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LG did not specify whether the new tablet will compete with the 10.1-inch Windows 7-based tablet it showed off at Computex 2010, or if is replacing that model, the UX10.

With the flurry of tablet announcements this year following on the heels of the iPad launch, 2010 is quickly becoming the year of the tablet, with observers predicting the device will gain in market share. Tablet PCs will outsell netbooks in 2012, according to Forrester Research.

The 451 Group is also predicting a move toward more powerful, smaller laptops that fit into the netbook category, said Chris Hazelton, research director, mobile and wireless, “but a bigger threat will be from the tablet, with people saying ‘If I’m going to mostly do web browsing, why have a keyboard?’ and they increasingly will want a display device dedicated to viewing content.”

SMBs are getting the analytical capabilities to drive faster decisions based on better data

In announcing the plans, LG said its tablet will be “thinner and lighter than competing devices.” But while Android is still behind the curve and is playing catch-up to Apple, said Hazelton, there is still room to compete. “You’ll see these device vendors leverage the openness of Android in that they can put specific apps on [tablets] that may be banned or prohibited by Apple.” In addition, competing tablets will have hardware features like USB ports, removable batteries and expandable memory, he said-all of which the iPad doesn’t(lg laptop battery).

“Hopefully, these [Android] devices can run 10 or more hours like the iPad can,” he said, and having a backup battery is handy, especially for business travel, if there is a problem. By contrast, Apple requires a user to send back the entire device if they encounter a battery issue. “If you open the device yourself you void the warranty,” Hazelton noted.

Among the desirable features tablet makers should be considering are a front-facing camera for video chat, he said, along with tight integration with Google Docs for business and Google Voice, which is already very well integrated with Android. “Google Voice … is almost unusable on the iPad and iPhone because it’s a web app and not a native app that was approved by Apple,” said Hazelton. “Those can be tightly integrated in a tablet PC.”

HTC could be the next to announce tablet plans, Hazelton said, since they came out with a small netbook running Windows XP a couple of years ago, but are likely to launch one running Android. Research in Motion and HP Palm may also follow. “Palm had a netbook that ran Linux a couple of years ago that never made it to market, but I think there’s still interest there,” said Hazelton, “particularly when you have a company like HP with lot of funding behind it now, so they can move into the tablet market unlike before because they lacked the resources.” lg laptop battery

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Now that the Apple iPad is rising in sales and popularity everyday, other manufacturers want a slice of that proverbial pie, so to speak. And topping the list of iPad killer-wannabes are Google’s Android Tablet, a project that is on its way to seeing store shelves in the near future and other tablet computers using Google’s open-source Android platform.

So how do these Android tablet computers stack up against the Apple iPad? Let’s go through the pros and cons of the current apple of Steve Jobs’ eye (pardon the pun), and match the iPad up against those who wish to dethrone it.

The Pros of the Apple iPad

A stunning graphics interface, crisp video and clear visuals are all part of the iPad’s package. Add to that smooth interaction between yourself and the iPad, superb touch screen sensitivity, Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G connectivity, an amazing 10-hour battery life and the simple and easy-to-use OS platform that almost everyone has come to love. A plethora of exciting games and hundreds of different applications add to the coolness factor and beauty of the Apple iPad. All the apps (and more!) that made the iPhone popular now have their iPad counterparts, guaranteeing users hours and hours of multimedia bliss and entertainment.

The Cons of the Apple iPad

It’s been said before and we’ll say it again: the lack of a camera and USB ports have turned off some potential buyers of the Apple iPad. Multitasking, which Mac lovers have enjoyed and loved in iMacs and Macbooks, is nonexistent in the iPad as well. There is, to date, no way to use two or more applications at the same time. It also does not support Flash with Safari (its web browser), as of the moment, making YouTube, Hulu and CBS fans very disappointed.

The Pros of Android Tablets

The main attraction of these rival tablet computers is the fact that the Android operating system is open-source. This means that coding for programs, applications and the like is available for people to use and improve on. Consequently, programmers will have a field day creating different applications, resulting in probably even more games and apps in the future for Android Tablets. Most of these tablets are also cheaper than the iPad. The Enso zenPad, for instance, is a steal at only $155. This nifty tablet features 8G (expandable to 32G) of storage, as well as WiFi connectivity. You can get GPS and 3G for an additional $25 and $35, respectively. Another Android tablet worth looking at is the Dell Streak (previously known as the Mini 5), which is slated to come out in September. Another advantage of these tablets is that some of them feature cameras and Flash support, which the iPad does not have.

The cons of Android Tablets

Because of certain restrictions of the Android OS, tablets using this platform can only have a screen size of 7 inches at the most. This means that the iPad will still be much larger than any Android Tablet out in the market, even in the future, unless Google lifts or changes these restrictions. Also, Android Tablets haven’t surpassed the iPad when it comes to battery life. This alone is a huge factor to consider.

So, who emerges victorious in the battle between the Androids and Apple? That fact still remains to be seen, as there are still a lot of Android Tablets that have yet to be released this year. And while we’re all waiting for those release dates to come, the Apple iPad still owns the crown as the best tablet computer thus far.

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