The Android tablets are coming! Actually, some are already here, but a wider selection of Apple iPad-like slates will have arrived by early next year.
1. Cisco Cius
The iPad has a decidedly consumer focus, but the Cisco Cius is all business. Pricing isn’t set, but the Cius should cost less than $1000 and ship in early 2011. Yep, that’s a lot of money to pay for a tablet, and expectations will be high for Cisco’s business slate.
2. Dell Streak
The Streak feels surprisingly natural to hold in one hand, or to hold between both. My small hands had a bit of difficulty spanning the device’s horizontal keyboard, but colleagues with larger hands had no issue there. The keyboard feels a bit cramped; I found I typed best on it by laying the tablet down.
3. Acer Tablet
Acer’s upcoming Android tablet may have more in common with the Amazon Kindle than with the iPad. Acer showed off a prototype tablet device and an e-reader at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, setting the stage for the company to push into new mobile product segments.
4. Asus Eee Pad EP101TC
Is Asus switching teams? The Taiwanese tech titan originally named Windows Embedded Compact 7 as the operating system for its 10-inch touchscreen tablet, but recent word is that Asus will go with Android instead. It reportedly will cost between $400 and $500 when it debuts early next year. Which version of Android will it run? Given the 2011 launch date, version 3.0, code-named Gingerbread, is a strong candidate.
5. LG Tablet
Earlier this year LG unveiled the UX10, a Windows 7 tablet with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and an HDMI port. And in July the South Korean electronics giant announced that it’s working on an Android tablet, too.
6. Samsung Tablet
It looks as though Samsung has a stealth slate in the works, too. According to the Android Tablet Website, Samsung’s touchscreen device has an iPad-like design, though at 7 inches the display is significantly smaller than the iPad’s (9.7 inches).
7. Freescale Smartbook
More than a few hardware vendors, including MSI and Toshiba, are designing laptop/tablet hybrids. For business users, the combo may be a winner–a single device that functions as a conventional laptop in the office and as a tablet on the road. The “smartbook” reference design from Freescale Semiconductor is a $200 tablet with a 7-inch touchscreen.
8. MSI WindPad 110
Taiwan-based MSI has several slates in the works, including the WindPad 110, an Android tablet with a 10-inch (1024 by 600) touchscreen, a Webcam, two USB 2.0 ports, Wi-Fi and 3G wireless, HDMI high-definition video output, and a Samsung ARM or nVidia Tegra 2 processor.
9. Notion Ink Adam
The Adam is unique among Android slates. Its innovative 10.1-inch display has a full-code LCD mode for indoor use, a reflective e-paper mode (similar to the Amazon Kindle’s display) for outdoor reading, and a third mode that makes the LCD easier to view in sunlight.
10. Archos 5 Internet Tablet
This portable media player has been shipping for a while now, and it’s definitely more consumer gizmo than business slate. But the unit’s 4.8-inch, 800-by-480-pixel display, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and (admittedly dated) Android 1.6 operating system make it an acceptable traveling companion.
11. Sony Slate
Do Sony designers dream of tablets? Let’s hope so. Recent rumors, including a Wall Street Journal report, suggest that the consumer electronics behemoth is building a tablet-like Android gizmo that combines e-reading, netbook features, and PlayStation gaming capabilities. If true, the Sony slate will compete directly with the iPad, which has a similar media-consumption orientation.