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The tablet has come a long way since this time last year: HP's TouchPad came and went in a blaze of price cut-induced glory. Amazon, in the most direct and compelling challenge to Apple, put its weight behind the Kindle Fire. RIM, struggling, finally updated its PlayBook OS, adding native email support and Android app emulation.
But some things haven't changed. Apple's iPad is still the clear frontrunner, offering features that no other tablet has come close to replicating. But in spite of this, rival tablet makers persist, often to extreme extents. Here are the ten biggest tablets set for release in the first half of 2012. Some are better than others, but all are vying to capture a chunk of the rapidly-changing tablet market.
Appropriately named, the biggest pull with the Transformer Pad Infinity is its ability to transform from a tablet to a notebook. Equipped with a metallic spun finish, the 8.5mm thick tablet runs Android 4.0 and carries an LTE radio and a ten hour battery life.
Announced in February, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is a seven-inch tablet running on a dual-core 1 GHz processor and Android 4.0. Meant more as an iterative upgrade rather than anything particularly new, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is a solid choice for a tablet of its size.