Last year promised to be the year of the tablet, and at least for Apple, it was indeed. The nearly ubiquitous iPad managed not only to outsell every other tablet on the market by a wide margin, it also exceeded Mac sales in the last quarter with a record 7.33 million units moved. But even if Apple is not likely to lose its throne anytime soon, competition is finally making itself present. If Android’s gains in the smartphone market serve any indication it should be an interesting year for tablets as well.
Rivals such as Motorola and LG are coming on strong with the first Android “Honeycomb” tablets, while Research In Motion is launching the PlayBook using a completely reworked operating system based on QNX Neutrino. HP will start to see the fruits of its Palm acquisition when it launches the TouchPad, the first webOS-based tablet, this summer.
We’ve compiled a comparative table with what we consider are the hottest tablets either currently available or announced so far. Note that we’ve only included those models that are expected to be released in the next few months and the reason for that is two-fold: their specs are official or at least somewhat reliable, and because we’ve seen a lot of teaser products that in the end don’t even make it to market — which happened a lot last year.
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