- en­abled and down­loads ar­rive rea­son­ably fast. There is also a cam­era that is ad­e­quate for Skype calls. This ba­sic Pad is best given to the kids to play with. But, as it comes free with a 24- month mo­bile broad­band sub­scrip­tion to Dodo, the price is right.

FU­JITSU STYLIS­TIC Q550 Fu­jitsu, $ 1688; fu­jitsu. com. au

Fu­jitsu’s tablet com­puter is not de­signed to suit ev­ery­one. This 10.1- inch slate is un­usual be­cause it is de­signed for se­ri­ous busi­ness use. The Stylis­tic Q550 is pow­ered by a 1.5GHZ In­tel pro­ces­sor, has 2GB RAM, a Smart­card reader and fin­ger­print scanner, and is loaded with a full copy of Win­dows 7 Pro­fes­sional but users need to em­ploy a bat­tery- pow­ered sty­lus to se­lect small boxes. A re­mov­able bat­tery, 30GB hard drive, two ba­sic cam­eras, SD card reader and slots for USB, HDMI, dock and head­phones also fea­ture. Heavy and slug­gish, but se­cure.

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