Though the battle might seem a bit lopsided, we felt it was important to compare Apple's latest tablet with the best Android tablet available right now. A slew of promising quad-core Android slates like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Toshiba AT270 were announced at Mobile World Congress, but specs and release dates aren't solid. Of what we've seen coming down the pike, the forthcoming Asus Transformer Infinity matches the new iPad closest on specs, but with no release date announced, who knows when we'll see it? If you're considering the new iPad when it's released next Friday, the tablets in the chart below are some of the best large-screen Androids we've tested—and they're available now.
As it stands, the closest match is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, which packs Nvidia's latest quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The Transformer Prime has one distinct advantage over any iPad, and that is its ability to dock into a slick keyboard accessory that turns the tablet into a veritable laptop. It also adds battery life and a full-sized USB port. Sure you could get a keyboard case for your iPad, but it's not going to emulate that laptop form factor nearly as well as the Transformer Prime. So if productivity is your main priority, the Transformer Prime could make a viable option over the iPad, despite its shortcomings elsewhere.
If you want the most advanced hardware you can get now, it's hard to argue with the new iPad. The Retina screen is unparalleled, the camera is improved, and its new A5X chip with quad-core graphics should be more than enough to satiate tablet gamers. And if you've already invested in the iOS ecosystem, the iPad is a no brainer.
Two other viable large-screen Android options available now are the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Sony Tablet S. Of course, you could go the budget route and pick up the $200 Amazon Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet, but that's a different story altogether.
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