1. The iPad Killers?
Apple’s iPad appears to be winning the tablet war for 2010 or 2011, but I want to keep you up to date on the stiffest competitors coming down the pipeline
Similar to its iPod and iPhone product lines, Apple has found itself ahead of the curve when it comes to the iPad. Say what you want about the iPad hardware and software, but there isn’t much room for debate when it comes to the sales figures. Jobs & Co. sold 300,000 iPads on the first day of release back in April, over three million in the first 80 days, and analysts put 2010 sales close to eight million total units.
2. BlackBerry PlayBook (Research In Motion)
Announced just a few days ago, the BlackBerry PlayBook is RIM’s answer to the iPad. From its dual-core CPU and dual HD cameras to its new-look OS and ability to pump out video, the PlayBook has a lot to offer in the hardware department while offering a fresh new operating system (it does not run BlackBerry OS 6).
The OS on the PlayBook is a new frontier for BlackBerry devices. The QNX-built (a company recently acquired by RIM) webOS-looking BlackBerry Tablet OS promises to be multitask-friendly. Furthermore, RIM already has an App World for its BlackBerry smartphones, so the company has experience when it comes to delivering applications to consumers. Sure, the RIM App World has its pros and cons when compared to Apple’s App Store, but it’s certainly a good start. Other pros for the new OS? Support for Abobe Flash 10.1 and AIR-based applications, and HTML5 support..
3. Galaxy Tab (Samsung)
The Galaxy Tab from Samsung is probably the highest-profile Android tablet in the pipeline right now. An impressive hardware list gives the device plenty of horsepower, while Samsungs relationships with all four major American cellular carriers’ means distribution will be a snap.
From a hardware standpoint, the Galaxy Tab sounds like a high-end Android smartphone (screen size aside). The 1 GHz Cortex A8 CPU, PowerVR SGX 540 graphics, 512 MB of RAM and 16 GB of storage (there will be a 32 GB version as well) keeps the Galaxy Tab in line with Samsung’s Galaxy S line of Android-based smartphones.
Much like its smaller brothers, the Tab will run Android 2.2 with Samsung’s TouchWiz 3.0 UI on top. Purists and power users will likely scoff at the included UI, but we’re still dealing with Android here. As for apps, Samsung has crafted a few of its own for the device, including video chat, email, messaging, among others. Beyond that, you’re traveling to the Android Marketplace. The Galaxy Tab also has support for Flash 10.1.
4. Slate/PalmPad (HP, Palm)
HP briefly showed off its Slate tablet PC at CES this year, and the company made even bigger eaves when it acquired Palm over the summer. Both moves have put HP in a favorable position when it comes to the tablet marketplace, and the Slate/PalmPad is poised to strike hard and fast…whenever it gets released.
When it comes to hardware, the HP Slate is still working with older technology. The Slate is supposedly packing an Intel Atom Z530 (1.6 GHz) coupled with integrated Intel graphics. However, rumor has it that a Broadcom HD chip is also inside, so 1080p playback should be a possibility. We are also looking at 1 GB of memory and 32-64 GB of storage, with an SDHC slot for expandability.
5. OpenTablet 7 (OpenPeak)
The OpenTablet 7 by OpenPeak is the relative unknown in this group. However, the company’s partnership with Intel makes this device very potent, with a lot of potential in the application arena.
The OpenTablet 7 has a custom Linux variant and UI, and the heart of the machine is a 1.9 GHz Moorestown chip from Intel. RAM and storage are still unknown, but the dual-camera setup (1080p on the front, 5 megapixels on the back) is enticing. There is port replication via a dock, but the tablet itself still has HDMI, USB and microSD. Like the PlayBook and Galaxy Tab, the OpenTablet 7 is a seven-inch tablet with a 1024×600 resolution screen.