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The iPad had the tablet market almost all to itself in its debut year. Several potential competitors were sent scurrying back to the drawing board or just ditched altogether once the iPad launched and took off. The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the one worthy rival to actually hit the market last year – and it seems to have mostly positive reviews.
This year looks set to see things get a whole lot ore interesting in the tablet space. The Blackberry tablet – actually called the PlayBook – is set to launch in the first quarter of this year and RIM’s CEO already reckons it is ‘way ahead’ and setting the bar for tablets. HP should be bringing out a WebOS based tablet and we should see a slew of Android-based tablets hit the market as well – though for now they will all be running a version of the OS that Google themselves say is not designed for tablets. Honeycomb – their ‘tablet-ready’ software is not due out until around the middle of the year. Apparently, we may see between 40-80 touch-screen tablets make an appearance (of some kind) at this week’s big CES event.
It’s going to be fascinating to see which new tablets will pack enough punch to emerge as real contenders to the iPad. The iPad has a huge head start, and we’ll likely be seeing iPad 2 come out alongside or soon after many of its potential main rivals.
Which upcoming tablets do you think will become the best rivals to the iPad? Which ones are you considering buying this year?