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Gadget’s ten tablet tests

Today is Tablet Tuesday, as we begin an intensive round of reviews of tablet computers available on the South African market. Gadget will use a standard test, with an emphasis on fun. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK outlines the Ten Tablet Tests that will be applied.

We all know a tablet can’t replace a laptop computer. Yet.

But there are many things we do expect of a tablet, and Gadget has come up with ten standard tests that it will apply to all tablets it reviews for the foreseeable future. The Ten Tablet Tests are not cast in stone, and may change from time to time as devices and user needs evolve.

Reader feedback will also play a role in evolving the test. However, we don’t want this to become the Hundred Tablet Tests, so will always weigh up which tests we regard as the most indicative of a device’s performance. For example, we’ve considered and rejected an HD video-making test, as we don’t want our reviewers looking stupid when they try using a tablet as a video camera. Yeah, we also know it can be done and that uber-cool techie rock stars are doing it and earning serious cred in uber-cool circles, but they still look stupid.

We also rejected an app count test, as most tablets released in the coming year will be Android, and all have access to the same market. We will test apps separately, in dedicated app reviews, across platforms and tablets, and that’s where we will highlight the shortcomings of specific apps stores.

Do you think Skype or Facebook or Gmail should be part of the Tests? Or any other app? As long as it is a test that gives an indication of the performance, capability and quality of the device, we’re open to suggestions. Feel free to let us know what you think.

Meanwhile, here are the opening Ten Tablet Tests:

1. The sound of one-hand tapping (Can you comfortably hold it in one hand and operate it in the other?)

2. The Angry Birds test (How responsive is the device in interactive tasks?)

3. The tablet gender test (Can it multi-task? Hint: males can’t.)

4. Testing by the book (Can it replace novels and textbooks?)

5. Live long and prosper (How’s the battery life?)

6. It’s all about YouTube (How well does it handle online video sites?)

7. The retro test (Can it replace your radio? TuneIn Radio reveals all.)

8. Keep control (How effective are the control buttons ‚ hardware and software)

9. On target (Is the on/off switch easy to find and use in the dark?)

10. The iPrice Test (Is it competitively priced? And we all know which device we’re comparing.)

Each test will be scored out of ten, and the device will be given an overall percentage score. We reserve the right to give a specific test added weight if the device performs absurdly well on it, to the extent that it changes the overall user experience.

* Follow Arthur on Twitter on @art2gee

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