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10 tablet PCs to rival the Apple iPad

We look at the offerings from other tech firms

Dell, HP, and Lenovo are rushing to compete against the Apple iPad in the tablet PC market, which could reach 50 million units by 2015. We look at what's on offer.

HP's Slate PC

It doesn't have an official name yet, but HP's slate PC is already turning heads.

It runs Windows 7 and supports hardware-accelerated Flash video, and may cost between $549 and $599 (£355 and £390).

Specs include an 8.9in (1024x600-pixel) display, HDMI output, 32GB or 64GB of storage, a USB 2.0 port, a SIM card slot, and two cameras: a VGA webcam on the front, and a 3Mp camera on the back.

HDMI output comes via a dock accessory. Basically, it's a netbook squeezed into a slate design. Also on board: a 1.6GHz Intel Z530 Atom CPU, 1GB RAM, and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.

HP reportedly is working on a range of tablets - one a mini Android device intended to compete with the 5in Dell Streak.

Dell Streak (or Mini 5)

Dell has confirmed its plans for a "family of tablets", led by this Android 2.x handheld.

Its 5in multitouch screen is more pocket-friendly than those on rival slates, yet it's larger than most smartphone displays (yes, the Mini 5 can make calls).

It comes with a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, a 5Mp camera on the back, a front-facing camera (for video chat), and GPS.

The 5in Streak will arrive around midyear, to be followed - closer to 2011 - by 7 and 10in models.

Fusion Garage JooJoo

The notorious CrunchPad-turned-JooJoo tablet has a big 12.1in capacitive multitouch display, runs Ubuntu Linux with a custom interface and supports Flash video.

Early reviews have criticised the choppiness of its Flash video playback, and noted that $499 (£325) is pricey for a browser-only 4GB tablet (its apps are all web-based). UK pricing hasn't been released yet.

Key specs include a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, Nvidia Ion graphics, 1GB of RAM, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

Microsoft Courier

Microsoft's Courier - a folding dual-screen digital journal - has the potential to match Apple in user interface innovation... if it ever makes it off the drawing board.

Tech blog, Engadget, cites an "extremely trusted source" as saying that the Courier is on track for the second half of 2010.

It will reportedly use Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip, and the same OS platform as Microsoft's Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 handsets.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1

As a laptop, the IdeaPad U1 runs Windows 7 with a 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo SU4100 chip.

But pop the screen off, and the machine instantly becomes a multitouch tablet running its own widget-style Linux interface.
And get this: Some tasks, such as open web pages, automatically continue between both modes.

The keyboard base can operate independently, the screen includes 3G, and Lenovo rates the unit's battery life at about 8 hours.

It sounds great, but the U1's popularity could hinge on its price and on how responsive its resistive display is to touch.

The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 is expected to arrive in the US early June for around $1,000 (£625) UK pricing has not been revealed.

Notion Ink Adam

Everything about this device screams innovation.

Designed in India, the Adam uses a multitouch-enabled 10.1in 'transflective' screen that switches between sunlight-friendly e-paper and colour LCD modes as needed.

It also has a 3.2Mp camera, 180-degree-swivel camera; a high-def-video-capable Tegra 2 processor; an HDMI port; 3G; and GPS.

It has been previewed running Android 2.1. A cheaper (and thinner) standard screen version will also be available this summer when the Adam launches.

NEXT PAGE: Netbook tablets

  1. We look at the offerings from other tech firms
  2. HP's Slate PC and other rivals
  3. Netbook tablets

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