Just as a fun little aside, I thought I’d publish a comparison of several of the Tablet devices on the market today, or shortly to be released:

DEVICE HARDWARE SOFTWARE/

CONNECTIVITY

PERFORMANCE
HP TouchPad – $500-600

Processor:1.2-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon

Storage: 16 or 32 GB

RAM: 1GB

Cameras: 1.3-megapixel front-facing, no rear camera

Dimensions: 9.45 by 7.48 by 0.54 inches

Weight: 1.6 pounds

OS: webOS 3.0

DLNA: No

Wi-Fi/3G/4G: Wi-Fi only, AT&T version coming soon

Bluetooth: Yes

Ports: micro USB, no SD card slot

Battery Life: Approximately 8 hours under heavy use; closer to 9 or 10 hours under casual use conditions.

Javascript Test Results Average: 4128.47 ms

Motorola Xoom – $600-800


Processor: 1-GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2

Storage: 32GB

RAM: 1GB

Cameras: 2-megapixel front-facing; 5-megapixel back-facing camera

Dimensions: 9.8 by 6.61 by 0.51 inches

Weight: 1.56 to 1.6 pounds (depending on version)

OS: Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)

DLNA: No

Wi-Fi/3G/4G: Wi-Fi, Verizon 4G (eventually)

Bluetooth: Yes

Ports: micro USB, HDMI-out, microSD

  • Battery Life: Approx. 8 to 8.5 hours
    Javascript Test Results Average: 2170.6 ms
Apple iPad – $400-$730 (where available)


Processor: 1-GHz Apple A4

Storage: 16, 32 or 64GB

RAM: 256MB

Cameras: None

Dimensions: 9.56 by 7.47 by 0.5 inches

Weight: 1.5 to 1.6 pounds

OS: iOS 4.3

DLNA: No

Wi-Fi/3G/4G: Wi-Fi, 3G (AT&T)

Bluetooth: Yes

Ports: Proprietary

Battery Life: Approx. 10 hours

Javascript Test Results Average: 3305.9 ms

Apple iPad 2 – $500-830


Processor: 1-GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom-designed

Storage: 16, 32 and 64GB

RAM: 512MB RAM

Cameras: front and back-facing

Dimensions: 9.5 by 7.34 by 0.34 inches

Weight: 1.33 to 1.35 pounds (depending on model)

OS: iOS 4.3 (iOS 5 coming fall 2011)

DLNA: No

Wi-Fi/3G/4G: Wi-Fi, 3G (AT&T or Verizon)

Bluetooth: Yes

Ports: Proprietary

Battery Life: Approx. 10 hours
Javascript Test Results Average: 2163.3 ms
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook – $500-700


Processor: 1-GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP

Storage: 16, 32 or 64GB

RAM: 1GB

Cameras: 3-megapixel front-facing, 5-megapixel back-facing

Dimensions: 7.6 by 5.1 by 0.4 inches

Weight: 0.9 pounds

OS: PlayBook OS (QNX)

DLNA: No (RIM claims it’s coming soon)

Wi-Fi/3G/4G: Wi-Fi, 4G versions to come (though some carriers are backpedaling)

Bluetooth: Yes

Ports: micro USB, HDMI

Battery Life: Approx 7.5 to 8 hours

Javascript Test Results Average: 2362.6 ms

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 – $500-600


Processor: 1-GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2

Storage: 16, 32 and 64GB

RAM: 1GB

Cameras: 2-megapixel front-facing, 3-megapixel back-facing;

Dimensions: 10.1 by 6.9 by 0.338 inches

Weight: 1.25 lbs

OS: Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)

DLNA: Yes

Wi-Fi/3G/4G: Wi-Fi only (AT&T 3G coming soon)

Bluetooth: Yes

Ports: Proprietary; no SD card slot

Battery Life: Approx. 9-10 hours

Javascript Test Results Average: 2188.9 ms

Data © Wired magazine

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In January of last year, I posted an article about CES, the reality of “innovation” and its place in the marketplace, and a look into where tablets and e-books came from (“ A Consummation Devoutly to be Wished ” – 01/10/2010).

A couple of months later, I posted a more in-depth review of some of the emerging tablet alternatives to Apple’s iPad (“ Tablet Computing: What Should You Do? ” – 04/06/2010).

It’s heartening to report, coming out of the 2011 CES, that most of my predictions and reviews have survived the shakeout, and are now being touted as frontrunners in the increasingly crowded race for market share. For a compelling rundown of some of the best tablets on offer at CES, check out Endgadget’s chart and links, highlighting their favorites (including my predicted – though not comprehensively admired – Dell, Kno, Lenovo, Notion Ink, and Vizio picks).

As I said over a year ago, Tablet devices will not only supplant netbooks (done), but also laptops, in time. This will be followed, in short order, by the demise of desktop towers – replaced by tablets, hybrid (tablet/laptop) devices, and docking systems that integrate them into home and business networks. Ignore them at your peril…