Hi all,

It is hard to decide which topic to post this one under...if any of you were chomping at the bit to get a TouchPad, this will make you want it ASAP!

The TouchPad also looks better b/c it isn't using Archaic Android version of an OS. I have no idea how these firms think they can give Apple a run for it's $ when they are using an outdated OS....(to me this is just another example of the overly splintered Android....Google should have made each firm use only the latest OS)!!!

Take care,

Jay


The Year Of The Tablet
A exhaustive overview of the tablets galore and what can be expected of them in the near future

By Tushar Kanwar

The Year Of The Tablet

It may be the Chinese year of the Rabbit, or the year of the Forest or of Chemistry, depending on whom you ask, but for anyone with even one eye on technology, 2011 will unequivocally be the year of the tablet. Don’t take my word for it – this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and the Mobile World Congress together saw in excess of 70 tablets being displayed, and analysts estimate well over a hundred tablets coming to market just this year. As we take a sneak peak at what’s coming down the pipe this year, one thing is abundantly clear – the iPad is sitting pretty on top of the pile, with a headstart on marketshare and apps readiness, and each of these devices will have to pull something really special out of the bag to challenge the iPad.

HP TouchPad: It’s the tablet with the Palm soul that will never sport the name, but the iPad-sized HP TouchPad is a breath of fresh air amidst the slew of Android tabs – completely fresh webOS 3.0, with an unique card-style interface and true multitasking. The interface is downright luscious, and the default apps seriously rival Apple’s in terms of usability. And it comes with one trick the competition doesn’t – the ability to share content and notifications from HP’s webOS smartphones just by touching the two devices together…a touch to share, if you will!
Hot: WebOS looks like its made for this tablet, innovative Touchstone wireless communication and charging technology.
…and Not: No expandable storage (only 16GB / 32GB options), new ecosystem badly needs 3rd party apps to fly.


HTC Flyer: HTC made their presence felt in the Android smartphone segment, and it may just do the same with the HTC Flyer, their 7-inch Android tablet with a 1.5 GHz single-core CPU and 1GB of memory. The aluminum unibody brushed finish design and tablet-optimized version of their Sense user interface are impressive, but what caught our eye was that it came with a pressure-sensitive stylus for annotations and the like!
Hot: Gorgeous looks and design, oodles of RAM and power, dual cameras and stylus support via HTC Sense
…and Not: Launches with Android 2.4, not tablet-centric 3.0 (an update to Android 3.0 Honeycomb is on the cards, though)

LG Optimus Pad: Dual core Tegra2 CPU inside plus 5MP dual-cameras outside means the LG Optimus Pad has the optical and processing capabilities to produce 3D video. Comes with all the goodness of Google’s stock Android 3.0 operating system expressly built for tablets and the Tegra2 processor handles tasks like Full HD 1080p decoding with consummate ease.
Hot: Dual rear 5-megapixel shooters for 3D video, dual core Tegra2 processor
…and Not: No glass-free 3D display to watch clips shot with the built-in 3D cameras. Ouch!


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: Is the 7-inch form factor of the original Tab being called into question? With the Tab 10.1, which gets its moniker from the screen size, it may well be. Like many of the other Android 3.0 tablets, it's powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, will be available with 16GB or 32GB of storage, and has a front-facing 2 megapixel camera as well as a 8 megapixel imager around the back. The near-cookie cutter specs aren’t a coincidence – Google’s dictating terms here – so it’s left to see how Samsung will differentiate their wares. As of writing though, Samsung has upped the game by making the 10.1 thinner than the iPad2, and launching an 8.9 inch variant … interesting times ahead!
Hot: Dual-core Tegra2 with vanilla Android 3.0, 8-megapixel rear camera, competitive pricing ($499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi version)
…and Not: No USB or HDMI ports, only a single proprietary port.


