Three new tablet computers hit the shelves last week and they all feature Android operating systems. iPad 3 may not be announced until 2012, so these companies are taking advantage of a holiday season where shoppers aren't obsessed with getting a new version of the top selling iPad.

The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 (IPad, get it?), Nextbook Premium8 and Pandigital SuperNova are the latest editions of their respective companies' tablet lineups. Lenovo previously released the 10.1 inch ThinkPad Tablet and IdeaPad K1, and is now offering the 7 inch IdeaPad A1. The IdeaPad A1 is $199 for a 2GB Wi-Fi model, and there is also a 16GB version for $249. It's one of the best prices for tablets and comes with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Additionally, it comes with a 1GHz TI OMAP 622 single-core processor, a microSD slot for storage expansion, micro-USB, GPS, a 1024x600 display and a 2-megapixel front-facing and 5-megapixel rear-facing cameras. At $249 it will probably be the top competitor to the upcoming Kindle Fire that goes for $199.

The Nextbook Premium8 comes with an 8 inch screen and 4GB of storage for $299. It also features 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, a front-facing 2-megapixel camera, a microSD slot, Android 2.3 and a mini-USB port. This machine is much cheaper than iPad, but Kindle Fire may undercut the Premium8 quite a bit because it's nearly $100 less.

Finally, there is the Pandigital SuperNova that goes for $229 and is Pandigital's main tablet offering. It's got an 8-inch screen, front- and rear-facing cameras (no specs given yet) and uses a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor. On the surface, it seems more like the IdeaPad A1 with a slightly bigger screen. The main difference is that it has only 4GB of storage compared to the 16GB in the IdeaPad A1. SuperNova does have a microSD slot that lets it expand up to 32GB, though.

Even though tablet computer shoppers may compare these three to the iPad, their main competitor is probably the Kindle Fire, that has reportedly gotten a huge response in the pre-order department. It's no iPad either, but with Apple so far ahead, Kindle Fire may have to take on these three to make it to second place.

Tell us in the comments if you think tablets are just large smartphones that don't make calls or if you think they are close to replacing the laptop computer.

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