I often get asked (from less geeky friends), “Which tablet should I get? Is there any particular one you’d recommend?”
It’s hard for me to recommend anything other than the iPad, and not just because I am some Apple “fanboy.” The iPad provides the best experience possible, and the attention to detail outpaces every other tablet on the market. It’s so lopsided (in the iPad’s favor), I would not even consider the iPad a “tablet.” It’s in a category all it’s own.
So my gut/quick answer is always “iPad.” There is no other “tablet” I’d recommend or even try.
But then I try to think about the question from a less passionate/opinionated/biased perspective, and try to put myself in my friend’s shoes. Maybe they don’t care about all the excellent usability aspects of iOS, or perhaps they don’t care to meet the iPad’s price point.
So far I’ve only been able to suggest looking into the Amazon Kindle lineup of devices, as I try to recommend devices that actually have a content library associated with them.
I also suggest to stay away from the Samsung (and other) devices for the exact reason above (no content library associated with them).
In general, I think it’s a waste of time to buy a tablet just to have one. You should have a reason or intended use-case. For example, you may be interested in reading books with a tablet, or watching movies. Maybe using apps and playing games?
Think about what all those things are: content. And who has vast content libraries backing up their devices? Apple and Amazon:
“It’s all about the content, though. That’s the difference that other tablet makers missed. Motorola, Samsung, RIM – they seem to be chasing the iPad on specs, building the best tablet they can manage at the same starting price of around $500. But they have no clear message telling people what you can do with them.”
Nobody buys a tablet so they can type emails out on a glass screen. They buy it because it lets them interact with things they love.