Various reports are noting that as many as 80 tablet devices are debuting at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES)--the long-expected tide of iPad challengers, powered by Android, Windows or some other code. Some of these will garner the label "iPad Killer," and stand out from the rest. What are these devices, and do they actually stand a chance of slaying Apple's monstrously successful iPad, with a hot new update soon to arrive?
Motorola Xoom
Motorola has, according to some, just pulled the rabbit out of the CES hat: Its freshly-revealed Xoom tablet (pronounced "zoom") is the bees knees.

It's a 1GHz dual-core machine, powered by a Tegra 2. The screen's a 10.1-inch unit, it runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and there's a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p video, the Xoom can do 1080p video playing, and 32GB of on-device storage. Most impressively Motorola notes the Xoom's battery can cope with 10 hours of use, not on quiet Net surfing or emailing, but of normally power-sapping video playback. It's got 3G connectivity courtesy of Verizon, and Motorola promises 4G is coming as an option in the future.

Price, availability TBC.

Samsung PC 7 Slider
Samsung used CES to reveal its PC 7 device, an evolution of the traditional laptop concept that reminds us a lot of the EEE Slider. Like Asus' offering, the PC7 is a slim hybrid device that combines a large touchscreen with a slim slide-out keyboard. Since the device sports Windows 7 it's aimed at users who like the concept of a tablet but can't prise themselves away from a physical keyboard and the sticky clutches of Microsoft's Windows environment. Samsung has at least tried to make Win 7 more touch-friendly by adding its "Touch Launcher" layer on top, ready to quickly startup apps that are "optimized for touchscreen."

Inside there's a 1.66GHz Intel Oak Trail CPU, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, USB ports, HDMI-out, a 4-in-1 card reader, 1.3-megapixel webcam, and 32GB or 64GB SSD options. It'll also be available with Wimax, and Samsung boasts it'll boot up in under 20 seconds and will give nine hours of usage on one charge.

Price: Starting at $699. Available: March.

Asus EEE Slider

Asus, which invented and then largely sewed up the netbook market, is late to the tablet fray. But that hasn't dulled its enthusiasm, and it's revealed four tablets at CES. This is the Slider, which is the one likely to gain most favor with some mobile professionals who favor traditional keyboards over the trend for touchscreens (big thumbs?)--like many smartphones, the Slider has a clever slip-out QWERTY keyboard.

So far we know the Slider runs Google's tablet-friendly version of Android--3.0 Honeycomb--and packs a powerful Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU/GPU inside. It's got an iPad-rivalling 10.1-inch IPS screen (the same tech Apple championed for the iPad), a front 1.2 megapixel webcam, rear 5 megapixel unit, and all the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

With its unusual looks, clever flip-out keyboard and competitive pricing, Asus may have a hit here.

Price: $499 to $799, available second quarter 2011.

Acer 10-inch Tablet
Acer's Iconia is the companies effort at making money from the tablet market in the same way it cashed-in on the netbook revolution. But far from being a low-value netbook, the Iconia is a potent tablet.

The Iconia has Verizon 4G LTE compatibility, runs the "latest version" of Android (presumably a 2.x iteration, with 3.0 incoming) underneath Acer's own UI--version 4.5--and has HDMI-out, Clear.fi media sharing, a 10.1-inch screen, and packs a Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core CPU. Acer, unlike many other makers, is also making a point of noting support for Adobe's Flash 10.1 tech.

Price, TBD. Availability: "February"

Asus EEE Slate EP121
The EEE Slate is, if anything, the inverse of the Slider: It's a full touchscreen-only slate PC, complete with virtual keyboard but packing a stylus for precision-control of the UI. And it really needs this, since the Slate is packing Windows 7 Home Premium--a system that Steve Ballmer himself has already (accidentally) demonstrated as being unfriendly to a touchscreen environment.

The Slate is really half a traditional laptop, with a touchscreen. This lets Asus proclaim it to be the "most powerful" tablet out there, complete with its Intel Core i5 CPU, 64GB SSD storage, 4GB of system memory, Wi-Fi N, Bluetooth 3.0 sockets and 2-megapixel camera (with flash). This all runs a 12.1-inch iPS display, in a box that weighs a solid 2.5 pounds (versus the Slider's 1.9 pounds, and the iPad's 1.5 to 1.6 pounds). But all this results in a premium price that matches the Slate's half-PC, half-Slate, Windows powered goodness (for folks that can't tear themselves away from a traditional PC environment, but like the notion of a tablet).

