Tablets: ‘Why Should Somebody Buy This Instead of an iPad?’

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11. “I have a wild card.”

If a tablet is plain different from the iPad in ways that aren’t otherwise accounted for on this list, it might appeal to at least certain buyers.

Any examples? How about Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color? Setting aside the fact that it goes for half the price of the cheapest iPad, its emphasis on one function–reading– makes it unique among tablets with color screens and app stores.

If you can wait until mid-to-late 2012, all evidence suggests that there will be Windows 8 tablets that are capable of both behaving sort of like an iPad and running full-blown Windows apps. It’s too early to tell if they’ll be any good. But unless Apple comes up with something that’s both an iPad and a Mac in the interim, Microsoft will offer a stark choice, at least.

12. “I’m made by a company that isn’t Apple.”

This may come as an immense shock to you, but there are certain people who just don’t like Apple–for reasons that can be rational, emotional, or some combination thereof. I’m not a missionary, so I don’t have much interest in convincing such reverse fanboys to change their ways. They’ll be happier using a tablet they’re predisposed to like than one they’re predisposed to hate.

Any examples? Hey, any tablet not manufactured by Apple is by definition a non-Apple tablet, and therefore more appealing to Apple loathers than the iPad. We’re still be waiting for the definitive iPad alternative, but at the moment, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the strongest contender. It’s certainly the currently-for-sale tablet I’d mention first to if someone asked me to recommend a tablet that wasn’t the iPad.

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