September 7, 2011                       Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest                Tabl...
September 7, 2011                       Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011    ...
September 7, 2011                       Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011    ...
September 7, 2011                       Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011    ...
September 7, 2011                       Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011    ...
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While tablets are the hot new thing, there are almost too many to choose from now. See our updated leaderboard of 10 tablets that are worth your attention.

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  1. 1. September 7, 2011 Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011 W hile tablets are the hot new thing, there are almost too many to choose from now. See our updated leaderboard of 10 tablets that are worth your attention. Which ones are safe to ignore and which ones are worth your attention? In February, I wrote a piece called The 10 hottest tablets to watch in 2011. Most of these tablets have finally come to market, a lot of them flopped, and other new tablets have popped up. In May, after reviewing many of these tablets, I wrote the first version of my leaderboard, with a lot of tablets moving up or down in the rankings. Tablets are the technology’s industry’s latest gold rush. With Apple selling 15 million iPads in 2010 and projected to sell as many as 45 million in 2011, everyone wants a piece of the public’s sudden infa- tuation with multitouch slabs of silicon. From the world’s biggest computer companies to obscure little parts makers, there have been an obscene number of companies releasing tablets this year and the number will only increase next year. Heading into the fall buying season, here is my upda- ted assessment of the top tablets of 2011. 10. Motorola Xoomjoliprint Printed with Page 1
  2. 2. September 7, 2011 Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011 In the past, when Google was ready to make a leap sinesses that are already invested and committed forward with Android, it anointed a hardware par- to BlackBerry smartphones and the BES backend tner to produce a device that would be something infrastructure. This is a 7-inch tablet, so that limits of a concept vehicle for Google’s vision. For the An- its appeal a bit — except for the vocal minority droid 3.0 tablet OS, Motorola was the chosen one and who like the smaller form factor. Still, the hard- the Xoom was that device. This 10-inch widescreen ware feels great, the tablet OS is easy to figure out, tablet launched with drool-inducing tech specs but and the performance is staggeringly good. It’s also the Android tablet software was incomplete and one of the best tablets for Web browsing because desperately needed more apps. The other big draw- of its excellent implementation of Flash, although back was the price. It launched at $799 without a the 7-inch screen is a drawback for trying to read contract ($599 for Wi-Fi version). Today, you can text from most web pages. Also, if you don’t have a get the Xoom for as low as $439 for the Wi-Fi ver- BlackBerry smartphone to tether to this one, then sion through Amazon. It’s still the most industrial- it’s difficult to recommend it over other tablets. Read strength Android tablet on the market, but it’s also my full review. a little heavy and bulky compared to newer hard- ware. Read my full review. 8. HTC Flyer 9. BlackBerry PlayBook Over half of the tablets on this list are powered by Android and HTC is one of the powerhouses of the Android ecosystem. Unlike rivals Motorola, Sam- sung, and LG, who all unveiled high-end tablets at CES 2011 in January, HTC was remarkably silent on the tablet question. However, this spring, HTC announced the Flyer, a 7-incher with a 1.5 GHz CPU, 1.0 GB RAM, 32GB of Flash storage, and a special version of the HTC Sense UI designed for tablets. The Sense UI is by far the best Android skin on the market and it doesn’t disappoint on the Flyer, even though it’s running on top of Android 2.2 and not Android 3.0. Also, unlike most of the other Android tablets, the Flyer includes digital ink technology and a stylus — and it’s an excellent implementation. Unfortunately, the Flyer hardware leaves a lot to be desired. It is thick, awkward to hold, and feels like an oversized smartphone. 7. Acer Iconia Tab A500 I was at the event last fall where RIM announced thejoliprint BlackBerry PlayBook and my first impressions were Acer isn’t known for its innovative designs, and it not very good — mostly because RIM kept it behind doesn’t deliver one with this tablet, but the company glass. However, after getting my hands on the fi- does a decent job of delivering a lot of technology nal product, I was a lot more impressed. There are at a reasonable price. That’s what you get with the Printed with things to like about the PlayBook, especially for bu- Acer Iconia Tab A500 — a 10-inchAndroid Honey- Page 2
