Twenty-ten has been called the “Year of the Tablet” for some time now, but we’re already half way through the year and the only truly worthwhile tablet device that we have to speak of is the iPad and a couple of so-so Android tablets. But, there are tons of Android-, BlackBerry-, and webOS-powered tablets scheduled for the rest of 2010 and 2011, so there’s still time for a serious iPad competitor to rise to the occasion. We’re going to give a rundown of the “T0p 5 Most Anticipated Tablets” that are expected to hit sometime later this year, or early next year.
Keep in mind that some of these tablets are still just rumors, and specs are subject to change at any moment. That said, hold onto your seats!
Number 5: BlackPad
RIM is said to enter the tablet market with their very own BlackPad (mock-up pictured above, thanks Simon!). Expected to run the new OS 6, the BlackPad which will make the entire BlackBerry experience much more touch-friendly. Let’s hope so, because a heavy-menu based tablet is not going to be terribly appealing when you’ve got so much competition out there. The BlackPad is rumored to have a 1GHz processor, a rear and front-facing camera, Flash 10.1 support, and a screen size somewhere in between 7 to 9.7 inches.
We’re thinking the BlackPad could make a nice companion device to your Blackberry Torch, or whichever new OS 6 device comes out at that point. I can promise anyone that I won’t be getting this device, but I’m still very interested as to what RIM has up their sleeve with this tablet. BlackBerry users, we’re sure you’re foaming at the mouth for your own BlackPad, but there are still many more tablet options to consider…
Number 4: Samsung Tab
Samsung has no intention of slowing down their push to become a serious competitor in the Android space. The Korean company is said to bring a portable media player to market, as well as a tablet, dubbed the Samsung Tab. The Tab is said to sport a 7 inch display (hopefully Super AMOLED), 1.2 GHz Cortex A8 CPU and Android 2.2 (Froyo) with the TouchWiz 3.0 skin running on top. Though TouchWiz isn’t the greatest skin to have on a tablet, it’s definitely not the worst, and does lend to a very usable user interface.
We don’t have too many hard specs on the tablet, but its said to be released sometime soon, possibly as soon as next month. If the Samsung Tab actually does end up shipping with a Super AMOLED display, as found on their Galaxy S line, it will definitely be a hard choice, given the competition. Speaking of which…
Number 3: iPad 2
You thought the iPad wouldn’t make this list? Even if Apple’s iPad is essentially a big iPod Touch, it’s impossible to deny the simplicity and sexiness of the device. We really don’t know what we could expect from the next iPad, but it will likely sport at least one camera on the device. We’re also betting on larger RAM stores and possibly a higher-resolution display (hey, we can hope, can’t we?).
You can’t really call iOS 4 a feature of the next-generation iPad, as the existing tablet will be upgraded to iOS 4 in Fall 2010, but you can bet that the iPad 2 will come with it pre-installed. We’d like to see the Retina Display on the newest version of Apple’s tablet, but that would likely be too expensive for most consumers. Not to mention that would cut into the 50% profit margins that Apple enjoys at the moment. So, right now, we don’t think we’ll be seeing such a display in the iPad 2. What I’d love to see is a smaller version of the iPad, and a 7-incher may just be right around the corner. It would also be nice to see some connectivity ports on this thing too. You know like the USB ports on that are more than plentiful on competing tablets…
Number 2: PalmPad/Hurricane
Unlike with the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, WebOS will likely be a hit on the rumored tablet from HP. The webOS UI on a big screen is itself something that many people have been waiting for and we may not have too long to wait for it. Codenamed Hurricane, we’ve been expecting a WebOS-based tablet since we first got word that Palm had been acquired by HP. The tablet could materialize as the PalmPad, if trademark filings from HP are any indication of the tablets true name.
Multitasking is a dream on the WebOS, and those cards would look nicer than ever when displayed atop a big, high-resolution display. Rumored to hit the shelves in early 2011, the PalmPad may debut with WebOS 2.0. We’re not sure what the newest version of the OS may bring us, but it’s likely to bring some much-needed upgrades, and some new features in tow to help it catch up with the likes of iOS and Android. Expect to see the gesture bar that you’ve come to love (or hate) on previous WebOS devices, but as far as hard specs go, we know nothing.
And, speaking of hard specs that make us think…
Number 1: Notion Ink Adam
The Adam from Notion Ink is definite the tablet I am holding out for. This tablet sports every feature you could expect from a tablet, and it does it with style. The Adam may not be as sexy as some of the previous tablets, but it packs a punch where others fall short. The Adam is the first tablet we’re hearing of that will sport a 10 inch Pixel Qi display, which can be used in a full color mode, or a black and white e-reader-like mode when the backlight is off, which can offer you days of use. The Adam has gone through a handful of delays, but the launch window is still set for before the end of 2010. (We’ll believe it when we see it)
The Adam is the only tablet we have finalized specs on, some of which include: Android 2.2 (Froyo), 3.2 megapixel camera that swivels 90 degrees, USB, HDMI, SIM card slot, MicroSD slot, docking port, 3G connectivity, WiFi (b/g/n), and the number-crunching powerhouse that is the NVIDA Tegra 2 Dual core Cortex A9 processor – that’s two applications processing cores that each run at 1Ghz! There will be three different models, and all are said to be, “cheaper than the most basic iPad model.” Sign me up!
So those are our top pics for tablet, but there are many more out there. Let’s hope we start seeing these things pronto! What did you want to see make the list? Hit us up in the comments!