Tablet computers: what's here, and what's coming
Tablet computers: Here's a list of all the tablets being talked about right now.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/File
Months ago, TechNewsDaily published a rundown on all the tablet projects various manufacturers were working on at the time. Since then, the Apple iPad has been released and become a major hit. Since then, several manufacturers have announced tablets of their own, hoping to replicate Apple's success.
This is an updated list of all the tablets being talked about right now, broken down by their likelihood of actually making it to consumers' hands. The four categories are "It's Here" for tablets that have hit the market or have an impending release date; "It's Coming" for tablets that have some kind of projected release date; "It's Likely" for tablets that manufacturers have talked about releasing but aren't completely official yet; and "It's Cancelled" for tablets that were previously expected but are no longer in development.
The Apple iPad is the device that single-handedly justified a tablet market for many manufacturers. It has a simple operating system based on the iPhone, a 10-inch touchscreen, fantastic battery life (10 hours) and access to hundreds of thousands of apps that can collectively do just about anything. It'snot perfect, but it set a high standard. Base models start at $500 for 16GB of storage and Wi-Fi; price goes up for 3G connections and more storage.
Fusion Garage JooJoo
The JooJoo predates the iPad, but is not very well known. Estimated pre-orders for the device were less than 100, and sales projections since have been equally grim. The JooJoo focuses on cloud computing, using online Web apps to accomplish tasks rather than installing apps directly into the device. The only model has a 12-inch touchscreen and retails for $500. A 3G capable model is expected soon.
Archos has been making tablet-like media devices for years, but the recent tablet frenzy has lead to more productivity-oriented tablets from the company. Archos has tablets ranging from 5 to 10 inches. The latest batch uses Android 2.2 Froyo, which means enhanced features such as Flash 10.1. Beyond that, there are a lot of variations. Some have resistive touchscreens while others have the superior (for finger navigation) capacitive touchscreens. The pricier models also have front-facing cameras and 1GHz processors.
The Streak is one of the smallest tablets on this list. The 5-inch touchscreen makes it seem more like an oversized cell phone. In fact, it blurs the lines because Dell included a SIM card slot so it can make calls. The company is calling it a tablet, nonetheless. It has the Android 1.6 operating system (to be upgraded to 2.2), a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, Wi-Fi, front-facing webcam and a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera. The Dell Streak sells for $300 with an AT&T contract or $500 without.
Haleron X-Droid 10
The largely unknown company has decided to capitalize on the recent popularity of the Droid smartphones for a little recognition for its tablet. It has a 1GHz processor, up to 512MB memory, 2GB storage (expandable to 32GB), 10-inch resistive touchscreen display, Wi-Fi, 5-7 hours of battery life and a webcam. It runs Android 2.1 and is currently available starting at $249.
The Augen GenTouch78 is only $150 and sold at Kmart, which should give some idea of its quality. It only has 2GB of storage, 256MB RAM, and Android 2.1. It does have a 7-inch touchscreen and Wi-Fi, but little else.
Pandawill Gpad G10
The Pandawill Gpad 10 appears to be a clone of the Augen GenTouch78, but with a low quality camera and 3G connectivity built in. It's also more expensive at $185.
Yet another unknown manufacturer with a 7-inch screen (noticing a pattern yet?). The Camangi WebStation also runs the Android operating system but the company has its own app store that is separate from the Android Market. Other features include Wi-Fi, a mediocre processor, a 4-hour battery life, microSD card slot, GPS and a $275 price tag.
The Zenithink ZT-180 ePad is called an iPad killer but assuredly is not. The processor is not fast enough and it only has Android 2.1. It does sport a 10-inch touchscreen, but it is resistive instead of capacitive. There is only 2GB of storage, but it can be expanded by microSD card. Retail price is $299.
Flat Computing FlatPad
From the heart of Texas comes the redundantly named FlatPad. It has all that's expected in an attempt to compete with the iPad: 10-inch touchscreen (though it is resistive), 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi and Android 2.2. It could improve on the RAM (256MB), storage (2GB expandable by microSD) and battery life (5 hours) though. At least the price is better: $220.
Velocity Micro Cruz
The Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet is offered by Borders book store. It's a relative to the Micro Cruz Reader e-book reader also offered by Borders to compete with the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. The Cruz Tablet has a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, 512MB RAM, Wi-Fi and Android 2.1 operating system. A measly 1GB storage can be supplemented with SD cards. The Cruz Tablet is available for $299 through Borders and Velocity Micro.
StreamTV Elocity A7
StreamTV is a Philadelphia startup that has created a pretty promising device. A 7-inch capacitive touchscreen runs on Android 2.2 and a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor. StreamTV has confirmed that the front-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam can be used for making video calls over 3G connections. It sells for $370 on Amazon.
The ExoPC tablet is an impressive device, with an Atom N450 processor and Broadcom's Crystal HD card to enable high definition video playback. It will run Windows 7, but with a specially designed interface for the 11.6-inch screen. It will also have its own app store. After a delay and price hike, the ExoPC costs between $600-700 for 32GB and 64GB storage versions.
