Tablets You Can Actually Buy for the Holidays

first_imgApple iPad, $499-$899This is the one to beat, of course. Apple completely reinvented the space, and proved once and for all that the tablet could be more than just a niche product for a set number of industries. Steve Jobs and Co. took everything that worked about the iPhone and transferred it to a beautiful 9.7-inch multi-touch screen. Add Apple’s knack for software design, and access to the company’s extensive App Store catalog, and you’ve got the holiday’s hottest gift. Apple calls their device “magical,” and it seems that the public agrees. Samsung Galaxy Tab, $399-$649Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is the first consumer tablet on the market that actually seems equipped to take on Apple’s iPad. The company is offering the device through all the major carriers, with T-Mobile and Sprint offering the device for $399 with a two-year 3G data plan. You can also get it unlocked for $599 to $629 through Verizon and AT&T. The device features hardware, runs Android, and, unlike the iPad, supports Flash. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Tab has a long ways to go when it comes to creating great software for the thing.HP Slate 500, $799When the HP tablet hit store shelves on October 22, 2010, it proved a truly rare and seemingly mythical beast: a Windows 7 tablet that can actually be purchased. This business-minded gadget features an 8.9-inch display, two cameras, an Intel Atom Z540, HDMI out, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of built-in memory. Best of all, since it’s built on Win 7, you can run all manner of PC software on the thing.Archos 7 Home, $199Archos has a ton of tablets — a ton. And best of all, they’re actually available for purchase. The biggest thing this Android tablet has going for it is price. The Archos 7 Home will run you just $199. It features a built-in kickstand, a seven inch screen, HD video, and access to Android’s various free apps. The interface and the touchscreen leave a lot to be desired, however. Cherrypal CherryPad, $188At $188, the CherryPad manages to undercut even the Archos Home in terms of price. Unfortunately, that’s about all this Android tablet has going for it. It’s lacking features, it’s rough to type on, and, as PCMag puts it, the “company’s reputation is questionable.” And that just seems to be the beginning with this thing. Besides, who trusts a computer company named after a type of fruit?Dell Streak, $550Where to start with this one? Let’s begin with the obvious question: is the Dell Streak a tablet? Dell says yes. Most everyone else disagrees. Why? Well, the Streak can make calls and it has a 5-inch screen. That sounds an awful lot like the makings of a smartphone to most of us. How about availability? You can get the Streak in some major retailers, but which ones and where is kind of a crapshoot. Dell apparently didn’t manufacture a ton of these, owing, perhaps, to the fact that the device got some pretty lackluster reviews ahead of its release.ICAN! Tablet PC, $399-$499There’s not a heck of a let to say about this thing at present. These seven- and 10-inch tablets are the first products from ICAN, LLC to actually hit the market–and they were really just officially unveiled today. Both models run Android OS 2.1, feature a 1GHz processor, and have built-in speaker, a microSD slot, and two USB ports. They run $399 and $499 for the seven- and 10-inch models, respectively. Says the company: You can go with the crowd and say ‘iPad’…or you can get the first tablet PC that lets you say, ‘ICAN! and live your e-life with no limits!” I’ll say this about it: it’s the only tablet on the market I know of with an exclamation mark in its product name. That’s got to account for something, right? After Apple launched the iPad, it seemed like every tech company — large, small, and seemingly otherwise — in existence was readying its own consumer tablet. We hear tell of all manner of Android and Windows 7 tablets. Now that the holiday season has rolled around, many, if not most, tablets have proven completely M.I.A.So, what can you, the consumer, actually buy a loved one in time for the holidays? We’ve rounded up seven tablets that actually, you know, exist. After the jump, here are the good, the bad, and the still slightly mysterious.last_img

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