Apple lovers around the world are expecting to be blown away on March 7 at the company's much-awaited launch of the iPad 3 with stunning features at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
While all rumors surrounding the iPad 3, suggest that it may feature Retina display, upgraded processor and iOS and improved camera, other Android-run tablets such as the Asus EEE Pad transformer Prime, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola Xoom2, Amazon Kindle Fire are already ruling the market and have rapidly advanced in the tablet competition. So how would iPad 3's journey secure Apple's undisputable dominance in the tablet market?
Check out the five hand-picked tablets that are expected to be the biggest competitors of the iPad 3 in coming days.
1. ASUS EEE Pad Transformer Prime
The world's first quad-core Tegra 3 tablet smashes the record of the original Asus Eee Pad Transformer, which is still considered to be one of the best Android tablets.
With super-powers and increased power efficiency, EEE Pad Transformer got rave reviews from critics and an Engadget review hails it as the best Android tablet on the market.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, which recently upgraded to Google's Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) operating system, features a 10.1-inch Super IPS + LCD Gorilla Glass display with 1280x800 screen resolution. It is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, ULP GeForce GPU and offers 1GB RAM and 32/64GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded to another 32GB via microSD card.
It is also known as the thinnest tablet that comes with a gorgeous keyboard dock, and has a 22 Wh Li-polymer battery that is expected to give 18 hours of battery life on video playback.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime costs $499 for the 32GB model.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that is available in both Wi-Fi and 3G versions was introduced by Samsung on Feb. 13, 2011.
The Samsung tab is powered by a dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset, offers 1GB RAM and comes in 16/32GB internal memory configurations and Like the Transformer Prime, it also offers Android's Ice Cream Sandwich OS. It also features a 3 megapixel rear-facing and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera and the tablet offers 1080p video playback support.
The USP of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the improved S-Pen that comes with an eraser on top.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi costs $499.99 for the 16GB version and $599.99 for the 32GB version.
3. Sony Tablet S
Another top-notch device from Japan's Sony is the glossy, perfectly-paginated Tablet S. The Sony Tablet S comes with a unique folded design, 9.4-inch screen and includes infrared technology. The S tablet runs on Android Honeycomb 3.1 and Nvidia's Tegra 2 SoC.
The S tab also sports a unique feature of providing access to original PlayStation games and can be used as a fully customizable remote control for multiple home devices including television, Blu-ray Disc player and home theatre set-up.
4. Motorola Xoom 2
Slim built, fast dual-core 1.2GHz CPU along with Android 3.2 and the 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution are the unique selling points of the Xoom 2.
Although Motorola did not bring great changes with the Honeycomb OS which was the same as predecessor, the company did add some apps like Evernote and Floating Notes to make use of the stylus accessory that's available. The biggest addition here is the MotoCast - a remote access client that lets you access your PC via the Internet.
Critics, however, are disappointed with the Xoom 2 as they feel that a lot of updates could be installed in the tablet to give it an added edge, as it could be overshadowed by better Android tablets like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, but overall the Motorola tablet is nicely built and is a pretty capable tablet as far as performance is concerned.
The Xoom 2 costs $608.
5. Amazon Kindle Fire
Kindle Fire is the biggest winner among the budget-minded tablet lovers. The $199 tablet cannot claim to sport the best tablet features but keeping in mind the price of the tablet, performance of the Amazon tablet is never a bad experience for the customers. The Amazon tablet runs on customized Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and gives access to Amazon Prime and its streaming video service and its own custom Silk Browser.
Meanwhile, the market is abuzz with speculation that looking at the increasing popularity of Kindle Fire, Apple will release a 7-inch tab with decent features and a price tag similar to the Kindle Fire ($199).