iPad vs the tablet - Who's planning to take on Apple and with what

With over 3m iPad's sold already and queues in Apple shops around the world still forming to get the Apple tablet, what are its competitors doing to combat the new phenomenon of portable computing? While some have been cagey about what plans they have, others already have devices on the market. Here we've gathered together all the information to answer the big questions of just who's doing what?

Dell

Name Dell Streak

Expected Already available

Dell was quick out of the blocks with the Dell Streak when it came to launching a tablet, going for a rather safer 5-inch screen size, so that if the iPad failed it could claim it was a large phone instead. Now that the iPad hasn't failed the company is pushing ahead with a US launch following the UK one.

For your money you get a 5-inch screen, Android 1.6 (although it is getting 2.1 in due course) and the ability to make calls via the 3G connectivity that sits alongside Wi-Fi.

Rumours imply that Dell will launch 7-inch and 10-inch models eventually, but no date or confirmation has been given as yet.

 


 

Archos

Name Archos 7 Home Tablet, Archos 5 Internet Tablet

Expected Already available

Poor old Archos, it's had an Android powered tablet on the market for what seems like forever and yet people forget they even exist most of the time.

For your money you'll get a 5-inch or 7-inch touchscreen tablet with varying storage capacities to use around the house.

On board are all the features that you would imagine from an Archos multimedia tablet: Wi-Fi, video and music playback, photo browsing and also USB connectivity for file transfers. There's access to some Android apps via the AppsLib store and it even comes with a few Android widgets thrown in.

 


 

Samsung

Name Samsung sPad

Expected September / October 2010

Samsung has confirmed that it will be releasing a 7-inch Internet tablet, called the sPad, later this year. Confirmation first came via a tweet from the South Africa arm of the business, however the company has since gone on record to say that the new device will be Android powered. From the picture we know that it will be charged via the bottom, feature a 3.5mm headphone jack and come with a similar button configuration to the company's Galaxy S smartphone.

 


 

Motorola

Name TBC

Expected Autumn 2010

Motorola has yet to announce anything formally, however that hasn't stopped the famous "sources familiar with the matter" claiming that it's planning on launching a 10-inch tablet based on the Android OS and tied in with a Verizon exclusive in the US, working on the company's FiOS broadband package. 

"It was expected to tie closely to Verizon’s FiOS digital pay-television service", people briefed on the plans have recently told the FT. The connection? Motorola also manufactures the TV set-top boxes for the FiOS television service.

 


 

RIM

Name BlackBerry BlackPad

Expected November 2010

Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, has Internet tablet plans that are, so far, only rumours. Those rumours currently suggest that it will be called the BlackBerry BlackPad and feature a 9.7-inch touchscreen display, come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity with the ability to pair it to a phone for internet access away from a hotspot. It will have two video cameras for video calling and is expected to be available, if info from "sources familiar with the matter" are true, in November.

 


 

HP

Name HP Slate

Expected November 2010

The HP Slate has been teased more times than a businessman at a strip club, with videos and photos pushed out by HP in the hope of building excitement. The latest specs from the company, thanks to a leak, state that it will sport a 8.9-inch screen, feature two cameras and will let you use a pen to write or draw as if on a piece of paper. As for the operating system; that's all up in the air at the moment after HP bought Palm, with some sources saying it will be a Windows 7 powered device and others suggesting that it will run Palm's webOS. Perhaps we will get two units; one for business and one for consumers.

 


 

Nokia

Name TBC

Expected November / December 2010

You could say Nokia already has a tablet thanks to the Maemo powered Nokia N900, however chatter is starting to surface that Nokia could have a new tablet running its latest OS MeeGo by the end of the year. Intel and Nokia have previously confirmed that we will see the first batch of devices appearing before Christmas, and with both trying to show that it is more than just a mobile phone OS, a tablet launch in 2010 is highly likely.

