Tablet Wars: Will the iPad Be Dethroned?

Tablet Wars: Will the iPad Be Dethroned?

Range Govindan
Sep 24, 2010

It's been months since the iPad was released, yet we've still haven't seen a viable competitor from the big hardware manufacturers. As the netbook market slowly crashes, are we ever going to be able to purchase other good tablets than the iPad? It looks like the iPad will have two alternatives, but are they worth getting?

Set to launch in a few weeks, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is an Android-powered tablet. It has a 7" screen, comes with WiFi and 3G. It will be offered on the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks. One thing that is somewhat surprising is the amount of uncertainty that surrounds the overall price of the device. From what we've seen in other markets, Australia and the EU, it will be more expensive than an iPad, which is surprising. It comes with two cameras, one in the front and one in the back, and can accept microSD cards. Will it be worth it? Only time will tell.

The other viable competitor that we've spotted is the HP Slate. A new prototype surfaced this week. The overall device looks interesting enough. It includes front- and rear-facing cameras, SD card slot, and other good touches. The problem that we've seen is the OS. The prototypes have been using Windows 7, which isn't a touch-based UI. If HP persists in using this UI, it will make using the tablet cumbersome, no matter what hardware it comes with. HP has said that it will come with a custom OS, so there's still some hope. Once again, this tablet isn't yet released.

This means that for now, the iPad remains the king of the tablets. Apple has made a product that's hard to beat, especially when it comes to ease of use. This is one of the reasons why it's taking so long for us to see something worthwhile from other companies. What do you think? Will you buy an iPad or will you wait until there are more alternatives available?

[images via Samsung, HP, chart by Gregory Han]

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