Tablet Wars: iPad vs WePad vs Nokia slate

Features Richard Goodwin 16:53, 8 Apr 2010

Tablet Wars is officially on, we take a look at three of the biggest devices — iPad, WePad, and the Nokia Slate — to see who will be the eventual victor

Apple has done something no other company has managed to do – it’s made the tablet sexy and, most importantly, a viable mainstream product.

However, Apple isn’t the only one with a tablet device, and if online reports are to be believed, we should see both the Android-powered WePad and the, presumably, MeeGo-powered Nokia slate landing before the end of the year.

But which is the best, Apple, Nokia or Android – we get into the guts of the devices to find out.

Aesthetics
Making devices with good looks, or “sex appeal,” has always been one of Apple’s strong points and, as you’d expect, the iPad is no exception to this rule featuring immaculate design, styling and usability.

However, the WePad is also a good looking device and, because it’s Linux-based, it could certainly win over the hearts and minds of technology purists – although, the WePad is slightly heavier than the iPad at 800 grams and the iPad isn’t what you’d call light either!

At present, very little is known about the Nokia tablet – although, online reports have said that the device will be done in partnership with Intel and it will be powered by the Linux-based MeeGo platform. However, if the picture of the proposed device is anything to go by, it’d certainly be our third choice out of the big three.

Victor: iPad, but only just.

Operating Systems
The iPad is powered by the snappy and, resoundingly robust, iPhone OS, which, during testing, proved to be more than adequate for what the iPad sets out to do.

However, both the WePad and the Nokia slate are Linux based OSs – The Nokia device is MeeGo powered and the WePad uses a Linux derivate with Android on top it.

So, in one corner we have Apple, who are all about the closed OS, and, in the other, we have the WePad and the Nokia Slate representing open source. And in this context, it’s a similar debate to the one that takes place with smartphones: Apple or Android?

Obviously, there’s no definitively “correct” answer to the above question – both OSs have pros and cons. However, across the board, the Apple ‘closed’ OS is a far more accomplished and snappy platform compared to both Android and MeeGo, which can both be a little unstable and laggy at times.

Victor: The iPad

Processors
In terms of processors, it’s a close call, but, the Android-powered WePad takes first prize with its 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 Pineview-M CPU, which packs a slightly bigger punch than Apple’s
That said, Nokia could surprise everyone with its slate, which is reported to feature some of the best elements of Intel's Moblin netbook operating system. However, we’ve got to wait for some official confirmation on this. Nevertheless, it’s beginning to look likely that the Nokia Slate could be quite a force to be reckoned with, provided it doesn’t go the same way as Maemo and Nokia’s netbook venture!

Victor: WePad – at least until Nokia shows what it’s got inside its tablet device.

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