Apple’s Rivals Scramble to Match the iPad

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Fusion Garage JooJoo

Available now, the notorious CrunchPad-turned-JooJoo tablet has a big 12.1-inch capacitive multitouch display, runs Ubuntu Linux with a custom interface and supports Flash video. Early reviews have criticized the choppiness of its Flash video playback, and noted that $499 is pricey for a browser-only 4GB tablet (its apps are all Web-based). Key specs include a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, nVdia Ion graphics, 1GB of RAM, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

Microsoft Courier

Microsoft's Courier--a folding dual-screen digital journal--has the potential to match Apple in user interface innovation...if it ever makes it off the drawing board. Tech blog, Engadget, cites an "extremely trusted source" as saying that the Courier is on track for the second half of 2010. It will reportedly use nVidia's Tegra 2 chip, and the same OS platform as Microsoft's Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 handsets.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1

As a laptop, the IdeaPad U1 runs Windows 7 with a 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo SU4100 chip. But pop the screen off, and the machine instantly becomes a multitouch tablet running its own widget-style Linux interface. And get this: Some tasks, such as open Web pages, automatically continue between both modes. The keyboard base can operate independently, the screen includes 3G, and Lenovo rates the unit's battery life at about 8 hours. It sounds great, but the U1's popularity could hinge on its price and on how responsive its resistive display is to touch. The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 is expected to arrive in early June for around $1000 without carrier subsidies.

Notion Ink Adam

Everything about this device screams innovation. Designed in India, the Adam uses a multitouch-enabled 10.1-inch "transflective" screen from Pixel Qi that switches between sunlight-friendly e-paper and color LCD modes as needed. It also has a 3.2-megapixel, 180-degree-swivel camera; a high-def-video-capable Tegra 2 processor; an HDMI port; 3G; and GPS. It has been previewed running Android 2.1. A cheaper (and thinner) standard screen version will also be available this summer when the Adam launches in June or July for between $327 and $800.

Next: Netbook Tablets, ExoPC Slate, ICD Ultra, Archos Devices

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