TechSpot: Tablets of 2012: The New iPad, Current and Upcoming Alternatives

It's no secret that tablet makers are having a hard time competing with Apple in this still nascent market. In fact, the iPad is selling so well that it surpassed the number of PCs shipped by any individual PC manufacturer over the last quarter of 2011 -- a telling statistic that gives some weight to all that post-PC talk.

Granted, Android tablets have managed to cut into Apple's market share, but there hasn't yet been a single device that could match the iPad on sales or popularity, or even come close. We were counting on 'Ice Cream Sandwich' to drive Android tablet sales, but almost five months into the OS' launch and very few tablets have received the update.

In spite of this grim picture, there are good options out there that for one reason or another haven't received as much attention from buyers. We've compiled a comparative table with what we consider are the best tablets either currently available or announced so far. We've also included metascores from our Product Finder engine and review links to help you dig deeper and narrow down your next purchase.

Read: Tablets of 2012: The New iPad, Current and Upcoming Alternatives

These articles are brought to you in partnership with TechSpot.

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14 Comments

Why is it that you only ever see iPads in the wild? Obviously some people buy these other tablets, so I would expect to see them sometimes but since the release of the first iPad I have only ever seen 2 non iPads in the wild.

there hasn't yet been a single device that could match the iPad on sales or popularity, or even come close.

This, I would guess...

Same as derekaw, I have NEVER seen another in the wild (except my Touchpad ). I guess Apple have that much of a market share lead ...

The Asus Transformer seems like the only true alternative and even then it doesn't quite match the new iPad's resolution though its other features are better. Haven't tried Android 4 yet so can't say how it compares to the latest iOS.

LaXu said,
The Asus Transformer seems like the only true alternative and even then it doesn't quite match the new iPad's resolution though its other features are better. Haven't tried Android 4 yet so can't say how it compares to the latest iOS.

i have my Asus Transformer FT2 in my personal opinion its way better them the ipad 2 or 3

Im waiting for the Transformer TF701 since it was announce and still no expected due date, i am already bored and my impulse buy as now faded.. next month another Tablet will be announce that i will go wow.. and 6month later no release insight.

However and as much as i hate iPads... iPad 3 is announce and will be out next few weeks.. couple of people here have already preordered theres.

So if i could preorder the TFP i would be still waiting to possible end of April..

These suppliers need to annouce and release faster and buy time IC comes out JB will be announce and so then do we wait for JB Devices or hope those 500+quid tablets will get the upgrade.

So i hate saying it.. but they can learn from Apple....

Wife got a Playbook, since then I have put down my iPad2. It feels like a toy compared to the Playbook. I swear not enough people give RIM credit, I was the same until I started using their tablet. Smooth as butter with real multitasking and a beautiful interface. I file this one under 'Live and learn'.

The only thing missing for RIM Playbook is apps. If RIM came out with the Playbook 2.0 at launch date 10 month ago, it would have been a GREAT tablet. The OS is simply amazing to use with real gesture to do everything you want and real multi-tasking. At $199 for the 16Gb, it's now a much better alternative to the Kindle or Nook or any cheap tablet.

Croc Ography said,
Wife got a Playbook, since then I have put down my iPad2. It feels like a toy compared to the Playbook. I swear not enough people give RIM credit, I was the same until I started using their tablet. Smooth as butter with real multitasking and a beautiful interface. I file this one under 'Live and learn'.

I was curios if someone would mention playbook and here you are! I though I was alone here on Neowin to own a PB... because of the cheap price (which actually I think is the right price for a tablet.. I mean it's not normal for a tablet or a phone to cost more than a pretty good Laptop on which you can do some real work!), most people ignore it. Like you said... you have real multitasking and QNX it's an awesome OS... plus the hardware rocks! There are tons of apps btw... many ported from android but still, working apps! It's also perfect as a eBook reader... how can you read a book on that huge iPad? I mean it's ridiculous! Even with a triple hexa-quad-dual-core GPU/CPU/ZPU or whatever, iPad is missing a real productive OS so all that hardware is useless since you can't turn it into something productive. Put OSX on it and dock it to a monitor/keyboard/mouse and then it might be worth buying!

I bought myself a Novo 7 Elf for £110. A bargain considering you get Android 4.0, capacitive screen, 1GB ram, 1024x600 HD display (7" tablet), 1.2 ghz ARM CPU, and Mali-400 gpu.

It had a few bugs with the official marketplace with 4.03, but I found a fix for it. Apart from that, it ran super smooth. I'm surprised people are paying $400+ for similar devices. That's a crazy amount of money to pay for a tablet in my opinion. I could build a very decent PC for that price.

simplezz said,
I bought myself a Novo 7 Elf for £110. A bargain considering you get Android 4.0, capacitive screen, 1GB ram, 1024x600 HD display (7" tablet), 1.2 ghz ARM CPU, and Mali-400 gpu.

It had a few bugs with the official marketplace with 4.03, but I found a fix for it. Apart from that, it ran super smooth. I'm surprised people are paying $400+ for similar devices. That's a crazy amount of money to pay for a tablet in my opinion. I could build a very decent PC for that price.


It seems I'm not the only sane man around here! For most people these gadgets have become toys... really expensive toys... cause you can't do any productive stuff on them! They've got the hardware but lack a real OS. Since you got an Android tablet, keep an eye on Ubuntu for Android... this could make Android tablets and phones finally worth their money. Like you said... you can build a decent PC for the same price or even buy a decent Laptop if it's portability and productivity what you want. It's a global financial crisis everywhere and people waste their money on such useless things! Boy we are going in the right direction for sure!

still I think "the new iPad" is more like "the nothing new iPad" or at least "yet another iPad". should have just label it 3 and that's it.

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