New HP TouchPad tablet announced

HP TouchPad is the latest tablet to be announced, and is expected to hit the market over the US summer.

HP believes the Qualcomm APQ8060 processor will set the device apart from the rest, allowing for better game play with 3D graphics. The tablet features a front-facing camera and HP also promises easy wireless printing on HP printers.

Since Apple launched the iPad a year ago, a new market for touch-screen tablets has evolved. While the iPad remains the top-selling tablet, several other manufacturers running Google's popular Android operating system are giving Apple some serious competition.

The HP TouchPad is the latest release but there are plenty of other tablets available on what is becoming a crowded market.

iPad

The iPad has been on the market since January 2010, with over seven million units sold. Customers can select a 3G enabled iPad with Wi-Fi, or the cheaper Wi-Fi only version. The iPad has a 9.7 inch screen and runs Apple's 4.2 operating system, which allows for multitasking.

Apple's products are intuitive and easy to use. Apple also boasts a huge app store, which includes many exclusives to the iPad such as the new iPad-only magazine, The Daily. However, the iPad is missing a camera (essential for video calling) and Apple does not allow Adobe's Flash.

Samsung Galaxy


With a 7 inch screen, the Samsung Galaxy is smaller and lighter than the iPad. The Galaxy also boasts a 3 megapixel camera and the ability to play Adobe's Flash, unlike the iPad. Samsung opted to use Google's Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system on its tablet, which means users have access to the growing number of apps available from the Android store.

The Samsung Galaxy can be bought outright, or sign up to an Optus mobile broadband contract and get one for free. Give Optus a call on 1300 768 194 for more details.

Pendo Pad

Pendo is an Australian technology company and offers the Pendo Pad through Dodo. The Pendo Pad also uses the Android operating system and is available for just $9.90 a month through Dodo on a 250MB plan.

The Pendo Pad measures 7 inches and features a camera. It also has two USB slots, which are often missing on tablet devices. Give Dodo a call on 1300 136 793 for more information.

Not on the market yet, but coming soon, is the PlayBook and Xoom.

PlayBook

RIM, the company behind Blackberry, launches its much anticipated PlayBook in a few months' time. The PlayBook is aimed at the business community but like the Blackberry, this tablet can be expected to bridge the gap between business and pleasure.

The screen is a smaller than the iPad at 7 inches, making it a more portable device than the iPad.

Xoom

Motorola's offering to the tablet market is Xoom, which will run on Android's Honeycomb operating system. The Xoom has a 10.1 inch screen, which makes it slightly larger than the iPad.