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Best Android Tablet: Le Pan II Review versus Apple Ipad 2

Le Pan II is one of the cheapest Android tablets but is Le Pan II the best Android Tablet? Before I tell you all the juicy details about the Le Pan II, I must admit that I love all things Apple.

Within our family, we own an iPhone 4s, iPod Touch, an iPod Nano, and 2 iPod shuffles. I just sold my Apple iPod 32GB classic and I am seriously considering making the switch to Mac once my PC desktop computer gives up the ghost.

You can imagine then, how excited I was when the iPad was first released. I had to visit an Apple store to behold the new technology and was spellbound. Who wouldn’t love its crisp, clean lines and fluid screens that offered a multitude of possibilities? There was only one thing that kept me from buying the iPad…the price! I simply couldn’t justify spending anywhere from $500 to $700 for a tablet computer. There had to be another alternative that would compare nicely with the updated iPad 2.

I found my answer for the best android tablet in the Le Pan II TC979. It is an inexpensively cheap Android Tablet that doesn’t sacrifice on quality and is loaded with features. Is it an iPad killer? Well there probably isn’t anything on the market that will completely take out the iPad tablet line, however when you look at the specs of the Le Pan II, you’ll be surprised by some of the ways in which this tablet not only matches Apple iPad 2, but exceeds it. That’s not to say that the Ipad 2 is inferior in every way to the Le Pan 2TC979 , but the areas where the Le Pan II is superior may surprise you.

LE PAN INTRODUCES THE LE PAN TC 970

To begin with, Le Pan entered the tablet marketplace with the Le Pan TC 970 which used the Android 2.2 tablet (Froyo) operating system. It had one of the highest ratings on Amazon for an Android tablet with a 4+ star rating which has now been discontinued to make way for the Le Pan II Android tablet. The Le Pan II raised the bar on the older Le Pan TC 970 Android 2.2 tablet by incorporating a faster processor, more RAM, a newer operating system Android 3.2 Honeycomb, (which is upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) better camera and adding 8 GB of internal memory.

To see how the Le Pan II stacks up against the iPod 2, take a look at the specifications below. I’ll discuss some key advantages that the Le Pan 2 has over the iPad 2 below the specs chart.

LE PAN II VS IPAD 2 SPEC CHART

Le Pan II Model Specifications
Screen: 1024 x 768
Dimensions: 9.29″ wide 7.44″ high 0.48″ thick
Weight: 1.5 lbs
Processor: Qualcom Snapdragon 1.2 Ghz Dual Core Processor
RAM: 1 GB (1024 MB) Ram
Built-in Memory – 8 GB internal memory
Expandable Memory – Yes. Up to 32 GB
Plays Flash – Yes (Built-in)
Casing: brushed aluminum finish with an edge-to-edge glass surface
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth , Ethernet
GPS:Yes
Front Camera: Yes (2 Megapixel)
Rear Camera: No
Battery: Lithium (7 Hrs Runtime)
Speakers: 2 (stereo)
Headphone Jack: Yes (3.5 mm)
Operating System: Android 3.2 – Honeycomb
(Upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0)

Ipad 2 16GB Model Specifications
Screen: 1064 x 768
Dimensions: 9.5” wide 7.3” high .40” thick
Weight: 1.32 lbs
Processor: Apple A5 1 Ghz Dual Core Processor
RAM: 512 MB Ram
Built-in Memory – 16 GB internal memory
Expandable Memory – None
Plays Flash – No (must download helper programs)
Casing: anodized aluminum finish, plastic & glass surface
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
GPS: No
Front Camera: Yes (VGA less than 1 megapixel)
Rear Camera: Yes (1 Megapixel)
Battery: Lithium (10 Hrs Runtime)
Speakers: 1
Headphone Jack: Yes (3.5 mm)
Operating System: Apple iOS 4
(Upgradeable to Apple iOS 5)