Though few people have heard of iiView, the M1 Touch actually sounds like an appealing tablet. With 10.1 multitouch display (1,024 x 600 resolution), 1.66GHz Atom N450 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, integrated webcam, accelerometer, and Windows 7 Home Premium. Predictably, all that hardware only allows the device 3 hours of battery life, but at least it retails for $500.
Samsung Galaxy Tab
As seen below, there are a number of Android tablets on the market already, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab is the first in a wave of high-end Android tablets from major manufacturers. It has a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen (1024 x 600 pixel resolution), 1GHz processor, embedded graphics processor, 512MB RAM, front and rear-facing cameras, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity. All thatruns on Android 2.2 with full access to the Android Market for apps. Samsung says it will be between $200 and $400 with a carrier contract when it launches late in 2010.
Toshiba Folio 100
A Toshiba executive has confirmed the company will be releasing at least two tablets by year's end. One will have dual 10-inch screens and run Windows 7. The other, officially called the Folio 100, will run Android 2.2 and cost around $615 when it launches late in 2010. Both tablets are reported to contain the Tegra 2 processor. The Folio 100 also has a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen (1024 x 600 resolution), 16GB of storage expandable by SD card, Wi-Fi webcan, Bluetooth, HDMI port and 7 hours of battery life.
LG Optimus Pad
LG blatantly said the Optimus Pad is better than the iPad, something other manufacturers only like to imply. Despite the boasts, LG hasn't revealed many details about the Optimus Pad other than it will run Android and be available by the end of 2010.
ViewSonic ViewPad 100
Toshiba isn't the only company bold enough to consider a tablet with two operating systems. ViewSonic is planning to have the ViewPad 100 dual-boot Android and Windows 7 Home Premium. Unfortunately, the Android operating system is an outdated version (1.6). The tablet will run an Intel Atom N455 1.66GHz processor more commonly found in netbooks. Also included are 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, microSD card slot and 1.3 megapixel webcam. ViewSonic says it will be somewhere under $600 and available later in 2010.
ViewSonic ViewPad 7
The ViewSonic ViewPad 7 is not only smaller than the ViewPad 100, it's a lot less powerful too. It only has a 600MHz processor, but it does have a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, 3G connectivity (for data and voice calls), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the latest Android 2.2 operating system. It's expected to sell for somewhere around $500 later this year.
The Kno tablet is easily the largest tablet on this list. It has two capacitive touchscreens, each 14 inches, connected by a hinge in the middle. In fact, It resembles a fairly standard laptop that has the keyboard replaced by another screen. It has the NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and 16GB of storage. The Know is expected to sell for less than $1000 (potentially making it the most expensive tablet) by the end of 2010.
Notion Ink Adam
The Adam is one of the most promising tablets yet to come, but it is continually delayed. It has a special 10-inch touchscreen that can act as a regular luminescent screen or switch off the backlight to act like an e-ink screen, the kind common in e-book readers. It also has some other impressive specs, such as an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 3G connectivity, Flash compatibility and high def video playback. The latest details indicate the earliest the Adam will make it to retail is late 2010 or early 2011. It will be $498 with Wi-Fi and 3G, $449 if dropping 3G or the special display, and $399 if foregoing both features.
Similar to the Notion Ink Adam, the Hannspree tablet has the same 1GHZ Tegra 2 processor and 16GB of storage, but with a smaller, less spectacular screen. Also included are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microSD slot, HDMI port and the ability to play high-definition movies, all for around $500.
Dell Looking Glass
The Looking Glass is similar to the Streak, but with a 7-inch screen. It is also a little more traditional for a media-oriented tablet. It will run Android 2.1 on a Tegra 2 processor, so it should be more powerful than its little brother. It also has a TV tuner and 4GB of RAM. However, the screen is the same resolution as the Streak despite being larger. It is expected to be released in November 2010, and Dell is also expected to release a 10-inch version.
The WeTab used to be called the WePad, but Neofonie wisely decided to change the name to "differentiate" it from the competition, namely the iPad. The WeTab has pretty impressive specs too: 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, GMA 3150 graphics, webcam, up to 32GB storage, Wi-Fi, 3G and a proposed six hours of battery life. It will also run a tweaked version of the Meego operating system. It has a price (around $570) but only a soft launch window for September or October.
ASUS has confirmed that it is working on not one, but two tablets. Tentatively called EeePads after the EeePC line of netbooks, the 12-inch version will run Windows 7 and be priced at $1000. The smaller Android tablet (10 inches) will be much less than $400. Little else is known except that they are planned for release in early 2011.
As if we need another 7-inch Android tablet, let alone an underpowered one. Rydeen Mobile is making the gPad GCOM701 with only an 800MHZ processor, 256MB of RAM, no internal storage (but microSD card slot) and resistive touchscreen. It will be available in November for an undetermined price.
