Apple has become quite a trend-setter when it comes to design. First the “iPod” gave birth to a whole new world of portable music players, then the “iPhone” emerged a new generation of mobile phone devices, and recently came the “iPad”, which started turning heads towards touchscreen mobile computing (that already existed).
Although it’s almost guaranteed that the Apple iPad will sell well, there are still many complaints about the lack of various features such as multitasking (which might appear later this year), and the lack of flash support, pen input amongst other things.
It happened with the iPhone and it looks set to happen again with the iPad; consumer electronics manufacturers are rushing to bring out their own touch-screen tablet computers, with the latest being the WePad from German company Neofonie. Here, we round-up some of the most likely ‘iPad killers’!
So wait! The iPad isn’t the only game in town. Sure, it might have a fancy-pants interface, but each of the follow ten tablets win the hardware fight, which is just as important to a lot of consumers. As interesting as the iPad is, no matter what Apple wants us to think it’s by no means the first tablet. What better way to share the tablet love than to give you 10 alternatives to the iPad, which could easily be deemed as serious iPad Killers.
So without further ado, check out these ten iPad alternatives to see which suits you best. Some of these offer features the iPad doesn’t have or can deliver what the iPad can but for less money.
1. Archos 9 PC Tablet
Archos has been a major player in the MID market since it started. The Archos 9 PC Tablet is the company’s largest slate device to date. It also proves that Apple isn’t the only one to out beautiful looking devices. With a price tag starting at $549, the Archos 9 PCTablet it is a great device and looks awesome. It comes with an Intel Atom Z510 1.1 G Hz processor, 1GB on-board RAM, and is available in two models, 80GB and 160GB. The high-resolution 9-inch touchscreen and the two positioned leg-stands make the Archos 9 perfect for media and hands-free viewing without having to purchase additional accessories.
It runs Windows 7, supports full-HD video playback, has a webcam for Skype calls and video conferencing and, unlike some other tablets we could mention (we’re looking at you, Apple), it’s compatible with Flash technology. Usability, however, leaves a lot to be desired when compared to the iPad.
2. Compal Tablet
This working prototype was shown off at CES 2010. Made by Compal, the 7-inch Android 2.0 tablet runs on the new, high-powered next-generation Tegra 2 processor NVIDIA announced at CES. With this chip, a device can support 1080p video playback, yet retain startlingly good battery life. NVIDIA says it already has several partners lined up to make Tegra 2-based tablets, so expect more of this type of device in the near near future.
3. Dell Mini 5
The Dell Mini 5 is the smallest tablet on the list with its 5-inch touch screen, but that just adds on to its ease of use. The device comes with a speedy 1GHz Snapdragon processor with WiFi, 3G and bluetooth connectivity. But the feature that really stands out is its ability to make phone calls (It’s like a big iPhone, or a small iPad that makes calls and fits in your pocket). Oh yeah, there’s also a 5MP camera on board.
4. Fusion Garage’s JooJoo
With it’s 12-inch screen and onboard camera, the JooJoo is a worthy iPad competitor. It supports Flash and achieves 1080p video streaming. The Intel Atom / NVIDIA Ion powered tablet has a great interface and more processing power which gives the user an awesome visual experience.
5. Google and HTC Tablet
Google is already crossing swords with Apple on the mobile operating front – its Android operating system and Nexus One handset compete directly with the iPhone – so it comes as little surprise that the company is also seeking to build a tablet computer based on the Android platform. Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, said his company had been working with several hardware manufacturers, and hoped to make its Android Marketplace available on other slate-like devices. Google is thought likely to partner with HTC – the batteries company behind the Nexus One – for any tablet computing initiative.
The cited report says the Google Tablet has already been in development for the past 19 months. HTC is a plausible logical choice for the trusted partner as well, given its existing relationship with Google and the Android operating system. Still, with nothing yet official on the books, the Google Tablet is the most speculative entrant on this list for now.
6. HP Slate
Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, took the wraps off the Slate during his keynote presentation at CES earlier this year. The HP device is due to go on sale later this year. It runs Windows 7, supports the Kindle e-book reader app, it’s multi-touch, and can even play games. Rumours suggest prices will start at around $549 – around $50 more than Apple’s entry-level iPad.
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7. ICD Vega
Seattle-based startup Innovative Converged Devices announced its Vega tablet back in November 2009, and now the device is officially headed to T-Mobile UK sometime before the end of 2010. Yet another tablet based on Android, the Vega will have a large amount of screen real-estate at 15.6-inches. Check out the full spec list here.
The ModBook is the original Apple Tablet — besides the Newton of course. Except it’s not made by Apple proper, but rather Axiotron who has been making them since 2007. The ModBook by Axiotron is an iPad and then some, including its Wacom-enabled 13.3-inch screen which you can write directly on for easy note taking. With a 120 GB hard drive, built-in camera and optical drive, the tablet is worth considering. It supports Flash, capable of multitasking and it’s even Windows compatible. Prices start out at $899, but customers have to provide a pre-polycarbonate unibody Macbook making the total price closer to $2,000.
9. Neofonie WePad
The WePad may be the most complete alternative to the iPad with Linux at the core and access to the Android Marketplace. WePad is priced a bit lower than the iPad and comes with a web cam and 2 USB. Its 11-inch screen, faster processor, and bigger RAM makes performing multiple tasks a bit easier. And of course, it supports Flash!
10. The Notion Ink Adam Android Tablet
News about the Notion Ink tablet broke late last year and many chalked it up to a fanboy dream. But it’s real and supposed to be coming this spring from Indian startup Notion Ink. This is another tablet running Android and powered by the Tegra 2 chip and a 10-inch tablet. It uses a screen technology from Pixel Qi that combines the best of a full color multi-touch LCD display with a low-power reflective mode that’s readable in direct sunlight.Notion Ink says the Adam should come to market in the second quarter of this year, with a target price somewhere between $300 and $800.
With its sleek design and 10-inch touch screen, the Notion Ink Adam Tablet is to be desired. It also boasts a 16-hour laptop battery life and 3MP camera. Also unlike the iPad, the tablet features a browser that supports Flash. Maybe the most striking is the Adam’s revolutionary Pixel Qi screen. The transflective LCD screen can switch between color and black and white modes for e-reading.
11. Bonus Contender for iPad Alternatives – Viliv X70
This widescreen 7-inch tablet has nearly every piece of hardware missing from the iPad. Viliv X70 is Windows compatible, supports Flash and has slots for SD cards and USBs. The Viliv x70 comes with a feedback touchscreen and unlocked 3G GSM modem. Its multitasking capability, built-in camera, and faster processor make it a windows-friendly iPad competitor.