  3. 3. September 7, 2011 Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011 comb tablet with a dual-core Tegra2 processor, 1GB 5. B&N Nook Color of RAM, dual cameras on front and back, and a price tag starting at $449. There’s nothing spectacular When the Barnes & Noble Nook Color e-reader got an about this tablet, but it gives you plenty of hardware update to Android 2.2 and its own app store earlier and features for the money. this year, it turned into a viable low-cost tablet. Some will argue against it, since it has a heavy-handed 6. HP TouchPad UI forced on top of Android and doesn’t run the full Android Market app store. But, I couldn’t leave this little 7-inch tablet off the list. It has a great form factor — thin and easy in the hands — and you can’t beat the price at $249. Plus, if you’re highly technical, you can hack it into a full Android tablet. 4. ASUS Eee Pad Transformer A lot of people will think I’m being extremely ge- nerous by putting the TouchPad as high as number six sinceHP has officially killed product. But, if HP hadn’t killed it, I would have ranked the TouchPad No. 3 on the list (although keep in mind that my primary audience is people who use technology for business). Since HP is clearing out the TouchPad for $100 (16GB) and $150 (32GB) and you can still get ASUS believes that the iPad has two weaknesses them on eBay for $200-$300, this one still belongs — lack of choice and limited content creation abi- on the list, for now. As I wrote in my review, the lity — so that’s where the company has focused its TouchPad actually trumps the iPad in productivi- attention in tablets. The Eee Pad Transformer is a ty (especially messaging) and web browsing, but 10-inch tablet with a dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU it lacks the entertainment and media options that that runs Android 3.0. The most innovative thing most consumers want and the hardware feels cheap about this one is that it has an optional keyboardjoliprint and clunky. Read my full review. dock that also functions as an extended battery, giving the device up to 16 hours of life. With the Transformer’s dock mode, ASUS has pulled off an Android tablet that also doubles as a laptop. Plus, Printed with the price is right. At $399, this tablet is one of the Page 3
  4. 4. September 7, 2011 Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011 best values on the market, so it’s no surprise that it 2. The Amazon tablet it sold out in the US on its first day of online sales. 3. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Okay, I realize that this tablet isn’t even out yet (or officially announced, for that matter), but a lot of what makes a tablet useful is not just the tablet itself but all of the services behind the scenes and Ama- zon is putting all the pieces in place to build its own Android tablet. In fact, it may be better positioned The original Samsung Galaxy Tab was a 7-inch ta- to compete with Apple than any of the other tablet blet that jumped the gun on Android tablets before makers because of its strengths in content and cloud Google was ready, but it offered the first legitimate computing. Amazon already had the Kindle e-book challenge to the original iPad. If it wasn’t so expen- library and Web-based music and video stores, but sive ($600), it might have faired even better than in 2011 it has added the Amazon Appstore for An- the respectable sales numbers it posted. Samsung’s droidand Amazon Cloud Drive. Since Amazon hasn’t second try at the tablet market is a lot more potent. made any official announcements yet, this tablet The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a gorgeous piece of hard- benefits from lots of positive speculation, but the ware. I usually don’t like Samsung’s plastic mobile stars are aligning for a formidable tablet product hardware (it always feels cheap to me), but the Ga- from the world’s e-commerce king. An Amazon ta- laxy Tab 10.1 looks and feels great. It is razor-thin, blet that draws on their design experience of the light, and still feels sturdy. It has all the specs you’d latest Kindle and is priced at under $300 would draw expect for a high-end tablet — great screen, dual a lot of buyers away from the iPad. Again, although cameras, solid battery life, and a dual-core NVIDIA this is speculative, I think the Amazon tablet is des- processor. The only drawback is the software. It runs tined to be No. 2 in the market by the end of 2011. Android Honeycomb with the Samsung Touchwiz If you’re thinking about buying a tablet this fall, UX, which adds very little, doesn’t have a very ap- you may want to wait until you see what Amazon pealing UI, and doesn’t have all of the experimen- announces.joliprint tal features (like browser thumb controls) as stock Android. But, Samsung is making these tablets very friendly for enterprise buyers and it can run on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Printed with Page 4
  5. 5. September 7, 2011 Leaderboard Updated: The 10 Hottest Tablets Of 2011 1. Apple iPad 2 battery , compaq 484170-001 battery , hp 484170- 001 battery Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a com- ment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this de- livered automatically to your feed reader. The iPad remains the king of the category and, even with the invasion of an army of challengers, the iPad will retain a commanding market share lead when we get to the end of 2011. It still has too many factors in its favor: dead-simple usability, long battery life, a massive catalog of apps, and a respectable price. The last factor might be the most important. The iPad’s rivals have had a very hard time beating the iPad’s price tag while offering a comparable experience. The iPad 2 doesn’t offer any revolutionary changes over the original iPad. It’s thinner and lighter, has an upgraded processor and display, and adds front and rear cameras. It’s a nice refinement, and with its big advantages in apps and entertainment, it easily has enough value to keep it at the top of this list — even for business users, who want the apps for business tasks and the games and entertainment for plane rides (and to distract the kids once in a while).joliprint See also: Printed with CloudTag: Leaderboard Updated , Hottest , Ta- blets , Acer aspire 5920 Battery , compaq 485041-003 Page 5