This is no doubt the Year of the Tablet computer. As such I began searching some months ago for a tablet I could add to my ever growing list of gadgets, I researched and played with many different devices before deciding on my Asus T91MT. I have had my tablet for a couple of weeks now and it amazes me how many people do not even know they exist when they released almost a year ago! The iPad on the other hand got more press than you can shake a stick at and everyone under the sun knows what it is after just a few weeks.
The following is my list of reasons why Asus's T91MT tablet/netbook hybrid is better than Apple's iPad:
#1 - It is also a Netbook
Touch screens are fantastic, don't get me wrong but honestly some things are much quicker to do with a physical keyboard and a mouse. Having the option to flip my T91MT around and use it as a netbook is a wonderful option to have. Plus I personally feel my device's screen is much safer when I can "close" the screen instead of just sliding it into a case.
#2 - It runs a Full Operating System
The T91MT ships with Windows 7 Home Premium by default and my personal T91MT is currently running Linux Mint 8. While I am not saying the iPad OS is bad, it is a bit limited in the extent of what it can do and what it allows the user to do (doubly so if you don't jailbreak your iPad - until OS 4.0 releases the iPad is still a single-tasking device). The ability to install the operating system of your choice (full desktop operating systems at that) on the T91MT is wonderful and makes it an extremely adaptable device.
#3 - Price
Apple is known for their high hardware prices and the iPad is no exception to this. I purchased my T91MT brand new for 460$ (including taxes and shipping fees). The iPad starts at 500$ and goes all the way up to 800$
#4 - Processor
Like most netbooks the T91MT has an x86 processor in it. This means it can run all of your standard applications you are used to using on a computer. The Z520 chip in the T91MT is clocked at 1.33ghz and has hyper threading, this will easily out perform the 1.0ghz ARM chip the iPad has.
#5 - RAM
The iPad is locked at 256megs of RAM, the T91MT comes stock with 1gig of RAM and it can be upgraded to 2gigs.
#6 - USB Ports
While the T91MT only has two USB ports, that is still two more than the iPad has. Do I really need to emphasize the usefulness of USB ports? Flash drives, cellphones, printers, mice, joysticks...
#7 - VGA Out
I use my netbook for presentations all the time - an external monitor output is a must have for this purpose. The iPad has no form of video out by default.
#8 - Wired LAN
Ever tried to push several gigs of data through a wifi connection? Even with 100% signal strength it is not a fun experience. The T91MT has a wired gigabit network connection, the iPad again lacks any sort of wired network connection by default.
#9 - SD Card Reader
Not a huge deal for some people but having a built in SD card reader is useful for when you want to pull some images off that digital camera's memory card. I'm going to let you guess which device has an SD card reader and which one does not.
#10 - Resistive Touch Screen
This last point will more vary based on personal preference but as a student and future math teacher the main reason I wanted a tablet is so I can take written notes on the default with a stylus. The resistive touch screen on the T91MT allows me to do this while the capacitive screen on the iPad does not allow this with a normal stylus.
These are the top ten deciding factors that lead me to purchasing the T91MT instead of Apple's new device. Did I miss any key points here? If so let me know by leaving a comment below.