It’s about that time folks – the time to run down the Top 10 tablets that we’re expecting to see in 2011. Now that the flood gates on this year’s wave of high-powered tablets aimed at the heart of Apple’s iPad, we know more about what 2011 will bring us in the tablet space. We previously showed you which tablets to look for in our top tablet countdown, but with all the recently announced hardware, we decided to add an extra five spots to the list.
Whether it’s Android OS, webOS, iOS, or QNX, the new generation of tablets is surely going to please.
10. HTC Scribe
Yeah, we know, we don’t know much about this device right now. But, it still deserves a spot on this list, albeit the last spot (due to incomplete specs and availability info). HTC does some remarkable work with their hardware, and if they dive into the tablet market, we wouldn’t expect anything less than an extraordinary tablet. One thing we’ll love to see from this tablet is a tablet-optimized version of the Sense UI, which runs atop Android OS. We can expect to see things like an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core chipset, 1280 x 720 resolution, 2 GB of internal memory, a 32 GB micro SD card, and a handful of more features. Until we hear more about the Scribe, it’ll sit at number 10 for now.
Acer’s upcoming Honeycomb tablet looks like it will be pack quite the punch with a 10.1 inch display, Intel Sandy Bridge processor, Verizon 4G LTE support, HDMI port and 1080p video out. Acer touts this tablet as the perfect gamer’s device, and the hardware onboard would certainly support that statement. There’s no official release date for this tablet, but we can expect it sometime in the very near future as Verizon begins to ramp up their LTE network in the coming months. Even Acer’s Froyo tablets are very nice, and I’d pick one up before the Galaxy Tab any day, even without the Android Market.
Way to step it up, Toshiba. We caught a glimpse of this device at a party during CES, and we were very impressed with the hardware. The device was running Froyo, but we’ll see this thing running Honeycomb once it actually ships. This powerfully-spec’d tablet comes with a 10.1 inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800, NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 5 megapixel camera on the back, and a 2 megapixel camera on the front for video-chatting. The unnamed tablet also sports a full-sized SD card slot, HDMI port, 1080p HD video output. The backing of the tablet uses a rubberized material, called EasyGrip, which will also be replaceable. You can also replace the battery in this device as well, just in case you’re a power user. One thing is for sure, this tablet is no Folio.
Dell has had the Streak available a while now, with lackluster results. This year, it looks like the computer maker is stepping up their game with the upcoming Dell Streak 7 tablet. Expected to hit T-Mobile in the near future, The Streak 7 is a 7 inch (WVGA resolution), Android 2.2 tablet that sports HSPA+, and may sit nicely next to the G-Slate as a smaller, more portable alternative. The Streak 7 tablet comes with a 5 megapixel camera on the back, and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front for video chatting. Along with most of the other tablets on this list, the Streak 7 will ship with NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 dual-core chipset, making it more than capable of handling virtually any media you throw at it. We’re glad to see Dell is taking the tablet market seriously now, and hopefully we’ll see the Streak 7 get bumped up to Honeycomb soon after its release.
RIM’s very first tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, is shaping up to be quite the powerhouse. Many were doubting that RIM could bring a quality tablet to market, but they have done just that, and the Playbook is a great device that could even appeal to non-enterprise users. This 7 inch tablet also comes with a dual-core CPU, but it’s from Texas Instruments, and not NVIDIA this time around. In addition to its multi-core CPU, the Playbook also sports 1 GB of RAM, HDMI port, 1080p HD video playback, and a handful of other features you’d expect from a quality tablet. Shipping with Sprint’s 4G under the hood, the Playbook will fly in more than one way when it’s released.
One of the most anticipated tablets, by far, would have to be the WebOS tablets, the Topaz and Opal. Most of the tablets in this countdown are running Android, but the introduction of a WebOS tablet certainly appeals to most of us here at IntoMobile. Coming in 9 and 7 inch versions, these tablets will have the ultra-slick, HP-refined, WebOS onboard in all it’s deck-of-cards, multitasking glory. While I’m looking forward to Android Honeycomb, I’m pretty much equally excited to see WebOS on a bigger screen.
The Motorola Xoom will be the very first Android Honeycomb tablet to actually ship to customers, and it’s coming your way through Verizon Wireless. A WiFi-only version will eventually surface, but until then, you’ll have to go through Big Red. This 10.1 inch monster features Android 3.0 Honeycomb, NVIDIA’s 1 GHz dual-core Tegra 2 chipset, a 5 megapixel camera on back, a 2 megapixel camera on the front, HDMI port with 1080p HD video support. Add in the built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting, and you have one beast of a tablet. Although it’s upgradable to 4G LTE with optional add-on hardware, the Xoom will not ship with Verizon’s 4G LTE out of the box, so you’ll have to wait until Q2 before you can taste that kind of speed.
2. LG G-Slate
T-Mobile will carry the second Android Honeycomb tablet, the G-Slate. Made by LG, we’re expecting a spec sheet similar to that of the Motorola Xoom, but there’s one thing that bumped this tablet to number 2. The G-Slate ships with T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 4G network out of the box, and won’t require any sort of hardware upgrade in order to “xoom” along the wireless internets at broadband-like speeds. We know LG decided to wait until Android 3.0 before shipping their tablet, and it looks like the waiting has paid off. The G-Slate may not be too far off, either, as we’ve seen a mysterious LG tablet device with Magenta’s AWS bands already passing through the FCC. The G-Slate is one of many awesome devices LG is about to begin shipping this year, and we can’t wait to get our hands on this thing.
1. Apple iPad 2
This should be no surprise to anyone, but the crown of tablets will be given to Apple’s next generation iPad. The rumored specs on the iPad 2 are absolutely ridiculous, almost to the point of hilarity, and that only makes us more excited to see what’s in store for the second-generation iPad. It may not have the Retina Display that we were hoping for, but some rumors indicate that the iPad 2 will still likely use a display with higher resolution than the current iPad. We could possibly also see the iPad 2 getting a multi-core processor, and SD card slot for more storage. Apple likes to keep their products under wraps, so we have to wait a bit longer until we see the real power behind the most popular tablet’s successor.
Don’t like our list? Give us your top ten tablet list in the comments below!