10 Alternatives to the iPad

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So, there’s this product called the iPad, ever heard of it? As of May 3rd, 2010, over 1 million people had heard of it, and bought one. It’s interesting to many who follow technology that Apple single-handedly introduced tablet computing to the world, even though it had existed for some time prior.

In order to upgrade public consciousness, we’ll examine several products, either on the market now or coming very soon, which offer an alternative to the flawed but favored darling of tablet computing.

1. Archos 9 (Price: $549)

Archos has a number of devices targeting the mobile computing market, with the Archos 9 as their tablet offering. Running Windows 7 as its operating system, it includes a 1.2 Ghz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, WiFi, a camera, and a 9″ screen. The major feature it’s lacking is multi-touch support, but minus that, it is a solid entry into the tablet space.

2. ModBook (Price: $899, $2000+ if you include the required MacBook)

What if there was a tablet based on the full Mac OS X operating system, rather than the iPhone OS that the iPad uses? There is, and it has been on the market since 2007. It is sold by Axiotron, and is a modified MacBook, hence the name – ModBook. However, you must provide a MacBook to the company to which the mod will be applied. This gets costly.

3. Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid (Price: $999 est.)

Coming Summer 2010, the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid is neither a tablet nor a netbook, it is both. It runs Windows 7 on an Intel processor when in full-notebook mode, then Skylight OS on an ARM processor when running as a tablet. And how do you switch between PC and tablet mode, you ask? You detach the screen, and end up with a sleek tablet device. Very cool.

4. HP Slate (Price: $549 to $599)

Announced at CES 2010, the imminent HP Slate is one of most anticipated iPad alternatives yet to hit the market. Rumored to drop in 3rd or 4th quarter 2010, this tablet is expected to launch with an 8.9″ multi-touch screen, a 1.6Ghz Intel Atom processor, and 1GB non-upgradable RAM. Initially, it was said to run Windows 7 as its operating system, with Steve Balmer featuring it in his keynote address. However, with HP’s acquisition of Palm, it is now likely to run WebOS, instead.

5. ExoPC (Price: $599)

If you want a tablet that looks like the iPad, but runs Windows 7, you may want to watch for the ExoPC slate launching sometime in summer 2010. With an SD card slot, Flash and Silverlight support, several USB ports, and a user-replaceable battery, it might just have the edge over the iPad.

6. Dell Streak (Price: TBA)

Dell has its own tablet launching in June called the Streak. Press releases state it will be a 5″ tablet running the Android OS. Boasting WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity, and with access to the Android Marketplace and full-Flash support, this tablet should make both Apple and Microsoft take note. It even has a 5 megapixel camera with LED-flash. Nice.

7. WeTab (Price: TBA)

Looking for a Linux-based tablet with access to the Android Marketplace? If so, you may want to check out WeTab, announced earlier as the WePad, when it launches in September. With an 11.6″ screen with multi-touch support, and multi-tasking capabilities, it could be a true competitor to the iPad. Though, rumors have it that it may end up as a Euro-only release.

8. Notion Ink Adam (Price: $300 to $800 est.)

One upcoming tablet that has generated a lot of buzz is the Adam tablet from Notion Ink. It runs Android on a Tegra 2 chip, with a dual-core ARM processor. It has 3G, WiFi, mutli-touch, and a 10-inch display. Estimated for a spring launch, we now look for it to hit stores toward the end of summer 2010.

9. MSI Dual-Screen Tablet (Price: TBA)

First announced at CES 2010, MSI is supposedly under-development of a dual-screen tablet running Windows 7, and an eBook reader. It doesn’t officially have a launch date or a price, but if it launches, it will change the game for tablet PCs.

10. Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook (Price: $259 to $489)

If you just want an e-Reader with a cheaper price tag, check out the Nook from Barnes and Noble or one of the Kindle models from Amazon. For some people, less is more, especially if less means less money.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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