Price: $999 to $1,099, available first quarter 2011.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1/LePad Hybrid
Lenovo, IBM's former laptop wild-child, has taken a radical approach to bringing the world a tablet PC (presumably worried that a skeptical public will still yearn for a more familiar user environment), and has brought us the IdeaPad UI/Le Pad Hybrid. Truly a jack of all trades, it packs twin OSes--the LePad tablet is a standalone Android 2.2 device (skinned with Lenovo's own LeOS system, and due to run Android 3.0 when it goes on sale in the U.S.) with a 1.3 GHz Snapdragon CPU, 10.1-inch capacitive multitouch screen and all the usual connection options.

When you plug it into the laptop-style keyboard base a magical transformation occurs, and the unit acts as the display for a 1.2 GHz Intel i5-powered traditional laptop running Windows 7. It's clever, will appeal to some--if only because the connected devices make for a dinky little laptop--but involves a lot of compromises, most notably on price.

LePad: Around $520, arriving first Quarter 2011. Full IdeaPad setup: Around $1,300.

Motion Computing Motion CL900
Among the throng of similar tablets, Motion Computing's CL900 is an oddity: It's squarely aimed at enterprise and vertical markets, sporting a 10.1-inch display, Windows 7 Professional, and Intel's Oak Trail Atom CPU (yet to be released). To deliver a useful enterprise device, it's got a claimed 8-hour battery life, is powerful enough to deliver 1080p video over an HDMI-out connector, and has a SIM card slot for mobile Net powers. It's got the usual connectivity options, supports SD card expansion, and has twin cameras.

But to really set it apart, it meets the MIL-STD-810G specifications for ruggedness, allowing it to survive a four-foot drop, thanks to its Gorilla Glass display and sturdy chassis. This gives it a 2.1 mass.

Price: "less than $1,000," available TBD.

Vizio Tablet
Vizio, better known for making HDTVs, is trying its hand at a tablet (pictured here with its sibling 4-inch smartphone). According to early reviewers at CES, it may have a bit of a hit on its hands. It's got an 8-inch non-IPS LCD, 4GB of internal storage (2GB accessible to users), a microSD slot for expansion, HDMI-out, twin cameras, and a "1 GHz-plus" CPU powering its (undecided, but probably version 3.0) Android OS. It's even got an IR lamp built-in, meaning with the right apps it'll be able to control your TV (or possibly, in a business environment, your digital projector). The strength of this tablet is likely to be its solid design, and low price.

Price: Not revealed, but "very competitive." Available, summer 2011.

Toshiba Tablet
Toshiba was a surprisingly big name in the netbook phenomenon, and it's trying to do the same in the tablet game--something it could probably pull off given its PR-empowering big finances, and traditionally slick and quality design. Enter the Tablet, a 10.1-inch Android tablet to compete among the rest of the tablets with Honeycomb 3.0 aboard.

What sets Tosh's effort apart is its potent Tegra 2 dual-core CPU, haptic-feedback virtual keyboard (for a more finger-friendly touchscreen experience for newcomers to tablets) and interchangeable fashion rear face. It's also got a user-swappable lithium cell, good for people who find themselves away from power for extended periods. There's also built-in GPS.

Price: Not revealed, but "competitive." Availability: First half 2011.

AOC Breeze
AOC is a notable name in the LCD monitor business, but it's also launching a tablet, dubbed Breeze. It's a pretty standard 8-inch Android unit, Rockchip CPU, 4GB storage, Wi-Fi b/g, USB connection, microSD expansion and a claimed 12-hour audio playback battery life (six hours of video).

So far, so boring. But by trimming the specs of the device, notably the CPU, older version of Android and the lower resolution 800 by 600 pixel screen, AOC is significantly differentiating its Breeze from its peers: The device is scheduled to cost "under $200," which is less than half that of the entry iPad pricing, and much less than some of the medium- and full-specced Android or Windows 7 tablets. It's also arriving in January, much sooner than much of its competition.

Price: Cheap-at-half-the-price $200, available in a few weeks.

Behold CES's iPad Killers (Possibly)

Various reports are noting that as many as 80 tablet devices are debuting at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES)—the long-expected tide of iPad challengers, powered by Android, Windows or some other code. Some of these will garner the label "iPad Killer," and stand out from the rest. What are these devices, and do they actually stand a chance of slaying Apple's monstrously successful iPad, with a hot new update soon to arrive?

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