iPad rivals can show new kid on the block a thing or two

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IT may be the new kid on the block, but the new iPad is not the only tablet in a fast-growing market. Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, takes a look at existing and potential rivals for the market leader.

The ‘new’ iPad – coming soon

The name may be the same, but a great deal has changed for the third generation of Apple’s iconic tablet.

With more horsepower under the bonnet, an all-new 5-megapixel camera and a mind-blowing display bringing higher definition images than the TVs in our homes, the new iPad certainly impresses in the feature stakes. Features such as 4G support are more relevant for the US market at present, but it shows how much Apple is really future-proofing their new devices against strong tablet competition.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – coming soon

Samsung’s forthcoming device delivers the tablet experience in a slender widescreen form factor. With a powerful 1.4 Ghz processor, 3-megapixel rear camera and plenty of storage space thanks to support for microSD cards, the Note 10.1 is certainly a worthy option in the portable tech stakes.

Incorporating a digital stylus for precision writing, and drawing on the 10.1-inch touchscreen, the Galaxy Note offers a novel take.

Asus Transformer Pad Infinity – coming soon

Another device yet to arrive in the UK, this quirkily-named tablet sets itself apart by being bundled with a detachable QWERTY keyboard, taking it from tablet to portable PC in seconds. Dripping with features including 4G connectivity, a quad-core processor to handle the most demanding of apps, and a 10.1-inch full HD touchscreen display, the Transformer Pad Infinity combines mobility and productivity with aplomb.With the keyboard connected (and doubling as screen protector when closed), the Transformer Pad is every bit the high-end netbook with a slick metallic sheen and slender form.

Amazon Kindle Fire – currently in the US

The Kindle Fire set the tablet world alight in the United States, offering a colour, full-touch tablet for just $199 in November last year.

As revolutionary as the bargain price-point is the Kindle Fire’s size, a more compact 7in touchscreen tablet that lends easy access to Amazon’s vast library of books, movies and music in an appealing Android package.

Some concessions have been made to the Kindle Fire to bring it in at such an appealing price point – hence the absence of a camera and low storage limit - but the speedy web browser, e-mail access and rich selection of apps makes it a great choice for those looking for an inexpensive all-in-one-entertainment device.

Sony Tablet S – already in the UK

The Sony Tablet S comes out of left field with a striking ergonomic “wedge” design, an impressively rich 9.4in touchscreen and a refined interface that exudes the luxurious Japanese brand.

Starting at £349, the Tablet S handles web browsing, Android apps and media playback with ease, also connecting to Sony’s Music and Video Unlimited service for access to millions of songs and the latest films.