Toshiba Tablet: Toshiba’s been teasing an Android 3.0 tablet with a Tegra 2 processor, replaceable battery, a 1280 x 800-resolution, 10.1-inch display and a bevy of ports. And it’s all about Flash capabilities on this one – load up the website on an Apple device and it says "Such a shame... if you had a Toshiba Tablet you would enjoy the entire Internet. Yep, Flash sites too." Pity they don’t have even have a name for this one yet, much less a certain launch date.
Hot: Dual cameras with extra USB, miniUSB and microSD ports, removable battery.
…and Not: Too early to call, too much in the air at the moment.

Acer Iconia Tab A500: A confused device this, it runs Android 2.3 with Acer’s custom user interface on top, but lacks the face buttons, as 3.0 Honeycomb no longer needs them. Well specced for a Honeycomb tablet – dual core processor, HDMI out, and a 10.1 inch 1280x768 pixel display, but even launching with 2.3 in this day and age is a shocker.
Hot: Dual-core processor, display HDMI-out, dual cameras and 1280 by 768 pixel display.
…and Not: Android 2.3…enough said.

ViewSonic ViewPad 10 Pro: Much like the ViewSonic ViewPad 10 which recently launched in India, the ViewPad 10 Pro differentiates itself with its two-OS capabilities, letting folks run Android 2.2 and Windows 7 Home Premium on the same tablet. So Microsoft Office and Outlook in the office and Android when you’re out and about, essentially. Powered by the Intel Atom Oak-Trail CPU, the 10 Pro doesn’t need to be rebooted to switch between Android and Windows, since the Google OS is running in a virtual machine within Windows.
Hot: Intel Oak-Trail processor, 3G, WiFi and Flash support, twin OSs
…and Not: Archaic Android version, even by current smartphone standards. Windows 7 not meant for tablets


Motorola Xoom: A force to be reckoned with, the Motorola Xoom was considered the most complete package of any tablet at CES 2011, and is a showcase Honeycomb product (not to mention the first tab with 3.0) thanks to its formidable hardware. The 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, 1 GB of memory, 32 GB of storage, front and rear cameras and a bucketload of wireless options, but early reports suggest both the Xoom and the Honeycomb OS which it runs feel buggy and unfinished, like a beta perhaps. This one has potential, but its time is yet to come.
Hot: Dual core processor, 720p HD video recording
…and Not: SD card support to be enabled with a future software update, rather pricey if its to topple the iPad

Huawei Ideos S7 Slim: A 7-inch mid-range tablet, the S7 Slim features a portable form factor, hence the name. Build quality is solid and the device features a number of ports and connections. It runs a customized skin on top of Android 2.2 and offers a docking port at the bottom edge.
Hot: Two cameras with 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Probably the most economical tab on this page.
…and Not: Low-resolution screen (800 by 480 pixels), Android 2.2, looks cheap


BlackBerry PlayBook: Think BlackBerry, and no matter what the BlackBerry boys say, you’ll think enterprise. The PlayBook from RIM is billed as the first professional tablet, and sports a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a Cortex A9-based dual-core 1GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a 3 megapixel front-facing camera along with a 5 megapixel rear lens. Ports and connections are a plenty, but what’s interesting is the interface for the new Tablet OS (QNX), one that take a fair number of design inspirations from HP’s webOS, though it also runs Flash 10.1 as well as Adobe Air apps. Also, the Playbook features no actual buttons, and functions are accessed by finger-swiping from the sides of the 7-inch screen….interesting in concept, at least. The PlayBook even promises a relationship with your existing BlackBerry, in that it can siphon data off of your BlackBerry handset via Bluetooth tethering and display it on your PlayBook.
Hot: Excellent multitasking, Adobe AIR Apps, 7-inch screen and slim design
…and Not: Unclear how it will integrate with BlackBerry smartphones.

Dell Streak: The 2010 Streak, a five-inch tweener device failed to do wonders for Dell, but the 7 and 10-inch models of the Streak may just do the job. The Streaks currently run Android 2.2 on a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, and have 16GB of internal storage. Standard specs, may appeal to Dell loyalists but don’t really do justice to the company’s design and software capabilities.
Hot: Expected value pricing
…and Not: Value offering, nothing spectacular