5 badass tablet designs of all times:

By Frange Abaraka, Yakitoko

I remember many years ago (seems like a decade to me now) when I was looking to buy my first laptop for school. I had the option of getting either a Macbook, an Alienware gaming laptop (don`t remember which one), or a Gateway C-140 tablet pc. I ultimately settled for the Gateway C-140 tablet because I was intrigued by it (ok I have to confess I’m not very fond of typing, so getting a tablet was a way to indulge my laziness at typing). The tablet was really cool, and writing with a pen instead of typing turned out to be a really efficient way to take notes in class and study. Also, my tablet became an attraction on campus, everyone wanted to see it–yeah it made me popular too. However, there were two draw backs to it: the weight and the bulky design. Due to its weight, carrying my laptop across campus everyday was such a pain. The bulky design was simple and stylish for a laptop, but for a tablet, not so much. It turned out to be a pain to hold with time. It kind of made sense because it wasn`t just a tablet, but also a laptop.

Fast forward to the present, as Apple has now revolutionized the world of the tablet with the launch of the “iPad” on January, 2010. The iPad turned out to be a major hit and since then every major computer manufacturer decided to build their own tablets to compete against Apple. Today the market is overcrowded with tablets of all kinds, but only two camps emerged dominant: Apple inc. with their line of tablets running their iOS and almost every other manufacturer lining under the banner of Google inc. running their Android OS. Some other companies have tried to set themselves apart from those two groups with mixed results, such as the Blackberry (Research In Motion) tablet with their own Blackberry OS and the now dead and gone HP touchpad tablet which ran the webOS, inherited from the acquisition of Palm.

Ok let’s move on to our main topic, tablet designs. First I want to say that this list is just about the basic design aspects of tablets and is in no way a reflection of their performance or OS. Therefore, we are just going to focus on the design aspect. I think design should be an important aspect of any product on the market. Nowadays, tablets tend to look alike because manufacturers, instead of innovating, feel lazy and just copy each other. These five, however, strike me as innovative and distinctive from the rest.

1. Apple iPad2:

  • Dimension: H: 9.50” (241.2 mm,) W: 7.31” (185.7 mm), D: 0.34” (8.8 mm)
  • Weight: 1.33 pounds (601g), 1.35 lb (613 g) (Wi-Fi + 3G model), and 1.34 lb (607g) (Wi-Fi + 3G for Verizon model)
  • Resolution:  1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Screen Size: 9.7″D

What can we say about Apple, the leader in terms of industrial design? Steve Job’s vision was amazing (R.I.P). The iPad2 is simple, sleek and innovative at the same time. The display alone sets it apart from the competition; the simple, clean curves and lines make the it feel aesthetically pleasing and stylish. Also, the iPad2 feels light, thin and attractive; we all know that Apple design spells a sense of luxury. This tablet is in the same lineage as the iPhone family and iPad. Apple’s addition of their smart cover that snaps itself automatically when it comes in contact to it makes this tablet even crazier. The iPad2 is the strongest and most popular tablet on the market right now—it’s simply badass!!!

Source: http:// www.apple.com

2. Apple iPad:

  • Dimension:  H: 9.56” (242.8 mm), W: 7.47” (189.7 mm), D: 0.5“(13.4 mm)
  • Weight: 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) Wi-Fi model, 1.6 lb (0.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model
  • Resolution: 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Screen Size: 9.7″D

This tablet truly started the so-called tablet revolution. The race towards innovation and Apple’s goal to be the most cutting-edge in the industry was kick started by the cool introduction of the iPad. The design is reminiscent of the iPhone. In fact the iPad was created first, before the iPhone, then in a somewhat eureka moment, Steve Jobs and company thought it would be even better as a phone. And voila, the iPhone was born. The design reflects simplicity and elegance with its smooth lines and curves, but also feels luxurious and stylish, as usual from an Apple product. This tablet is the embodiment of Apple philosophy in terms of design and sophistication.

Source: http://support.apple.com/kb/SP580

3. Sony Tablet S:

  • Dimensions (Approx.) : 9.5” L x 6.8” W x 0.3”D
  • Weight (Approx.): 1lb. 5oz.
  • Resolution: 1280 x 800
  • Screen Size: 9.4″

This is a tablet with a smart design, true to the lineage of the Sony Vaio computer designs. The lines and curves make it really ergonomic and attractive. This tablet caught my eyes at first glance; there is something about it that spells luxury. Kudos to Sony for deciding to do something different, this is a nice looking tablet that fits easily in your hand. With this kind of ingenuity I think there is still hope for Sony in the tablet world.

Source: http://store.sony.com

4. Notion Ink Adam:

  • Dimensions:  Thickness: 14.7 mm to 22 mm, Width: 191 mm Length: 269 mm
  • Weight:  ~1.6 pounds
  • Resolution:  WSVGA (1024 x 600)pixel
  • Screen Size: 10.1″


This tablet was one of the most anticipated after Apple’s iPad, but turned out to be a disgrace. Software issues aside, the design of this tablet is really innovative and functional. It looks like a futuristic tablet out of Star Trek, and I like the smooth flow of the curves and lines. It’s an elegant and original design, and from the Notion Ink Adam website philosophy description: “The design philosophy for the Adam draws from the sacred school of geometry, where all lines and curves flow in accordance with the golden ratio…” That`s impressive, and if it does not look baddass, I don`t know what does. I only wished that functionally it wasn’t such a piece of junk, or I might have bought one myself.

Source: http://www.notionink.com/

5. Motorola Xoom: 

  • Dimension: 249.1 H x 167.8 W x 12.9 D (mm)
  • Weight: 708 grams (WiFi); 730 grams (4G LTE)
  • Resolution:  WXGA (1280x 800 pixels; 150 pixels / inch), HD 720p
  • Screen Size: 10.1″
  • Materials and Finish: Anodized aluminum and soft touch

I like the business look and feel of this tablet; it reflects simplicity and elegance in the design. It follows in the same path of what Motorola has been doing lately with their Droid lines of smart phones. Motorola tried to build a solid competitor to the iPad, but they are still too new in the battle to scratch Apple’s armor. Realistically, for practical reasons, it’s a tablet that I would consider buying.

Source: http://www.motorola.com

In conclusion, beauty doesn`t always goes with the brain like in the Adam tablet case. However, I think that those 5 tablets have set the standard for style and innovation in term of tablet design.


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