When it comes to Android tablets Asus is really getting into its stride. If you ask me the Asus Transformer Pad is the best value 10 inch tablet on the market and don’t forget it builds the altogether excellent Nexus 7 for Google. There is no sign of it resting on its laurels though so now we have yet another Transformer device but with a full HD screen and a more powerful Nvidia chipset.
Google and Samsung get into bed together and released the first Chromebook almost exactly a year ago. Not that you would have noticed because sales, to be polite, have been pretty disappointing. This was due to number of reasons not the least of which was the high cost and the low spec rather than the innate Google-ness of the device. Now we have v2.0 which comes with a faster 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Celeron processor, twice as much RAM (4GB as opposed to 2GB) but the same slightly lame 16GB of SSD storage.
If you are thinking about buying a tablet then at the moment there are three obvious choices. The £160 Google Nexus 7 which I’ve reviewed on these pages and awarded a maximum 10 out of 10, Apple’s rightly popular iPad or one of the Asus Transformer range - I’d recommend the £400 Pad Transformer, again reviewed favourably by me here at My Dad Rocks.
If you are after a new laptop and have a thousand pounds burning a hole in your pocket then I direct your attention to the new nex XPS14 Ultrabook from Dell. Now admittedly Dell doesn’t have a reputation for superbly made, sleek and stylish machines that will give the best Apple make a run for their money but the XPS range is changing that and the XPS14 is the pick of the bunch when it comes to combining power, convenience, value and desirability.
Since Motorola’s Xoom was launched back in the Spring of 2011 Android tablets have signally failed to make an impact on the market. The only non-iPad device to get any sort of serious traction has been Amazon’s tied-in Kindle Fire and you can’t even buy that outside the USA. But now Google is fighting back with the new Nexus 7 tablet - a quad-core 7in tablet that is yours for £160.
At £850 the 11 inch MacBook Air is now the cheapest way you can get yourself into the wonderful world of Apple computing and the super-slim, super-light and super-desirable notepad has just had a pretty thorough update to keep it ahead of the Ultrabook pack and maintain its standing as the prefered choice for anyone who likes to be seen using a laptop in Starbucks.
If you want a 10in tablet and price isn’t an object then Asus’ £500 Transformer Prime can be wholeheartedly recommended. It’s fast, tough, made of aluminium and comes with a superb keyboard dock. It also runs the very latest version of Android, v4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich. If £500 is a bit rich Asus has now launched the Transformer Pad which in a nutshell is a plastic version of the Prime with the same quad-core Tegra 3 chip, 32GB of storage and keyboard/dock but all for only £399.
Samsung’s NP300E5A is the Core i3 model in its Series 3 family of “essential” laptops and is priced to appeal to those who want an affordable but not wholly gutless notebook PC. To this end for your money you get an Intel i3-2330M 2.2GHz processor with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD.
The new Alienware X51 - don't worry if you have never heard of Alienware, it's part of Dell - packs a full-fat gaming PC into a very small box. In fact it’s only fractionally larger than a PlayStation 3 and at 5.5Kg barely any heavier. Ideal then for putting in the lounge and connecting to your HD TV as a media and gaming machine and for chucking in a backpack and heading to a LAN party for a night of beer, pizza and hard-core gaming.