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So Many Tablets, Which One Is Right For You?

A host of new devices chase the Apple iPad

Asus Eee Transformer

The Asus Transformer takes its name from the available docking keyboard, which can combine with the tablet to make a single, still relatively thin unit with lots of ports, storage and extra battery life. And you can use just the tablet portion by itself, which still compares favorably to other Android tablets. It is also a Wi-Fi only device. Asus, too, is hedging its bets, also offering a larger Windows based slate machine that's a little beyond the tablet category in size, weight and screen size.

Blackberry Playbook

The first tablet offering from Research In Motion has won praise for its quick Internet browsing and multitasking capability. But, RIM has designed it so that you need a Blackberry phone to have full access to email, calendar and contacts. It has its own operating system, called QNX, which is also used in jet fighters. Go figure. It is the smallest of this group, with a 7-inch diagonal screen. The Playbook promises support for Android applications, but for the moment you're limited to the smaller selection of Blackberry apps.

LG G-Slate

The G-Slate is sold through T-Mobile, and features 4G data capability. It also is the only tablet I've seen that has the ability to take 3D videos and play them back. You will need 3D glasses, sold separately, and the 3D capability may be more gimmick than useful.

Motorola Xoom

Motorola's Xoom, available through Verizon, wins high marks for fast Internet browsing and multitasking. It has best-in-class battery life, and will be upgradeable to 4G data service and Android's newest operating system.

Acer Iconia A500

Acer's tablet is a Wi-Fi only device. The screen features one of the widest viewing angles in the class. It is one of the few tablets to offer a full size USB port, which makes attaching external devices much easier, including external storage for more movies and video.


Next: Use this checklist to buy the right tablet. >>

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