Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

Summary: The tablet space is going to get smoking hot this year, with some compelling devices hitting the market that will crank things up. These are the top 10 tablets to watch this year.

SHARE:

Tablets are hot, thanks to the original iPad and now the iPad 2. Long lines to buy the iPad prove that the tablet concept is here to stay as it is proving popular with consumers. The tablet space is going to get really smoking hot this year with some compelling devices hitting the market that will crank things up a notch. Here are the top 10 tablets to watch this year.

Check out the top 10 tablets to watch this year.


Image Gallery: Check out the top 10 tablets to watch this year presented in photos. Image Gallery: Top tablets Image Gallery: Top tablets

1. Apple iPad. No list would be complete without the tablet that started the whole craze. The second generation iPad is thinner, lighter and more capable than the original version, and should keep dominating the sales charts in 2011. The iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.

2. Motorola XOOM. In spite of a rocky start out of the gate, the premiere tablet running Android Honeycomb optimized for tablets is a tablet to watch. Motorola and Verizon should be adding the free 4G upgrade soon, and the WiFi-only model will be hitting store shelves shortly. The XOOM has a 10.1-inch display.

3. HP TouchPad. The TouchPad is the first webOS-based tablet, and when presented last month showed to be a compelling device. The webOS platform is well designed for tablet screens, and HP is adding special wireless interaction with the upcoming Pre 3 smartphone to set the TouchPad apart from the pack. It is expected to hit the market in the June timeframe. HP is also rumored to be working on a 7-inch version of this tablet, but has not confirmed it officially. The TouchPad sports a 10.1-inch screen.

4. HTC Flyer. The top Android phone maker is bringing its first tablet to market with a unique feature that sets it apart. The Flyer will sport an HTC-optimized Android interface much like its smartphones, and adds Scribe technology for handwriting and drawing onscreen with an optional pen. It will work with cloud-based Evernote for handwritten note-taking. The Flyer has a 7-inch display that supports both touch operation and pen input.

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung is following last year's popular Tab with the Tab 10.1. This model is roughly as thin and light as the iPad, and will ship with Android Honeycomb. Samsung is making a serious effort to compete with the iPad in both form and price. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a 10.1-inch screen (get it?).

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. The second model in Samsung's tablet line this year is similar to the other Galaxy Tab on the list, but in a smaller package. It is a thin tablet that is priced to give the iPad a run for the money in the tablet space. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 has a 8.9-inch display.

7. RIM PlayBook. The folks behind the BlackBerry are poised to set the PlayBook loose on the masses, and it is a tablet to watch. Running its own QNX operating system, the PlayBook is designed from the ground up for intuitive touch operation. While a standalone tablet, the PlayBook will gain additional capabilities when used in conjunction with some BlackBerry phones. The PlayBook has a 7-inch screen.

8. Sprint View 4G. The View 4G is basically the HTC Flyer above, but makes the list due to the addition of Sprint 4G connectivity. It has all of the features of the Flyer including pen capability, at Sprint WiMAX speeds. It has a 7-inch display.

9. Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The inventors of the netbook are entering the tablet space with an Android device that has some unique features. Primarily, the Eee Pad will work with optional accessories such as a keyboard dock that turns the Eee Pad into a full Android notebook. The Transformer has a 10.1-inch IPS display.

10. LG G-Slate. LG will be releasing a mid-size Android tablet with a 3D camera. While the 3D video capture is a gimmick, the G-Slate has a solid set of features that make it a capable tablet worth watching. It will be released in the U.S. on T-Mobile shortly. The G-Slate has a 8.9-inch screen.

See related coverage:

Topics: iPad, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

149 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Message has been deleted.

    WebSiteManager
    • Xoom 10.1" wifi is out....

      @James Kendrick - I bought mine over the weekend, my kids LOVE it! My wife and I like it quite a bit as well....
      Take care all....
      sys_engineer
    • Quantity don't mean a thang. Price counts.

      For 25 years I've heard "if Apple's prices were lower, I would buy a Mac".
      Well, guess what??
      The iPad is proving to be hard to beat in the price category.
      It's definitely hard to beat in the quality category.
      So, after decades of not owning an Apple due to cost, that excuse no longer holds up with tablets.
      If spending $500, why even consider one of the other contenders?
      I've gone through three Android tablets this year and finally bit the bullet and bought the iPad. Best decision I ever made.
      I personally believe the iPad is in it for the long hall, but several of the tablets entering the market in 2011 won't be around beyond the first round.
      camcost@...
      • RE:Quantity don't mean a thang. Price counts.

        @camcost@...

