Apple’s Rivals Scramble to Match the iPad

Netbook Tablets

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T
If you'd like to flick through Web pages or e-books by touch, but you don't want to give up your physical keyboard, a netbook equipped with a swiveling screen may be a good compromise. Over the next few months, several new "netvertibles" will emerge, including the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T (available now), the Viliv S10 Blade, the Asus Eee PC T101MT, and the Gigabyte Touch Note T1000P. Each will have a 10.1-inch multitouch display, will run Windows 7, and will cost around $500 bucks. That's cheaper than standard 12.1-inch convertibles such as the HP Touch­Smart tm2t and the Lenovo ThinkPad X201T--both of which are multitouch capable.

ExoPC Slate

The ExoPC Slate--a Windows 7 slate with a custom touch interface, an 8.9-inch (1366-by-768-pixel) multitouch screen, netbook-like specs, and Flash support--was scheduled to arrive at the end of March, but Exo­PC postponed the launch to June or July. To upgrade specs against the rival HP Slate, perhaps? Whatever the reason, the ExoPC Slate will include at least a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, Intel GMA500 graphics, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for videoconferencing, 802.11n Wi-Fi, two USB 2.0 slots, and a mini-HDMI output. The unit is due in the summer of 2010, with prices starting at $599 (32GB).

ICD Ultra

Innovative Converged De­­vices' Ultra is expected to start at just $250 (without carrier subsidies) when it reaches the market at midyear. Verizon used an Ultra in January to demonstrate its next-generation 4G LTE wireless network; and the Ultra's big brother (the 15.6-inch ICD Vega) is headed to T-Mobile in the UK before the end of the year. Specs include a 7-inch resistive single-touch display (with a resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels or 800 by 480 pixels; capacitive versions are expected as well), a 1GHz nVidia Tegra 2 (Tegra T20) CPU, 256MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM, 4GB of internal flash memory (nonremovable), 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mini HDMI output, FM radio, and 3G and GPS options.

Archos 9 PC Tablet

On paper, the Archos 9 looks impressive, thanks to a 1.2GHz Atom Z510 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 60GB hard disk, Windows 7, a front-facing Webcam, Flash support, and a price of $549. But its 8.9-inch display is resistive and lacks multitouch, and the company hasn't made Windows 7 any more finger-friendly. Archos also sells 7- and 5-inch Android-based tablets/mobile Internet access devices, and recently announced the Archos 8 Home Tablet--essentially, an 8-inch touchscreen photo frame that runs Android.

PCWorld senior news editor Tom Spring contributed to this report.

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