SLIDESHOW

6 Best Android Honeycomb Tablets You Can Buy Now

And 6 more iPad alternatives that are still on the drawing board.

The Background

Tablet makers are racing to deliver products based on the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. Honeycomb was devised specifically for tablet use, unlike prior versions of Android, which companies tried to bootstrap onto tablets with mixed results, when compared to Apple's iPad.

Here are six Honeycomb tablets that are the most notable in what could soon become a crowded -- and confusing -- field this year.

Motorola XOOM

SPECS:
Screen size, resolution: 10.1", 1280 by 800
Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core, 1.0GHz
Memory: 1GB
Built-in memory storage: 32GB
Networking: WiFi, 3G (on the Verizon network)
Cameras: 5-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
Weight: 1.6 pounds
Thickness: 0.5"
Prices: $600 (WiFi version), $800 (WiFi + 3G version)
Availability: Now

SCOOP:
As the first to hit the market, the specs of the XOOM are generally regarded as the "reference hardware" that Honeycomb needs in order to run at its best. Too bad that the XOOM is expensive. It has so far sold 100,000 units in its first month of release, which industry analysts have pegged as a disappointing start for the Honeycomb tablet market.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101

SPECS:
Screen size, resolution: 10.1", 1280 by 800
Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core, 1.0GHz
Memory: 1GB
Built-in memory storage: 16GB, 32GB
Networking: WiFi
Cameras: 5-megapixel camera, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera
Weight: 1.49 pounds
Thickness: 0.51"
Prices: $399 (16GB version), $499 (32GB)
Availability: Now

SCOOP:
The company that launched the netbook market wants to get in on the tablet craze by selling the entry level model of their Honeycomb offering for real cheap. As its name suggests, the Transformer can also be used like a netbook by docking it onto a keyboard cradle that will be sold separately.

Acer's Iconia Tab A500

SPECS:
Screen size, resolution: 10.1 inches, 1280 by 800
Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core, 1.0GHz
Memory: 1GB
Built-in memory storage: 16GB
Networking: WiFi
Cameras: 5-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
Weight: 1.7 pounds
Thickness: 0.52"
Prices: $450
Availability: Now

SCOOP:
This is the heaviest Honeycomb tablet with a 10.1-inch display and, feature-for-feature, is similar to the XOOM and Galaxy Tab 10.1. So the only real advantage is price, and Acer comes in $50 cheaper than its comparable Galaxy Tab counterpart. A 7-inch-screen version, the A100, was released in the U.K. on April 20, and may also be released in the U.S. at a later date. A 4G version of the A500 is in the works for release later this year, which will work on the AT&T network.

HTC Flyer (AKA Evo View 4G)

SPECS:
Screen size, resolution: 7", 1024 by 600
Processor: Qualcomm, 1.5GHz
Memory: 1GB
Built-in memory storage: 32GB
Networking: WiFi, 3G/4G (on the Sprint network)
Cameras: 5-megapixel camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
Weight: 0.93 pounds
Thickness: 0.52"
Prices: $499
Availability: Presently available for pre-sale

SCOOP:
The Flyer is expect to ship with Android 2.4, but HTC tweeted that its OS would be upgraded to Honeycomb as a download update in the second quarter. This would turn it into one of the few Honeycomb tablets with a 7-inch screen, when the minimum size to run this version of the Android OS is regarded to be 8.9 inches. The Flyer will be known as the Evo View 4G on the Sprint network. It is unknown if its OS will be upgraded to Honeycomb, too.

LG G-Slate

SPECS:
Screen size, resolution: 8.9", 1280 by 768
Processor: Nvidia Tegra dual core, 1.0GHz
Memory: Unlisted
Built-in memory storage: 32GB
Networking: WiFi and 4G (on the T-Mobile network)
Cameras: Two 5-megapixel cameras for 3D video capture, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
Weight: 1.39 pounds
Thickness: 0.50"
Prices: $530 (after $100 rebate with 2-year T-Mobile contract), $750 (no contract)
Availability: Now

SCOOP:
At first glance, the G-Slate doesn't appear to be anything special, compared to other Honeycomb tablets with an 8.9-inch display, and its prices are not as low. But, hold on a sec -- this is a tablet that shoots HD video in 3D? Really? Yep, the G-Slate will have two cameras side-by-side so you can shoot video in 3D (the red-blue kind), which you, wearing 3D glasses, can watch on this Honeycomb tablet's screen.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1

SPECS:
Screen size, resolution: 8.9", 1280 by 800 or 10.1", 1280 by 800
Processor: Dual core, 1GHz
Memory: Unlisted
Built-in memory storage: 16GB, 32GB
Networking: WiFi, 3G
Cameras: 3-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
Weight: 1.03 pounds (8.9 version), 1.31 pounds (10.1 version)
Thickness: 0.33"
Prices: WiFi-only 8.9 model: $469 (16GB version), $569 (32GB); WiFi-only 10.1 model: $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB)
Availability: June 8 (for the WiFi-only models)

SCOOP:
If there's one company that has been doing a pretty darn good job of aping the design style of Apple's products, it's Samsung. So after knocking off the iPhone and MacBook Air, Samsung's two Honeycomb tablets will not only feature similar slick form factors but will actually be thinner than the iPad 2 (by 0.01") and more competitive in price.

6 Tablets That Might Be Worth Waiting For.

Other major companies have announced plans to release Honeycomb tablets this year, but details about these devices are a little sketchy.

1. Archos -- Known for its myriad of personal media players, Archos says they will release a Honeycomb tablet in June featuring "disruptive 3G" (whatever this is).

2. Dell's Streak line will get a Honeycomb version with a 10.1-inch screen, called the Streak Pro, sometime in June, and feature an "enterprise application stack.

3. Like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Lenovo's 10.1-inch display tablet will have an optional keyboard dock. It appears this tablet may be marketed to enterprise. Its availability could be either July or August. There could also be a 7-inch display model.

4  MSI -- This company has shown off several concept tablets at trade shows over the last two years, but haven't delivered much in the way of shipping products. Now the company claims its Honeycomb entry, the WindPad 100A, which will have a 10.1-inch screen, will first start selling on June 1 with a price of $399.

5. Sony has announced it will sell two Honeycomb tablets by year end. One will have a 9.4-inch display, and a curvy design. The other will be a dual-screen model with two 5.5-inch displays.

6. Toshiba -- A major differentiator about their 10.1-inch display Honeycomb tablet is that it could have a removable battery. It will be available in Japan in late June but, as of this writing, a North American release had yet to be announced.