 


 

Acer

Name Acer tablet

Expected November / December 2010

Whipped out of Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci's pocket at an event in May, and not heard of since, Acer will reportedly offer a 7-inch tablet running Android before the year is out.

Looking like the company's LumiRead, it will sport a colour display and keyboard underneath. That's pretty much it for the details for now on this one.

 


 

LG

Name LG UX10 and LG Optimus tablet

Expected Late 2010

LG has two tablets on the go according to what the company is publicly showing. The LG UX10 is a Windows 7 device running on an Atom Z530 processor. It will sport a 10.1-inch capacitive, LED screen and there's 1GB of DDR2 RAM packed in. There's a 1.3-megapixel webcam for all your VoIP needs and an SD slot for storage expansion. Of course, there's Wi-Fi (b, g and n) and there's also a micro-HDMI out socket too.

However, the company is also planning a second internet tablet that will run Android and take on the Samsung sPad among others. Its specs according to LG include a 1.2GHz A8 processor with 16GB of built-in storage, microSD support and Wi-Fi as standard.

 


 

Asus

Name Eee Pad

Expected Early 2011

Asus is hoping to have the same success they had with their eee range of netbooks with 10-inch and 12-inch eee pads due out in the first part of 2011. Asus has yet to confirm what operating system the devices will be running, with mixed messages coming out of the company that it will either be Windows CE or Android 3.0

 


 

Google

Name TBC

Expected January 2011

January 2010 saw the launch of the Nexus One to champion the Android operating system. January 2011 will see the launch of a tablet device built by HTC to champion the launch of its new operating system Chrome OS. Details are thinner than thin on this one, but "sources familiar with the matter" are telling us that it's set to happen.

 


 

Apple

Name iPad 2

Expected April 2011

Just because Apple is doing well with the iPad, you don't expect them to rest on its laurels do you? Apple is already rumoured to be adding a front facing camera so people can FaceTime each other, as well as plans to add its retina screen technology as found in the new iPhone 4.

 



MSI

Name MSI Wind Pad

Expected TBC

Shown at Computex in Taipei, MSI's tablet offering will be powered by Windows 7, sport a 10-inch screen, Intel's latest power-saving CPU platform, and come with 8 hours of battery power. Weighing in at 800 grams, it will come with 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as USB and HDMI ports so you can connect either devices to it or connect it up to your TV to watch movies.

According to MSI "It's the perfect marriage of wireless urban entertainment and touch technology".

 


 

Cisco

Name Cisco Cius

Expected TBC

The Cisco Cius will be a business focused device that features a front mounted 720p HD camera, a 5-megapixel rear facing camera, dual noise-cancelling microphones for audio conferencing and a 7-inch, high-resolution widescreen super VGA touch-target display. Elsewhere there is an on-board accelerometer, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity offered. Bluetooth and Micro-USB means users can work untethered and share data with a PC, while a detachable and serviceable battery offers 8 hours life under normal usage.

 


 

Lenovo

Name Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid

Expected TBC

The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid is a laptop that breaks in half to become a tablet. When a computer it runs Windows 7, but take the 11.6-inch 16:9 touch display off and it promises to run something more suitable for tablet computing around the home.

The tablet itself is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon, weighs 750g and offers 10 hours on a single charge. Originally slated for a June release the shopping page is currently still showing a sign up for more information.

 


 

Notion Ink

Name Notion Ink Adam

Expected TBC

The 10-inch tablet will come with a choice of two displays an LCD one or Pixel Qi e-ink one, be powered by a dual core ARM Cortex A9 and sport a Nvidia Tegra 2 graphics chip making it perfect for games or watching HD content. Storage wise you'll get 16 or 32GB flash.

On the connectivity front there is 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and 3G, and you'll get a HDMI-out to benefit from those movie playback capabilities. There is also a microSD slot, 3.2MP swivel camera, 3-axis accelerometer, A-GPS, and a rear touchpad at the back like the Motorola Backflip. However, there is still no date of when it will be available, some 9 months after it was first announced.

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