LE PAN II HAS A MORE POWERFUL DUAL CORE PROCESSOR THAN IPAD 2
The first thing you’ll notice is that the Le Pan II and Ipad 2 have dual core processors, however the Le Pan 2 has as a higher GHz rating than the Ipad 2. What the heck is GHz anyway? GHz stands for Giga Hertz which refers to the clock speed of the central processing chip that runs your tablet device. The higher the GHz, the more instructions per second the chip can process. On paper, the Le Pan II processor can process up to 20% more data per second than the Apple iPod 2 can. Programs that eat a lot of processing power like video editing, music recording, and other processor hungry programs may see a quicker response time with a higher GHz rating. Not too bad for a cheap Android tablet.

LE PAN II HAS TWICE AS MUCH RAM AS IPAD 2
The second difference you’ll see is that the Le Pan II has twice the RAM that the iPad 2 does. RAM stands for Random Access Memory. The higher the RAM you have on your computer device, the less work a computer has to rely on its CPU to read data from the storage memory of your tablet. This can substantially speed up a tablets ability to play video games and other memory hungry programs that demand lots of data to run properly. The above two items represent two of the most important features that help your tablet to run at optimum levels. When you consider that the Le Pan II is nearly half the price of the base model iPad 2, you can begin to appreciate why purchasing this tablet is pretty much a no brainer. Another point given to this cheap Android tablet.

IPAD 2 ADVANTAGES OVER LE PAN II
Are there areas where the iPad has advantages over the Le Pan II? Yes, so let’s take a look at them. In the specs chart above you’ll notice that the 16GB iPad has twice the internal memory of the Le Pan 2. The iPad 2 has a total of 16 GB of internal storage with no way to add additional storage to the device. The Le Pan comes with 8 GB of internal storage (like the Kindle Fire) but unlike the iPad 2 and the Kindle Fire, the Le Pan 2 has the ability to add an additional 32 GB of mini SD storage which will cost you around $36.00.

If you add the 32 GB mini SD card to the Le Pan II you will actually end up with 60% more storage memory than the basic iPad 2 model. That means you can store more movies, games, pictures, apps, and books on the Le Pan II for far less than what you’d pay for any of the iPad 2 models.

Another advantage the iPad 2 has over the Le Pan II is that it has a rear facing camera. Now before you get too excited, keep in mind that the rear camera on the iPad 2 is only a 1 megapixel camera. To put that into perspective, most of the new entry level digital cameras are 5 megapixel cameras. In other words your 5 year old, used digital camera is going to be able to take much better pictures than the iPad 2. And let’s face it, do you really want to hold up a cutting board size tablet to take an inferior picture of your friends? I doubt it.

COMPARING THE FRONT FACING IPAD 2 CAMERA TO LE PAN 2 CAMERA
However, both the Le Pan II and iPad 2 have front facing cameras that can be used for video chatting or taking pictures. The difference is, the iPad 2 only has VGA capability (640 x 480 pixel resolution) while the Le Pan II has a 2 Megapixel front facing camera which is 4 times the quality of the iPad 2’s front facing camera and twice the quality of the iPad’s rear facing camera. Which camera would you rather use?

IPAD 2’S LARGEST ADVANTAGE IS THE BATTERY LIFE
The largest advantage that iPad has over the Le Pan II is its battery. The iPad 2 is rated for 10 hours of continuous use, while the Le Pan II is rated for 7 hours of continuous use. Of course actual times may vary depending on how you use the device but I personally don’t plan on using a tablet for longer than 7 hours at a time anyway, and if I did, I can just plug it in and keep working.

SCREEN RESOLUTION OF LE PAN II AND IPAD 2
The iPad 2 has a slightly higher screen resolution than the Le Pan 2 but only marginally and I seriously doubt you could visibly see the difference with the naked eye. I was stunned how beautiful the older Le Pan TC 970 screen was, let alone how nice the new improved Le Pan II screen is, which is gorgeous! In the older Le Pan model, I was shocked how bright and clear the screen was even while looking at it from severe angles and it is no different with the new Le Pan 2. The spacious 9.7 inch screen of the Le Pan II is a crowd pleaser with its crisp, bright picture and fluid motion.

