2. HP Slate
HP's slate PC is shaping up as a strong alternative to the iPad. HP reportedly is also working on a range of tablets, one of which is a miniature Android device intended to compete with the 5-inch Dell Streak
OS: Windows 7
Key specs: 8.9-inch multitouch display, processor unknown, Atom processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, possible back-mounted camera.
Other features: 3D Accelerated FlashSize and weight: Unknown
Due: Later this year (June is the rumoured target month)
3. Fusion Garage JooJoo
The notorious CrunchPad-turned-JooJoo tablet has started shipping. The JooJoo can play Flash video out of the box, but the $499 price fetches a machine with only 4GB of storage - albeit on a solid-state drive.
OS: Ubuntu Linux with custom WebKit-based browser interface
Key specs: 12.1-inch capacitive multitouch display (1366 by 768 pixels), 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, nVidia Ion graphics, 1GB of RAM, 4GB solid-state drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Other features: Built-in still/video camera, accelerometer, ambient light sensor
Size and weight: 12.8 by 7.8 by 0.7 inches (height by width by maximum thickness); 2.4 pounds
Due: Available now
4. Dell Mini 5 (Streak)
Dell is working on a "family of tablets" the first of which will be its Android Mini 5 tablet. This unit's 5-inch display is more pocket-friendly than most upcoming tablets, but bigger than most smartphones (yes, it can make calls).
OS: Android 2.x
Key specs: 5-inch LED-backlit, capacitive multitouch display (800 by 480 pixels), 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, 405MB of DRAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G
Other features: 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, second front-facing camera (648 by 480 pixels), SIM card and microSD card slots, GPS
Size and weight: About 5.9 by 3.1 by 0.4 inches (height by width by thickness); 8 ounces
Due: Unconfirmed, but expected around June 2010
5. Lenovo IdeaPad U1
As a laptop, the IdeaPad U1 runs Windows 7 with a 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo SU4100 chip; but pop the screen off, and the machine instantly becomes a multitouch tablet running its own widget-style Linux interface.
OS: Lenovo Skylight Linux (tablet mode) and Windows 7 (laptop mode)
Key specs: 11.6-inch LED-backlit resistive multitouch display (1366 by 768 pixels) Tablet specs: 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, 16GB solid-state drive Laptop specs: 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU4100 CPU, 128GB solid-state drive, HDMI output, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 3G
Other features: 1.3-megapixel Webcam, media card reader
Size and weight: 1.6 pounds (tablet only), 3.8 pounds (screen and keyboard base)
Due: June 1
Price: $999 without carrier subsidies
6. Microsoft Courier
One upcoming tablet that may match Apple is the mysterious Microsoft Courier, a folding dual-screen device that's more of a pen and touch-controlled digital journal/eReader affair.
Rumoured specs... OS: Based on the Windows CE 6 kernel (also the basis for Windows Phone 7 smartphones and the Zune HD) Key specs: Twin multitouch screens capable of pen input, nVidia Tegra 2 processors Other features: Pen-centric interface with handwriting recognition
Size and weight: Less than 1 inch thick, About 5 by 7 by less than 1 inch (height by width by thickness) when closed; weight will be a little over 1 pound
Due: Second half of 2010
7. Notion Ink Adam
The Adam uses a special 10.1-inch transflective screen from Pixel Qi that switches between sunlight-friendly e-paper and colour LCD modes.
