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Apple Vs. Everyone Else: The Top 4 iPad Alternatives

Slate/PalmPad (HP, Palm)

HP briefly showed off its Slate tablet PC at CES this year, and the company made even bigger eaves when it acquired Palm over the summer. Both moves have put HP in a favorable position when it comes to the tablet marketplace, and the Slate/PalmPad is poised to strike hard and fast…whenever it gets released.

HP Slate
Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium w/ HP UI
Display Size, Reolution
8.9", 1024x600
1.6 GHz Intel Z530
Intel IGP, Broadcom HD Accelerator
1 GB
Onboard Storage
32 GB, 64 GB (rumored)
VGA front, 3 MP back
USB, SDHC, SIM (optional WWAN)
WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G (optional)

The HP/Palm offering is the dark horse in this group simply because of a lack of details. HP has yet to make anything officially official, but we do have some good ideas on where its products are heading. The HP Slate at CES was running Windows 7, which even after the Palm acquisition, isn’t going to change. If anything, HP will simply sell two different tablets: one with Windows 7, and one with the Palm’s webOS 2.0. The HP Slate won’t be the only Windows 7 tablet to come out in 2010-2011, but it is in the best position. HP is the top PC seller in the world right now, and that kind of power and influence will come in handy in the still-growing tablet sector. While HP will likely put up its own sort of application marketplace, Windows 7 already has access to millions of apps, which makes it the strongest competitor to Apple’s App Store.

When it comes to hardware, the HP Slate is still working with older technology. The Slate is supposedly packing an Intel Atom Z530 (1.6 GHz) coupled with integrated Intel graphics. However, rumor has it that a Broadcom HD chip is also inside, so 1080p playback should be a possibility. We are also looking at 1 GB of memory and 32-64 GB of storage, with an SDHC slot for expandability.

One thing that remains to be seen is 3G/4G support. Because the Slate is being produced by a company like HP, 3G is probably going to be optional, a feature that has become popular in many laptops nowadays. WiFi is a guarantee, of course, and optional 3G will also keep costs down, on both hardware and post-sale (no monthly 3G carrier payments) levels.

The HP Slate is somewhat mediocre from a hardware standpoint, but Windows 7 gives it a major leg-up on the competition. Using the most popular current-gen OS in the world will do that to a device, naturally. If you’re already using a Windows machine at home, then the Slate will look attractive simply because its familiar and much of your current software will work on it, or play nice with it over the network.

  • sliem
    What about the (estimated) prices?
    How about Archos tablets?
  • dconnors
    sliemWhat about the (estimated) prices?How about Archos tablets?
    Pricing for a few of these tablets is still not available...but honestly, the price range is going to be the same range as the iPad.

    ARCHOS is making some great tablets, but the company and their products lack the clout that Microsoft, HP, and Samsung bring to the table.

  • Luscious
    HP will have a hard time marketing an already-obsolete Atom platform to the educated consumer and enthusiast. I'm hoping they actually go with an N550 or better, but that Broadcom solution has already been proven to be too driver dependent for reliable playback across multiple HD codecs. AMD's Nile platform is much more elegant and works far better, but it would be a tough job squeezing Nile into a sub-10" form-factor. I like Windows 7, especially when it comes to media streaming and remote connect, but not on a puny Z530.
  • Archos has been around doing these types of devices for a while now. And though i've never owned one, their current lineup looks pretty decent. Maybe it's time you guys started giving them a little respect and included them in these types of lineups.
  • I own an iPad and the one thing that makes the device much more useful than 99% of the devices I have ever owned is its battery life. All the bells and whistles are worthless on a mobile device if you lose power. None of these reviews mention anything about battery life.
  • What about the Blackberry PlayBook's battery life? Huh?
    It uses a faster CPU with more RAM and a faster GPU. It is sure to eat up battery life.

    If it doesn't last 12 hours a charge like the iPad does, then it is going to fail.
  • cknobman
    I hate apple and will never own one of their products.

    That being said I think its stupid to have an "iPad alternatives" article covering a bunch of products that technically don't exist (at least to the consumer). All that is covered here is a bunch of pre release and prototypes which means little to nothing for someone actually looking for an iPad alternative today.
  • back_by_demand
    How about just bringing them to the market, letting us buy them, use them and then write our own reviews on them.
  • These four can not be seen as alternatives, since not a single one of them is for sale. The title is misleading at best. Should have been "Future iPad Alternatives". It is not even guaranteed that any of these devices will survive long enough to hit the market at all.

    So what are the "The Top iPad Alternatives AVAILABLE TODAY"?
  • farrow099
    I waited months hoping SOMEONE would actually bring a legit android tablet to market. They have all been vaporware.

    The only android tablet expected to actually hit the market this year is the samsung galaxy tab. And I don't think that is an accident as samsung seems to produce most of the ipad components as well.

    If anyone is wondering; I own an EVO 4G phone, an iPad, and a win7 x64 desktop.