        >>>So, after decades of not owning an Apple due to cost, that excuse no longer holds up with tablets.<<<

        Cost is just one reason, and far from the most important. Taking nothing away from Apple, nice products with very ample and very safe training wheels. For those that value that, Apple is the perfect company.
        richdave
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @camcost@... Three Android tablets, really? Which ones were they and how long did you use them? Did they have access to the Android Marketplace? The Galaxy Tab was the only comparable Android tablet last year by a major company. Archos tablets don't count. They're 2nd tier tablets.
        mrxxxman
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @camcost@... Easy to beat in the "is it worth having" category. I'll take a Xoom thank you.
        blueskip
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @camcost@... Three??? ROFL I seriously doubt the validity of that.
        blueskip
      • No GPS? Don't vote for stupidity with your dollars.

        Any company that releases a tablet without GPS is simply too dumb to survive. Apple gets away with it on their Wi-Fi models, but they're the leader and benefit from a non-discerning user base. But any company wanting to compete, and who fails to take this elementary and inexpensive step toward making a tablet into something useful, deserves extinction from the market.
        dgurney
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @dgurney...

        My boss's iPad has GPS...

        @camcost@...
        I hear you... Hypocrisy is annoying. And the comments to your post are just proving your point. "Cost is [...] far from the most important." Please, richdave... I agree with you , but if that's the case stfu about Mac computers being more expensive. (Oranges to Oranges, they're competitive... Apple just doesn't make disposable netbooks.)
        eak2000
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @camcost@... The only way I can think of you having 3 android tablets is the cheap Chinese ones that really were built as budget e Readers.
        Hardly a fair comparison for an iPad.

        As for the whole "if Apples prices were lower", thats not the real issue since people always seem to compare things by spec's and then see the price difference.

        Here in Australia where the AUS$1 is actually at the moment worth more then the US$1 Apple is still charging $579 for the bottom WiFi only 16GB iPad & $729 for the WiFi & 3G, 16GB one! whilst the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which not only has the same WiFi & 3G, 16GB, but also has blue-tooth and USB connections, better camera's and more ram for $727 which also includes 12 months of 3G connection.
        How could I justify an iPad on price against that?
        toviz@...
      • It Ain't All About PRICE

        @camcost@...
        I tried the iPad, and though I found nothing 'wrong' with it, I just didn't like it. I wanted a wider screen, expandable storage and I can't stand iTunes. Those would be three reasons to "consider" other tablets even if I were to ultimately have bought an iPad. Since YOU aren't spending MY money, whatever reasons you personally think the iPad is the only thing worth considering are completely irrelevant.
        The Mokoda
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @camcost@... While the iPad is the best tablet I have actually used I think anybody that doesn't at least consider other devices (no matter the market) is just hurting themselves even if the do go with the original choice. BTW, the pricing comparison applies to the iPhone as well when put up against comparable units.

        @richdave You are correct that cost is just one reason but to the average consumer it's going to be one of the, if not the most important.

        @blueskip While the Xoom might beat the iPad in your "is it worth having" category that isn't going to be the case for everyone.

        @dgurney GPS capability might be important to you but is it really that important to most consumers? I personally have no use for a 10" GPS unit when I have a small portable unit for traveling and a built in unit in my truck.

        @toviz@... People on here might [i]"always seem to compare things by spec's and then see the price difference"[/i] but the average consumer doesn't, they look at price first and foremost. You know the group, the ones buying the tablets by the tens of millions, not the small percentage of techies that drool over specs.
        non-biased
  • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

    Your list omits the only other tablet worth following after the iPad. (The Barnes & Noble Color Nook)
    ckantack@...
    • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

      @ckantack@... Ummmm...that is an E reader...
      dafricano@...
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @dafricano@...

        While that is it's primary function, it does more than just read books. Though there is no content creation, so I certainly wouldn't call it a tablet. It's kind of a tweener.
        Badgered
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @dafricano@...
        A rooted Nook is considerably faster than an iPad. Look at the products and not the marketing/media hype behind the products. See for yourself in a head to head comparison: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyTtt3YjK24
        BoomBustBlog
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        "A rooted Nook..."

        Aaaaaaaaand you just lost 99.99% of the people who buy products because they want a device that works, not a hobby that eats their valuable time.
        His_Shadow
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @His_Shadow

        But the primary function is an e-reader. Most people use it to read ebooks. Some will root it to use it as an Android device. Does it make it any less useful as a e-reader? I doubt it...
        spacespeed
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @His_Shadow
        "not a hobby that eats their valuable time."

        Yeah uhmm...YOU are seriously clueless if you think that is remotely true. My "rooted" Android phone took me only a few minutes and I've enjoyed MONTHS of benefits from five minutes work.
        blueskip
      • RE: Beyond iPad: Top 10 tablets to watch this year

        @blueskip

        You are seriously clueless if you expect the majority of people to root their device. Most people get scared even running Windows Update... And you seriously expect a soccer mom or a grand-da or even a typical user who wants his/her device to work without voiding the warranty... You expect those people to WANT to root their devices? You, sir, are seriously out of touch with reality.
        eak2000