With yesterday's Wired and Adobe video explaining how they plan to bring the magazine to the digital age, we've gotten way excited about the media content possibilities surrounding the tablet. It's easy to think the iPad is the only player in town, but there are actually quite a few iPad alternatives brewing (some of which are already available). Here's a roundup of a few of them.
HP Slate: The PC version of the iPad, this tablet runs on Windows 7 and features 3G and WiFi capabilities. It'll run the Blio reader, Kindle Reader, along with Windows apps. HP hopes to price their tablet at a lower price point than the iPad, though numbers haven't been revealed as of yet.
MSI Nvidia Tegra-based tablet: Set to come out in the second half of 2010, MSI's tablet runs on the Android OS and features a 10-inch color touchscreen and WiFi capabilities. No word on pricing, but said to be cheaper than the iPad.
enTourage eDGe: You get two for one with this open book tablet. One half of the eDGe is like the Amazon Kindle, featuring an e-Ink 9.7 inch screen that lets you write notes directly on the screen with a stylus. The other half is like the iPad, with a 10.1-inch color touchscreen that can play movies or MP3s, flip through photos, and will even display color photos included in your e-Book. Features built-in WiFi, runs the Android OS, and a virtual keyboard lets you IM or send emails. Available in March for $500.
Notion Ink Adam: The first tablet to feature a 10-inch Pixel Qi display, which allows for two different display modes -- full color LCD indoors and low-power reflective mode in sunlight, which is similar to e-ink. Integrated WiFi and 3G, a Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset that makes the Adam 1080p capable, with an HDMI port to output to an HDTV or projector, all running on the Android OS. Also features a built-in 3.2 MP camera that swivels 180 degrees. Will be available in the 3rd quarter, price TBD. (Images 4 and 5 show the Adam's two screen modes).
Archos 5: While it only features a measly 5-inch touchscreen, Archos' Android OS running tablet does offer GPS navigation through Google's free navigation app (that's a huge money saver for those looking to buy a GPS nav for the car). Add Archos' $140 DVR Station and you can turn this mini tablet into your very own DVR that allows you to watch shows you've recorded for free from over-the-air networks or your cable operator. Prices start at $250.
Dell Mini 5 (a.k.a. Streak): A smaller tablet as well, the Mini 5 will run on an, as yet, unreleased version of Android, include a front and back facing 5MP camera, built-in WiFi and 3G. Planned for release later this year, with a price that's yet to be announced, though there have been reports that it could be as expensive as $1,000. Say what?!
Obviously the two things that will determine who wins the tablet wars are price and applications. The majority of the non-iPad alternatives we've seen are running the Android OS, which is an open platform that welcomes app developers, so this could get exciting. We do wonder though, how the HP Slate will do with its Windows 7 OS. Does anyone know how open app friendly Windows 7 is?