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IPad 2 Alternatives: The State of the Tablet Competition

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Acer Iconia A100 and A500

Features: 10.1-inch, 1280-by-800 resolution display or 7-inch, 1024-by-600 resolution display; Nvidia Tegra 2 processor; 32 GB of storage 1 GB or 512 MB of RAM; front and rear cameras; Micro USB, MicroSD and HDMI; runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).

Status: No price, no release date

Chance of Success: Acer's 10-inch and 7-inch tablets fall into the "generic Honeycomb tablet with no price or release date" category. Eventually, you'll get tired of hearing about them, unless one happens to rival the iPad on price and stops being vaporware.

HTC Flyer

Features: 7-inch, 1024-by-600 resolution display; 1.5 GHz Snapdragon processor; 32 GB of storage; 1 GB of RAM; front and rear cameras, micro-USB, microSD and HDMI; 0.9 pounds; 0.52 inches thick; runs Android 2.4.

Status: Launching in Q2 for price unknown.

Chance of Success: The Flyer has some neat perks, including a bundled stylus and the OnLive game service, but it uses a version of Android that wasn't designed for tablets, covered up by HTC's Sense user interface. An update to Honeycomb is in the works, so the Flyer might just be a late bloomer.

T-Mobile G-Slate (LG Optimus Pad)

Features: 8.9-inch, 1280-by-800 resolution display; Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 32 GB of storage, front camera and dual, 3D rear cameras; plays 3D movies; 4G; runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).

Status: No price, no release date for the G-Slate, but the identical Optimus Pad is hitting the United Kingdom in April.

Chance of Success: The G-Slate's ability to watch 3D movies with red and blue tinted glasses is a cheap gimmick. So is 3D movie capture. Like every other Android tablet in the pipeline, pricing is crucial.

Toshiba tablet

Features: 10.1-inch, 1280-by-800 resolution display; Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, front and rear cameras, full-sized USB and HDMI, runs Android 3.0

Status: Late June launch for unknown price.

Chance of Success: The unnamed Toshiba tablet will be thicker and heavier than the first-generation iPad, and it has menu buttons, which are unnecessary for Honeycomb. Some specs, such as on-board storage and RAM, are unknown. For all these reasons, I'm skeptical that Toshiba's tablet can keep up with the competition.

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