Android: There’s something kind of basic and ugly about Android and the way every manufacturer comes up with their own weird skin for it. I have a Nook Color which runs a heavily customized build of Android, and while it’s good enough for tweeting, reading, and light browsing, that’s pretty much it. I rooted it and put a more real flavor of Android on there but it ran annoyingly slow and I was not really in love with it. My experiences playing with Android phones have been pretty bland.
Apple: Disclosure: I’m not a fan of iStuff. I don’t go around hating on Apple like some people; their products just usually aren’t for me. The iPad, while very nice looking, is entirely too large for my tastes. It also costs as much as a regular laptop. I know Apple is where the app party is, and that’s cool to a certain extent (I’m not a huge app person). I know the Apple user experience is very refined and well thought-out. I ruled it out mostly because it’s too expensive, too large, and frankly, too ubiquitous. Also, people tend to use iPads inappropriately—what’s with whipping them out to take still photos now? It looks ridiculous.
Windows 8: I am intrigued by the forthcoming release of Windows 8 and its potential to finally bring a more mobile-friendly flavor of Windows to the growing tablet market. While I haven’t been brave enough to try out the Consumer Preview on my computer, I especially like the mix of Metro apps that are touch-friendly with the power of Windows when you need to switch to that. I have had a Windows Phone for almost a year now and I still love it. This is definitely the type of tablet I am most interested in, and I can’t wait to see what happens with this later in the year. The price needs to come down or they will be out of my range. Current Windows 7 slates in the Microsoft Store average about $1,000, which is way too much. I also hope the tablets look good (not huge, or ugly) and have decent specs (including battery life).
I’m not in a hurry. I’ve lived this long without a full-fledged tablet in my life and I can live a lot longer without one if I need to. With a work laptop, a home laptop, my smartphone, and my Nook, my couch-surfing options are pretty well represented.