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Consumer Reports evaluated tablets from Archos, Apple, Dell, Motorola, Samsung, and ViewSonic, against 17 criteria, including touch-screen responsiveness, versatility, portability, screen glare, and ease of use. The 32GB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi plus 3G ($730) scored Excellent in nearly every category. The first-generation iPad ($580), also outscored many of the other models tested but tied with the Motorola Xoom ($800). The largest performance gap was in battery life, which was measured by playing the same video clip continually on each tablet and timing how long it played until the battery ran down. The top-scoring iPad 2 lasted 12.2 hours, but the lowest-rated tablet, the Archos 70 Internet Tablet ($270), lasted just 3.8 hours.
Before choosing a tablet, Consumer Reports recommends that consumers consider the following:
Apple announced the iPad 2 last month. Less than two weeks ago, it released the device in 25 more countries. While competitors are eager to take on the company, Cupertino is making sure to be a moving target.
"So far, Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price, which is unusual for a company whose products are usually premium priced," Paul Reynolds, Electronics Editor at Consumer Reports, said in a statement. "However, it's likely we'll see more competitive pricing in tablets as other models begin to hit the market."
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