OS: Android 2.x (Ubuntu Linux and Chrome OS versions are expected, too)
Key specs: 10.1-inch PixelQi transflective display with dual modes (e-ink and color LCD) and multitouch (1024 by 600 pixels), nVidia Tegra 2 graphics and dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, 16GB or 32GB solid-state drive, Wi-Fi, 3G
Other features: 3.2-megapixel, 180-degree-swivel camera; reverse-side trackpad; HDMI output; microSD card slot; accelerometer; ambient light sensor; GPS
Size and weight: 9.4 by 6.2 by 0.5 inches (height by width by thickness); 1.4 pounds
Due: June or July 2010
Price: $327 to $800
8. Netbook Tablets
If you like the idea of flicking through Web pages or e-books by touch, but you don't want to give up your physical keyboard, a netbook equipped with a swivelling screen could be a good compromise choice. Over the next few months, several new "netvertibles" (hmm, wonder if this means that the Internet's backbone will soon become known as the "netvertebrate"?) will emerge, including the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T (available now), Viliv S10 Blade, Asus Eee PC T101MT and the Gigabyte Touch Note T1000P. Each will have a 10.1-inch multitouch display, run Windows 7, and cost around $500 bucks. That's cheaper than standard 12.1-inch convertibles such as the multitouch-capable HP TouchSmart tm2t and Lenovo ThinkPad X201T.
9. ExoPC Slate
The ExoPC Slate was scheduled to arrive at the end of March, but ExoPC recently told Engadget that it has postponed the launch to June or July.
OS: Windows 7 Premium
Key specs: 8.9-inch LED-backlit "High Sensibility" resistive multitouch display (1024 by 600 pixels), 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU, 2GB of DDR2 SDRAM, Intel GMA950 graphics, 32GB solid-state drive, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 10/100 ethernet, 3G option
Other features: Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for videoconferencing, SD/MMC card reader, SIM card slot (for 3G option)
Size and weight: 9.8 by 6.6 by 0.8 inches (height by width by thickness); 1.8 pounds
Due: Summer 2010
Price: From $599
10. Archos 9 PCtablet
On paper, the Archos 9 looks impressive. Specs include a 60GB hard disk, Windows 7, a front-facing Webcam, Flash support, and a price of $549. But its 8.9-inch display is resistive and lacks multitouch, and the company appears not to have made Windows 7 more finger-friendly. Archos also announced the Archos 8 Home Tablet, essentially an touchscreen photo frame that runs Android.
OS: Windows 7 Starter Edition
Key specs: 8.9-inch LED-backlit resistive single-touch display (1024 by 600 pixels), 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z510 CPU, 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM, 60GB hard-disk drive, Intel GMA 500 graphics, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Other features: Front-facing 1.3-megapixel Webcam for video conferencing, optical trackpoint, mouse-click and virtual keyboard buttons, mini backlight
Size and weight: 10.1 by 5.3 by 0.7 inches (height by width by thickness); 1.8 pounds
Due: Available now
11. ICD Ultra
Innovative Converged Devices' 7-inch Ultra tablet is yet another pairing of Tegra 2 and Android, but ICD's offering will emphasise affordability. The Ultra's big brother (the 15.6-inch ICD Vega) is headed to T-Mobile before the end of the year.
OS: Android 2.0
Key specs: 7-inch resistive single-touch display (1024 by 600 pixels or 800 by 480 pixels, capacitive versions are expected as well), 1GHz nVidia Tegra 2 (TegraT20) CPU, 256MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM, 4GB of internal flash memory (nonremovable), 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G option
Other features: Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for videoconferencing, mini HDMI output, microSD card slot, SIM card slot, accelerometer, FM radio, ambient light sensor, GPS option
Size and weight: 7.3 by 6.2 by 0.7 inches (height by width by thickness); 1.3 pounds or less
Due: By June 2010
Price: Expected to start at $250, without carrier subsidies
12. Axiotron Modbook Pro
Ask Andreas Haas, the former head of Apple's Newton group, what he thinks of the iPad, and he'll tell you that "it's not a tablet; it's an extension of the iPod Touch." His company, Axiotron, is developing the Modbook Pro, a touch-enabled version of the pen-based, professionally finished Mac tablets that the business creates by converting MacBook laptops. Today you can buy pen-only Modbooks ready-made, or you can send your own MacBook to Axiotron, and the company will transform it into a Modbook for $700. The touch-capable Modbook Pro is should appear later this year, and it will probably cost quite a bit more than that.
