Recently, we read about how the iPad may have already killed the tablet market. Jobs' so-called magical device has sold over 3.27 million units and is showing no signs of slowing. We wanted to look around for alternatives, but there wasn't much out there that was comparable. The competitors, wherever they are, haven't yet made their way to store shelves. It was time to shop around.
We first began our search for another tablet with the JooJoo. The device looks pretty cool. It looks a bit heftier than the iPad, but it adds features that still manage to strike a good balance between features and size.
Ordering the device takes you through a simple registration process. Sign up with your full name, email and password, and you're in business. There are only two things available in the JooJoo store: the JooJoo and the JooJoo Stand. This is a good thing. As the old saying goes, "Sometimes less is more." If I were a casual buyer, I may not understand a spec sheet with four or five different models. In addition, it lets software developers know where the device stands in terms of power. Making it easier to ensure that all users get the same experience with third-party software.
The Joojoo, one of the few major tablets that hasn't become vaporware.
Unfortunately, those who live outside the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Singapore cannot order the device yet, but the website says they "will be accepting [those] orders shortly." This is the only major non-iPad tablet we have seen that is actually available. For now, this is the most worthy competitor to the iPad. In fact, the truth is this: it doesn't look half bad, and will do some things that the iPad won't. It's worth looking at for those who are shopping around for an iPad-like gadget.
Then there was the HP Slate, a mystery device that we don't think even HP fully understands at this point. It's hard to blame them seeing as how the iPad has taken a fair share of the tablet market with it–other tablet manufacturers are left in a tight spot.
This device was the most promising of the tablet computers, but one day reports came in saying that the project had been canned. However, the device was later confirmed to be in development, but targeted at enterprise. There is no word on whether the device will be released to non-business customers, but we think this tablet could be a worthy iPad rival with HP's marketing power backing it.
Microsoft was also set to introduce a tablet called the Courier. It was said to be a dual-display touchscreen device. Sadly, that is about all that was known about this device, and chances are it will never see the light of day. Still, the Slate and the Joojoo seem more interesting than the Courier, which may explain why this project was squashed. Microsoft's most successful hardware product to date seems to be their Xbox 360, we don't know if they are ready for the tablet space.
Image from Engadget
Though the iPad is one of our favorite gadgets to use around the home, it's safe to say all of us here at iSmashPhone would agree that we'd hate for it to be the only choice we have when buying a tablet computer.