How the top iPad Air alternatives compare with Apple's latest tablet
The iPad Air enters the market facing more-viable competition than any of its predecessors. We go down the list of its top competitors and detail the advantages and disadvantages of each.
That said, Apple still kills it when it comes to app availability and quality, and the iPad Air epitomizes high-end tech. Also, the iOS interface -- although not nearly as customizable as some of its competitors -- is fast, simple, and often problem-free.
Still, if you aren't dead set on an iPad purchase, here are a few large-size alternatives, with their advantages and disadvantages compared with the iPad Air in tow.
(starts at $449 for 32GB)
Advantages versus iPad Air: Price starts at $50 less for twice the storage space; comfortable keyboard accessory with an included touch pad; free full Office 2013 included; deep photo-editing options.
Disadvantages versus iPad Air: App support is dismal compared with iOS; gaming performance not quite as impressive.
(starts at $379 for 16GB)
Advantages versus iPad Air: Available with 64GB for $20 less than the iPad Air, which has 16GB; unbeatable synergy with your books, movies, TV shows, and music; unparalleled personal customer service with video-chat-enabled Mayday feature; display runs at a higher resolution with more pixels per inch.
Disadvantages versus iPad Air: The heavily curated app store results in plenty of missing apps; costs an extra $15 to remove ads; design doesn't hold a candle to the Air's high-end look and feel.
(price is unannounced)
Advantages versus iPad Air: Higher resolution and brighter screen; Android 4.3 is a much more open and customizable OS than iOS.
Disadvantages versus iPad Air: Some top apps not available on Android; despite the TF701's power, iOS versions of games tend to look better
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (starts at $549 for 16GB)
Advantages versus iPad Air: The S Pen stylus is a more natural way to interface with a touch screen; its 2,560x1,600 resolution is higher; plenty of fun and useful camera options; the TouchWiz UI is extremely customizable.
Disadvantages versus iPad Air: Starts at $549 with only 16GB of storage; a high learning curve to using the stylus.