13. MSI Tegra 2 Tablet
MSI is best known for netbooks these days, so it's no surprise that the company plans to produce an as-yet-unnamed tablet. The prototype Android "mPad" shown at CES had a 10-inch touchscreen, a Tegra 2 processor, HD Flash support, and an HDMI output. The finished tablet will probably cost around $500 and may arrive later this year. No doubt we'll learn more at the Computex Taipei Expo in June. Image credit and more information: DigiTimes.
OS: Android 2.x
Key specs: 10-inch touchscreen, nVidia Tegra 2 graphics and dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, 3G, Wi-Fi
Other features: HDMI output, SD Card slot
Size and weight: Unknown
Due: Possibly second half of 2010
Price: Expected to be around $500
14. Asus Eee Pad
This Tegra 2 tablet snapped at nVidia's CES booth isn't the sexiest prototype we've ever seen, but Asus has promised to launch a "killer product" in June. We should learn more come Computex time.
OS: Likely to be either Android or Chrome OS
Key specs: Likely to have nVidia Tegra 2 graphics and dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU
Other features: 3G, Wi-Fi
Size and weight: Unknown
Due: Expected in the second half of 2010
Price: Expected to be around $500 (unconfirmed by Asus)
15. Camangi WebStation
Bad reviews: Complaints of slow performance, video playback issues, and sluggish single-touch response seem to have tarnished early hopes for the WebStation, a 7-inch Android 1.5 device designed primarily to run Web apps. For the $275 it costs, you're probably better off looking at the upcoming 7-inch ICD Ultra.
OS: Android 1.5
Key specs: 7-inch resistive single-touch display (800-by-480 pixels), 624MHz Marvell PXA303 CPU, 128MB of RAM, 256MB of ROM, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, GPS
Other features: microSD card slot (8GB card included)
Size and weight: 7.87 by 4.72 by 0.57 inches (height by width by by thickness); 13.75 ounces
Due: Available now
Price: $275 (down from $400)
16. Freescale Smartbook Tablet Reference Design
Freescale makes the chips that most e-book readers (including the Kindle) use. The company has created a reference design for PC makers for low-cost $200 tablet PCs. The outline uses its ARM-based i.MX51 chip and includes a 7-inch tablet that can be docked with a keyboard base similar to Lenovo's IdeaPad U1.
OS: Chrome OS, Android, or Debian Linux with custom browser interface
Key specs: 7-inch resistive single-touch display (1024 by 600 pixels), Freescale i.MX515 (includes 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU and 720p video decoding), 512MB of RAM, 4GB to 64GB of internal storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, optional 3G
Other features: Front-facing 3-megapixel Webcam for videoconferencing, SIM card slot, three-axis accelerometer, ambient light sensor
Size and weight: 7.9 by 5.0 by 0.6 inches (height by width by thickness); 13.3 ounces
Due: Late 2010, if manufacturers pick up on the concept
Price: Reference design calls for retail prices to start at $200
17. Apple iPad
What more is there to say? The iPad is a pleasure to use (despite some missing features), it hit stores on 3 April, and Apple's iBooks pricing may match Amazon's. Here are the specs.
OS: iPhone OS 3.2 Key specs: 9.7-inch multitouch display (1024 by 768 pixels) with IPS (in-plane switching, for better colour reproduction and a wider range of viewing angles), 1GHz Apple A4 system-on-a-chip with PowerVR SGX graphics, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 3G option
Other features: Accelerometer, digital compass, ambient light sensor, Bluetooth, GPS and micro-SIM card slot (on 3G model)
Size and weight: 9.6 by 7.5 by 0.5 inches (height by width by thickness); 1.5 pounds (1.6 pounds with 3G option)
Price: $499 (with 16GB solid-state drive), $599 (with 32GB solid-state drive), $699 (with 64GB solid-state drive); add $130 for 3G option
Due: Released on April 3 (preorders started on March 12)
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