Apple's iPad 2 Tops Consumer Reports' Tablet List

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The publication ranked top tablets, including Motorola's Xoom and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, across 17 criteria including portability and touch-screen responsiveness, but put Apple's iPad 2 on top.

Consumer Reports may have longstanding issues with the iPhone 4, but its editors have decided to give a big thumbs-up to the new iPad 2.

The publication tested 10 tablets, including the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab, before deciding that the 32GB iPad 2 with WiFi and 3G ranked highest across 17 criteria ranging from portability to touch-screen responsiveness. The first-generation iPad apparently tied with the Motorola Xoom, which runs the tablet-optimized Google Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") and is widely regarded as the iPad franchise's most robust competition.

"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, Consumer Reports' electronics editor, wrote in an April 5 statement. "However, it's likely we'll see more competitive pricing in tablets as other models begin to hit the market."

Consumer Reports recommends that consumers in the market for a tablet consider a higher-priced device. "With prices for the best tablets still too high for many budgets, consumers may be tempted by lower-priced competitors. Don't be," the publication wrote in an April 5 statement. "Tests have found the performance of models costing $300 and under to be at best mediocre."

Other details for consumers to consider: easy navigation, easy-to-use virtual keyboard, automatic orientation from landscape to portrait mode (and vice versa), a GPS receiver and other components for "environmental awareness," access to a full apps marketplace, high-quality display, and capacitive touch screen.

Should the consumer consider an Android tablet, Consumer Reports added, "the Android tablet you buy should have at least Android 2.2 and access to the Android Market, not a secondary app market."

For more, read the eWEEK article: Apple iPad 2 Tops Consumer Reports' Tablet Ratings.