iPad 3 should be available by March or April 2012, so in the meantime, 10-inch tablets like the Sony Tablet S may be they type of device that could hold you over until then. iPad 3 could come out with predictable updates like 4G, Siri and better resolution, but it could also surprise with 3D gestures or even a rimless build for a larger screen area.
Sony's Tablet S display is almost exactly the same size as iPad 2 and it has very similar resolution. The 16 gigabyte version is selling for $450, just a bit less than iPad 2, and iPad 3 may also start out at the $500 level. It's possible the popularity of $200 tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire could convince Apple to drop the price of iPad 3 slightly, but it's not likely. Perhaps the iPad 2 price will drop a bit like iPhone 4 when the 4S came out. If you were to grab a Sony Tablet S, you'd be running the Android system and Tablet S may even get the Android 4.0 update next year after Google updates all of Samsung's Galaxy line of tablets and smartphones. It could take three or four months before Tablet S gets the update, but there is no timetable given for if and when that will happen. Trying to predict when Tablet S will get the update is actually pretty similar to guessing what iPad 3 will look like.
One item many, many people would love to see on iPad 3 is Siri, the voice recognition software that had the tech world buzzing after the iPhone 4S release. iPad 3would be the first device other than iPhone 4S to get it, and it could really change the tablet landscape.
While Tablet S doesn't have voice recognition either, it can be pretty helpful in controlling the rest of your high tech gear around the house. That's because you can turn it into a universal remote control for things like a Blu-Ray Disc player, HDTV or cable box. Tablet S also features a unique shape, not unlike a magazine with the page folded under the other half. The top of the device is thicker than the bottom (like the spine of the folded over magazine tapers down to where the pages flip), so when you lay it flat it props itself up just a bit for easier viewing. It has a fast processor, front and rear-facing cameras and a full-size SD card slot so you can sideload content.
It's a decent tablet, but it doesn't quite justify the $450 price tag, so we recommend waiting for the iPad. Unless you are a really into games or are super curious about the Android system, Sony Tablet S loses this tablet fight. Let us know in the comments if you are waiting for iPad 3 or thinking of taking the plunge with another device.