Cisco has presented few details but insists the Cisco Cius (pronounced "see us") tablet will be available in spring 2011. It has a 7-inch screen, Wi-Fi and 3G. Cisco is emphasizing video conferencing features for business, including a front-facing 720p resolution camera. The battery is rated for 8 hours, even with conferencing.
The TouchPad B10 is a little uninspiring. It has a dated 1.3GHz Celeron processor and is only rated for 3.5 hours of battery life. It does include 250GB of storage, a 10-inch multitouch display and Windows 7 Home Premium, but it will likely be over $600.
While more is known about this tablet than the LG Android tablet, it still doesn't seem close to release yet. The UX10 runs Windows 7 on a 10-inch LED capacitive touchscreen, with an Intel Atom Z530 processor, 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, front-facing webcam, SD card slot and micro-HDMI port.
A senior Lenovo executive revealed the company was working on a tablet companion for their LePhone project. LePad will run Android and debut in China before a worldwide release.
Sony has said it has a keen interest in entering the tablet market but hasn't revealed any specific devices yet.
Best Buy Rocketfish
According to Robert Stephens, CTO of Best Buy, the company is planning on stocking its own Android 2.2 tablet. It has a 9-inch screen, Wi-fi, Bluetooth and front-facing camera. It's expected to launch by December 2010 for $300-$600.
Leaks from BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) have detailed a "companion" device for BlackBerry smartphones that has up to a 9-inch touchscreen. The device will have Wi-Fi but is generally intended to just be a secondary screen for viewing media through a BlackBerry phone. Rumors indicate it will be called the BlackPad and run its own specialized operating system.
MSI WindPad 100
MSI is making a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet sporting 32GB of storage and 2GB of RAM. The WindPad 100 is reportedly on hold until the next generation of Intel Atom processors are launched in 2011. There is also an experimental dual-screen Windows 7 tablet in testing.
MSI Android Tablet
MSI affirms that it still plans to launch a Tegra 2 powered Android 2.2 tablet by the end of 2010, but there are still few details about it.
HP webOS Tablet
In the wake of Hewlett-Packard buying Palm, HP confirmed it planned to make a tablet with Palm's webOS operating system for smartphones, to be launched in early 2011. No further details were given.
HP Zeen C510
The HP Android tablet was rumored to be canceled when HP acquired the rights to webOS, but new leaked images indicate HP still plans to release the Zeen Android tablet. However it will only be available bundled with a new generation of HP printers.
The HP Slate was canceled and then revived with a new business focus. It is a Windows 7 tablet that had performance problems. It's unclear how the business version will compare to the old consumer version.
Verizon's CEO recently stated that his company is collaborating with Google to create a tablet. There are no further details, although Google's involvement means the device will likely run Android.
Possibly the same devices as the Verizon/Google collaboration mentioned above. This tablet is reported to have access to Verizon's FiOS pay TV network and Adobe Flash on a 10-inch screen, making it a potential media powerhouse.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt told several people that Google was working on an Android tablet. It's unclear if this Google tablet is part of the Verizon project or a separate project altogether.
This is possibly the least likely tablet on the list, simply because there is no information on it. An analyst presented evidence that Nokia is preparing its supply chain for a fall release of its own tablet, but Nokia has declined to comment.
Following the poor reception of the GenTouch78, Augen has promised new 7- and 10-inch tablets in 2011, ranging from $200 to $400. And this time they will have capacitive touchscreens.
The Viliv X10 has shown up in quite a few places, but is still officially in development. The final version is supposed to have a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen (1366 x 768 resolution) with 720p playback, 1GHz processor, 16 or 32GB of storage, Wi-Fi, 3G with possible 4G, 10 hours of battery life and Android 2.2.
The Gemini is an impressive beast, with the ability to make calls over a 3G connection, an 11-inch touchscreen capable of high definition playback, Tegra 2 processor, FM radio, Wi-Fi, front-facing webcam and rear-facing 5 megapixel camera and the Android operating system running in the background. Unfortunately, it never seems to get closer to release.
The OpenTablet7 is intended to be sold through carriers, and it already has a distribution deal with AT&T. There are no details about release date, pricing or data plans, though AT&T will likely offer similar pricing to the iPad data plans. Perhaps most impressive is the Intel 1.9GHz Moorestown processor inside, which makes it quite responsive and saves battery life. The screen is 7 inches and displays a custom interface.
The Courier was easily one of the most promising tablet concepts in recent history. It had dual folding screens that used a pen stylus or a finger for input. Most impressive was the interface, which appeared to be entirely new and highly intuitive. Unfortunately, Microsoft eventually announced that Courier development had been discontinued.
Fans of the increasingly popular HTC smartphones were excited to learn the company was working on a tablet, especially given HTC's history of doing great things with the Android operating system. However, HTC later confirmed that it was not going to bring a tablet to market because it planned to focus on making great smartphones.
Acer scrapped tablet plans because they didn't fit into their laptop and netbook business model.
Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid
The IdeaPad U1 actually looked like a netbook, but the screen detached from the keyboard to create an independent tablet. As interesting as it was, Lenovo canceled development.