Tablets: Real and Rumored

A quick look at tablets on the market today and several that might be available soon.

iPad is Popular, But it's Got Company

With more than a million units sold in its first month, it's pretty clear that Apple's iPad touchscreen tablet has been a success so far. But Apple isn't the only company out there to develop a tablet, as there are several iPad alternatives on the market or in the works right now that could give the iPad a run for its money.

The Apple iPad

The iPad is already the standard to which other tablets will be held. It includes a 1GHz Apple A4 processor, a 9.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels, and connectivity with both Wi-Fi and GSM-based 3G networks. Combine this with the wide variety of applications available in the iTunes App Store, and you've got a tablet that presents a strong standard for the competition.

Operating system: iPhone OS

Price: $500 for 16GB Wi-Fi model; $629 for 16GB Wi-Fi/3G model.

The Archos 7 Home Tablet

As an Android-based tablet whose price starts at a mere $199, the Archos 7 Home Tablet has significantly less impressive specs than the iPad. The tablet features a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 800 by 480 pixels and has flash memory of 2GB to 8GB. Obviously not as strong as the iPad, the Archos 7 does provide a low-budget alternative.

Operating system: Android

Price: Starts at $199.

Dell Streak

The Dell Streak is a much smaller touchscreen tablet than the iPhone, checking in at only 5 inches with a resolution of 800 by 480 pixels. At the same time, the Streak has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz processor that gives it equal processing power to the iPad. The device went on sale this month from AT&T and supports both Wi-Fi and 3G GSM connectivity.

Operating system: Android

Price: Unknown

The Lenovo IdeaPad U1

What makes the IdeaPad U1 so interesting is that it's really a hybrid tablet that can be plugged into a keyboard terminal and used as a more traditional PC. The device runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor as a tablet and on an Intel Core 2 Duo SU4100 processor when attached to its terminal. Like other tablets, it has both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

Operating system: Windows

Price: Suggested at $999.

Hewlett-Packard Tablet

This tablet will be closely watched when it's finally released as it will be the first tablet on the market to feature Palm's webOS operating system (but may drop the "Hurricane" name by then). This device will be the first test of HP's acquisition of Palm and will go a long way in telling us whether webOS has a strong future ahead of it.

Operating system: webOS

Price: Unknown

BlackBerry Tablet

Reports of RIM's BlackBerry tablet have been seeping out; it seems that the device will have an 8.9-inch touchscreen and will not feature any 3G connectivity -- in other words, it will have to connect through Wi-Fi or through tethering it to your existing BlackBerry device. Watch for it in November.

Operating system: BlackBerry OS

Price: Unknown

Verizon-Google Tablet?

Unlike the other tablets mentioned here, we have few details about this device other than it's a joint project between Google and Verizon and it will feature Android as its operating system. Although there's no firm timetable for when the tablet will be released, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam hinted in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that it would be released next year and could feature 4G connectivity with Verizon's LTE network.

Operating system: Android

Price: Unknown

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