Finally, the weight of the iPad 2 is 1.32 pounds versus the Le Pan’s 1.5 pounds.

LE PAN II HAS STEREO SPEAKERS, IPAD 2 DOESN’T
Other advantages that the Le Pan II has over the iPad include 2 external speakers versus the iPad’s one. That means if you are listening to music or watching movies through the built in speakers, you’ll hear Stereo sound in the Le Pan II, but only Mono sound on the iPad 2. You can remedy this however by plugging in a pair of earphones which can be done on both tablets.

LE PAN II HAS GPS SOME IPAD 2’S DON’T
Another HUGE advantage the Le Pan II has over the basic 16GB iPad 2 is that it has GPS and Compass features built in, while all Wi-Fi only iPad 2 tablets don’t have any navigation. Honestly, I could not believe that Apple would not put that feature into all of their iPads. You’d have to buy the 3G models of the iPad to get that critical feature which will cost you hundreds more. Meanwhile the Le Pan II which costs about half the price of the base model iPad has it built in.

With GPS, you can map yourself anywhere you need to go, pinpoint directions, locate restaurants, nearby entertainment, and businesses, as well as find your way out of unfamiliar areas with the GPS and Compass features on the Le Pan II. That feature alone gives a huge advantage to Le Pan II over the Wi-Fi only iPad 2 models, plus you don’t have to pay for a cellular line fee to use the GPS like you would on the iPad 3G models.

Both Le Pan II and iPad 2 can connect wirelessly through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth while the Le Pan has the additional ability to connect via Ethernet. It’s great to have as many options for connecting online and to other devices as possible.

LE PAN II IS THE BEST ANDROID TABLET
All in all, when you consider that Le Pan II has a superior processor, twice the RAM, the ability to expand the memory up to a total of 40 GB (8 GB built-in and 32 GB of optional SD mini memory) GPS capability, stereo speakers, higher resolution camera, and costs hundreds less than an iPad 2 model that has the Navigation feature, the Le Pan II is perfect for those of us who want the functionality of a tablet but not have to pay the premium prices so many tablet manufacturers are demanding. Plus the styling of this device is a real eye catcher and people take notice of its classy brushed aluminum and edge to edge glass architecture. Trust me when I say, people will want to know where you got that expensive looking Android tablet!

WHAT COMES IN THE LE PAN II BOX?

Inside your Le Pan II box will be the Le Pan II tablet, USB Chord (which can be connnected to your desktop or laptop computer), Wrist Strap, Charger, (which uses the USB Chord for charging) Screen Cleaning Cloth, and Quick Start Documentation.

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO BUY THE LE PAN II ANDROID TABLET?
I found the best price on the Le Pan II tablet here.

LE PAN II QUALITY IN A CHEAP ANDROID TABLET
As I said, I am an Apple product lover, but I simply refuse to lose my head and pay hundreds of dollars more for a device that is inferior in so many critical ways to the Le Pan II. I figure that the money I save on the Le Pan II gives me a tablet I can be excited about, plus gives me access to the endless free apps and games that the Android marketplace is known for, plus as we all know, electronics are always being upgraded which is all the more reason not to overpay for a tablet in today’s marketplace so that you can save money for next seasons model.

With Le Pan II you will be able to upgrade to Androids latest operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) which allows for easier navigation, refined animations, multi-tasking, streaming voice recognition, improved email and internet browsing, highly integrated social media and video controls, Face-unlock security, Android Beam for sharing files with other compatible devices, and much more. You get all of this for an extremely reasonable price.

The Le Pan II is the best Android tablet and the cheapest Android tablet when you consider what you’re getting for the money. It is also a fantastic iPad 2 alternative that will give you years of enjoyment. You can read more reviews on the Le Pan II here.

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