Since cranking out Attack of the tablets – part 1, we’ve reported on research conducted by RBC Capital Markets predicting that the tablet onslaught will indeed continue. Analyst Mike Abramsky reckons 400 million of us will own tablets by 2014.
We’re still not entirely sold on the idea, but they would make a nice gift. Say, for example, if our senior editor bought us a nice iPad 2 in a couple of weeks. That’d be pretty cool.
In the meantime, let’s check out a few more of the many tablets looming on the horizon.
LG Optimus Pad
Preferred tablet size is largely subjective. Some would argue that 10.1in slates are too cumbersome, while others feel 7in is too small. The LG Optimus Pad sits somewhere in the middle with a screen size of 8.9in, aiming to provide comfortable use with one hand.
LG’s 3D offerings at Mobile World Congress turned many a head. The LG Optimus 3D smartphone is autostereoscopic, but the LG Optimus Pad requires glasses (or an ultra-expensive 3D TV). As such, we didn’t get to see the Pad’s 3D-ness in action, but we learned that it uses dual rear cameras to capture 3D video in 720p. Standard 2D video weighs in at 1080p.
We’re not fans of 3D, it seems a tad gimmicky, but otherwise the curvaceous LG Optimus Pad was quite impressive.
Screen: 8.9in, 1280x768
Processor: 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2
OS: Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
Cameras: Dual rear 5MP, front 2MP
Release date: unconfirmed (possibly late Q1/early Q2)
HP is the largest computer manufacturer in the world, and its Palm Pre phones aren’t too shabby either. Its latest tablet offering, the HP TouchPad, has an identical screen size to the iPad (9.7in), but that’s where the similarities end. Mostly.
One of the TouchPad’s key selling points will be webOS, providing an attractive alternative to iOS and bloomin’ Android - the platform of choice on 99.9% of non-iPads*. webOS 3.0 was first revealed at a high-profile event in San Francisco one month ago, where HP demonstrated a neat “touch to connect” feature, allowing users to share data by tapping their devices together.
Oddly, HP has chosen not to include a rear camera, which is a fairly standard feature in the modern tablet world. To be fair though, a 9.7in, 740g tablet wouldn’t be my first choice for taking pictures anyway.
*not a real statistic
Screen: 9.7in, 1024x768
Processor: Dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon
OS: webOS 3.0
Cameras: No rear camera, 1.2MP front
Storage: 16GB or 32GB
Release date: “Planned availability this summer”, according to HP’s official site
BlackBerry is massively popular. In Europe, BlackBerry OS is currently tussling with Android for second place (behind iOS, of course), while in the UK RIM is toe-to-toe with Apple. Will that popularity map over to the tablet universe?
The PlayBook is firmly at the small end, with a 7in screen and weighing just 425g. It supports Flash, and boasts “true” multitasking, which is most likely a dig at the limitations of iOS.
RIM plans to launch its secret weapon, BlackBerry Messenger, on both Android and iOS in future. You’ll also be able to use it on the BlackBerry PlayBook, which will definitely be a big draw for IM-obsessed types.
The BlackBerry PlayBook was made official last September, and finally looks set for release next month. At the time of writing, we’ve just learned that RIM’s marketing boss has quit. We hope that isn’t a sign of trouble for the PlayBook, ‘cause otherwise it’s looking pretty good.
Screen: 7in, 1024x600
Processor: Dual-core 1GHz
OS: BlackBerry tablet OS
Cameras: 5MP rear, 3MP front
Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
Release date: April 2011