Tablet computers offer a wide range of styles, speeds and connectivity.
Technophile: A trio of tablets
iPad 2 3G+Wi-Fi
The look With a sleek, ridiculously cool and popular form factor, the iPad 2 is the Justin Bieber haircut of tablet computing (or perhaps that should be written the other way around). At just 0.34 inches thick, the back is made of aluminium, and the front face features a 9.7-inch glass interface.
The ride Widely considered to be the only real tablet game in town, it offers rear and front-facing cameras, FaceTime video chat, a very intuitive user interface and apps galore. It can access the Web via Wi-Fi networks and network providers.
The ruling While the speakers are arguably worse than those on the first-generation iPad, the iPad 2 is still the tablet to beat, and it (and its price tag) knows this all too well.
Galaxy Tab 10.1
The look For those who like to surf the Web to the beat of a different drummer, the Galaxy Tab offers a reasonable iPad alternative, with hardware that is often superior. It's just as thin and a bit lighter than its arch rival and boasts a larger, 10.1-inch screen.
The ride Samsung's tablet runs Honeycomb, Android's latest operating system, and features an eight-megapixel camera and a 1,280x800-pixel touch-screen interface.
The ruling While its specs can outpace the iPad 2, the lack of apps, music and movie options make it more of a cool tablet in-waiting. Still, it's perhaps one of the best iPad alternatives out there.
The look Windows lovers needn't feel left out of the tablet game, and the MSI Windpad delivers their favourite operating system, complete with all its familiar bells, whistles and snags, to the hand-held form factor. It also comes in an Android model. However, at 0.73 inches thick, it has a bulkier form factor than many of its competitors.
The ride The Windpad offers a large 10.1-inch touch-screen interface, 3GB of RAM and both 3G and Wi-Fi capability. Unlike other tablets, the Windpad also offers several computer-style connectivity options, including USB and HDMI ports and even an SD card reader.
The ruling Athough the Windpad wins points for reaching out with multiple connectivity options, it still runs a bit slow and the responsiveness of its touch-screen interface lags behind other tablets. However, Windows lovers will find the Windpad can ease them into the tablet form factor with little, if any, learning curve.