Apple's iPad announcement in early 2010 followed into a year where "tablet" was one of the hottest buzzwords in technology. Swarms of consumers were seduced by the idea of devices that could offer portable, app-driven touchscreen computing.
Manufacturers raced to get their own version of a tablet onto the shelves; however, the sprint to the finish line resulted in many "lemons" and even more tablets that were announced but never saw the light of day.
Despite the failed attempts, the tablet market is already thriving and major manufacturers are already promising new and/or updated tablets in 2011.
Relaxnews takes a look at some of the best tablets that made it onto shelves in 2010:
Apple's iPad is currently the tablet market leader. The 9.7" touchscreen tablet combines web surfing, emailing, multimedia viewing, e-books and access to hundreds of thousands of applications. Priced from $499 for the 16GB WiFi model up to $829 for the WiFi & 3G 64GB model.
Samsung Galaxy Tab
The Galaxy Tab is Samsung's first tablet and currently the most competitive player in the market against Apple's iPad. It runs Android 2.2, comes with a 7 inch 1024x600 pixel display, a 3MP camera with flash, 3G and WiFi connectivity. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is priced at around $600.
HP Slate 500 Tablet PC
The HP Slate 500 Tablet PC is a Windows 7 tablet built for business users. The tablet weighs 0.68 kg and comes with a 8.9 inch capacitive multitouch display. It has a 3MP camera on the back, a VGA webcam on the front, WiFi, USB 2.0 port, up to 64 GB of storage and up to 5 hours of battery life. The HP Slate 500 Tablet PC is priced at $799.
ViewSonic ViewPad 7
ViewSonic's ViewPad 7 is not just a 7" Android 2.2 tablet, it also packs in full phone functionality, multi-tasking, front- and back-facing cameras, and 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The device is priced at around £350 (€420).
The ViewSonic G-Tablet is a 10.1 inch 1024 x 600p capacitive touch Android tablet. It comes with a 1.3 MP camera, 16GB of internal memory, Android 2.2, WiFi, Bluetooth, multitasking, 1080p playback, access to around 1000 Android apps and a USB port. The G-Tablet is priced at $499.99.
Archos 9 PC tablet
The Archos 9 PCtablet is an ultra-light tablet designed for on-the-go computing, full HD video watching, web browsing, video chatting and emailing. The Windows 7 tablet comes with a 8.9 inch 1024 x 600p resistive touch screen, a 1.3MP webcam, built in leg stand, WiFi, USB port, and HD video playback. The Archos 9 PC tablet costs €500, $550. http://www.archos.com/products/tw/archos_9/index.html?country=us&lang=en
Toshiba Libretto W105
The Toshiba Libretto W105 is a dual screen 7.0-inch LCD tablet. The Libretto W105 tablet runs the full version of Microsoft's Windows 7 and packs in a 1.2GHz Intel Pentium processor, two touch-sensitive 7.0 inch wide LED LCDs, 2GB of memory, a one megapixel webcam, and around 2 hours of battery life with a standard battery pack or 4 hours with a high-capacity battery pack. The Libretto W105 is priced at $1,099.
The Dell Streak is a 5-inch screened, Android-powered smartphone-cum-tablet device that brings web browsing, multi-tasking, turn-by-turn navigation, and media-rich content to the miniaturized tablet format. The Dell Streak runs on Android 2.2 and offers a touchscreen, 5MP camera (and back facing VGA webcam), email, SMS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 16GB of pre-installed memory. The Dell Streak sells for $199.99 on a two year contract or $549.99 unlocked.
Dell Inspiron Duo
The Dell Inspiron Duo is a tablet and netbook all in one letting consumers flip the screen into a tablet form for touchscreen input and movie viewing or back to the more-traditional full keyboard netbook setup for productivity. The device comes with a 10.1 inch HD multitouch display, Windows 7 Home Premium, a dual-core processor, a 1.3MP webcam, and two USB ports. The Inspiron Duo is priced from $549.99.
Toshiba Folio 100
Toshiba's Folio 100 tablet is a 10.1 inch 1024 x 600p capacitive touchscreen Android 2.2 device. The Folio 100 comes with 16GB of storage, up to seven hours of battery life, a 1.3MP webcam and USB, SD card and HDMI connector ports. The Folio 100 is priced from €399.
The Kno is a dual, 14.1 inch touchscreen tablet designed to meet the needs of students. It provides up to 6 hours of normal use and comes with WiFi, Bluetooth, 1080p video playback, support for Adobe Flash and touch or stylus input. The Dual Screen Kno is priced at $899 for the 16GB version and at $999 for the 32GB version. A single screen version is available for $599 (16GB) or $699 (32GB).