The tablet hardware market in 2015 – overview
The market in 2015 has diversified with the the introduction of hybrid notebooks which are compact and have both touch screens and built-in keyboards. It may be that this category is taking market share from “pure” tablets. There is also a some indication that people are looking for tablets with WiFi and phone/mobile data capacity rather than WiFi only tablets.
Form factors are mostly still 7″, 8″, 10″ but some 12″ and larger models are available and there are a few 6″ versions gaining traction.
iPads are still going strong, and still manufactured exclusively by Apple. The cover the price range $300 – $1000 approximately. There are 8″ mini models and 10″ iPad Air models with varying degrees of storage – 16GB to 128GB but still no SD card expansion slots so what you buy is what you get. The hardware build standards are uniformly high and the OS software is still proprietary, so you won’t find it anywhere else.
Android tablets are still a strong alternative to iPads. Multiple manufacturers as well as multiple configurations mean that there is a wide price range, about $70 – $700, with the top end of the market being mostly Samsung and Nexus products. Most have SD card expansion slots so you can up the size of the storage cheaply and easily.The kid-friendly Fuhu Nabi takes out the physical size prize coming in at 24″. At the other end of the scale are the new 6″ models.
Windows tablets have become more common. They compromise most of the large tablet contingent, with 12″ and up being common. Also this area has the highest percentage of hybrid notebook/tablet hybrids. Prices are around $500 and up. Windows RT is on the way out, so don’t go there. Windows 8.1 is the current OS, but Win 10 is just around the corner.
➡ Note: All prices are in Australian dollars.
Next post will review individual tablets that might particularly suit children.