the Sony Tablet S and the iPad, it's best to start with a head-to-head comparison of features.
Beginning with hardware, the first item on the docket is computing power.
The Tablet S is powered by a Tegra 2 processor from NVIDIA. The iPad runs on an Apple A5 processor. Both devices have 1GHz clock speeds, but the Sony Tablet weighs in with 1GB of RAM compared to the iPad's 512MB.
The Tablet S comes in 16GB and 32GB versions, while the iPad comes in both of those configurations plus 64MB.
The iPad's 9.7 inch screen is slightly larger than the Sony Tablet's 9.4 inch. However, the iPad has a resolution of 1024 by 768, lower than the Sony Tablet S's 1200 by 800 pixels. The Tablet S also boasts TruBlack technology, which decreases reflection from sunlight, making the Tablet S strain-free for use indoors or outside in sunlight. iPad users complain of reflections outdoors, giving the Tablet S an advantage in screen visibility.
The iPad battery, a lithium-polymer variety, lasts two hours longer than the Sony Tablet's lithium-ion 5000mAh, which lasts 8 hours.
Both tablets feature front and rear cameras, with the front camera offering VGA-quality and the rear camera offering 5 megapixels plus 720p video recording.
The big difference between the Tablet S and the iPad is the operating system. The Tablet S runs on Android 3.1, Honeycomb, while the iPad runs on Apple's iOS.
The iPad comes with access to Apple's AppStore and all the games, productivity and communication apps, and other software available from Apple-approved developers.
The Tablet S comes preloaded with an app for connecting to Android Market to download apps. The Sony Tablet also includes a File Transfer app to make transfers to and from the tablet or SD slot easy and painless.
In addition to Android games, the Sony Tablet S will also run classic PSX and PSP games. PSX classics Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Heroes come on the Tablet S.
In appearance, the Tablet S looks very similar to the iPad, but with a wedge shape that makes it easier to type on when it's lying flat.
The Sony Tablet S and the iPad are both priced at $500 for the 16GB version and $600 for the 32GB version. The 64GB iPad costs $700, without 3G. 3G prices are slightly higher but similar.
The choice of which tablet is better may come down to a buyer's preferred operating system, as this is the primary point where the tablets diverge.
Fans of Apple who want to stay with iOS will definitely want an iPad.
However, the tablets are so very close in all specs that a decision is difficult. In the end, the choice of better tablet goes to the Tablet S, for the better screen, wedge-shaped case, and Android operating system, which can be upgraded to Android 3.2.
While either tablet would be a fine choice, the Tablet S has a slight edge, and offers a better tablet experience for most people.