Selling over 7.4 million units, Apple has certainly set the standard with their tablet device the iPad, however we are beginning to see some serious competitors emerge on the market, which has been highlight by the BBC in a recent video.
If you check out this link you can see a quick round up of the rival tablets which has been put together by the BBC’s Marc Cieslak, in the video he talks about the Elonex eTouch, Archos 101, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Novatech nTablet and the Dell Inspiron Duo.
Let’s start with the cheapest option, the Elonex eTouch, this tablet runs Android 2.1 Eclair and features 2GB of onboard flash storage, WiFi, a USB port and microSD memory card slot. Sadly you get what you pay for, it costs just £149 and delivers pretty slow web browsing, also it features a resistive touchscreen display which is now regarded as old technology, you can see this tablet below and find out more information here.
Another tablet to check out is the Archos 101, this runs Android 2.2 FroYo and features a USB port, a mini HDMI-out port, WiFi, a microSD memory card slot and a front-facing camera. This tablet features a pretty neat design and features an inbuilt kickstand, the 10-inch model is just 12mm thick and weighs just 480 grams, also there is a 7-inch model available. The 8GB model costs £269 and the 16GB model costs £299 you can see an picture of the 10-inch variant below and you can find out more about the Archos 101 here.
The BBC video also mentions the Samsung Galaxy Tab, however most people who are looking into an iPad alternative probably already know about this device, if you do not check out this link and our previous Samsung Galaxy Tab posts.
Another tablet which may be worth checking out is the Windows 7-based Novatech nTablet, you can see a photo of this device below and full specs and features here, you can buy it OS free for £349 or with Windows 7 for £429, it is said to feature 2 USB ports, a microSD memory card slot, mini VGA-out, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. Pros incude a solid design and a responsive brigh display, however Windows 7 holds it back as it is not really design for a touch only device, personally I would wait for the Android version to arrive in 2011.
Finally the BBC talk about the Dell Inspiron Duo, this is a tablet /netbook hybrid, you can see a video showing off its unique design here and full specs and pricing info here, to summarize it features a rotating display which transforms the netbook to a tablet, it runs Windows 7, however features custom software to make the OS more touch friendly, one big downside is its weight, you can find out more here.
As you can see the iPad already has quite a lot of strong competition out there, and with devices such as the BlackBerry PlayBook and Motorola Stingray upcoming it will be interesting to see how if the iPad can stay competive, one thing that is for sure is that an iPad 2 release in early 2011 would solidify Apple’s strong hold on the tablet market.
Have you bought an iPad rival? If so, what did you choose? Are you happy with your choice?