Apples iPad 2
Apples iPad 2
For many people, the tablet market begins and ends with the iPad 2. The device comes with a 9.7-inch display and runs the best mobile operating system in the market, iOS 4. Even better, it starts at a price of $499 for the WiFi-only model, making it a potentially attractive option for people on a budget. The iPad 2 is simply the device by which all other products in today's mobile space are judged.
Apple iPhone 4
If the iPad 2 is the king of the tablet market, the iPhone 4 reigns supreme in the smartphone space. The iPhone has set the standard for which features handsets should include, and the way in which their operating systems should work. The iPhone 4 is the best version of Apple's smartphone so far, offering both front- and rear-facing cameras, iOS 4, and support for the company's FaceTime video conferencing solution. Not bad for a starting price of $199 with a two-year commitment.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the best iPad alternative on the market. The device comes with a big, 10.1-inch display and runs Android's "Honeycomb" operating system. Like the iPad 2, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 starts out at $499, and offers quite a wallop for that price. If the iPad 2 isn't a customer's most appealing option, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 just might be.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Although the Galaxy S II smartphone from Samsung has yet to make an appearance in the U.S., the device has found a huge market elsewhere in the world. And for good reason: The Galaxy S II comes with Android and features one of the slickest designs of any smartphone on store shelves. Even better, it connects to 4G networks and has a big, 4.52-inch display. And at $200, it's a worthwhile option for any smartphone customer.
It might seem odd to include a discontinued tablet in this roundup, but after HP decided to nix the TouchPad and drop the price of its cheapest model to $99, consumers flocked to stores to buy one. Now HP is promising another batch of TouchPads at the same price. Those looking to get a tablet with a big display (the TouchPad comes with a 9.7-inch screen) at a great price should consider HP's tablet.
RIM BlackBerry Bold
RIM's BlackBerry Bold isn't for everyone. The device has a small screen and a physical keyboard, making it seem rather obsolete compared with some of its competitors. However, for those who aren't so keen on touch screens or folks looking for good options in the workplace, the Bold is a fine device. It's just too bad that it starts out at $249.99 with a two-year contract.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Tablet
The Asus Eee Transformer Tablet is one of the more unique options in this roundup, making it a potentially worthwhile tablet for those looking for more than what the iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers. The Transformer has a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and offers up to 16 hours of battery life. But what makes it unique is that it comes with a physical keyboard that people can plug into the device to turn it into a netbook. It might also be a good option for folks on a budget—it costs $399.99.
HTC Evo 4G
The HTC Evo 4G is one of the most appealing smartphones on Sprint's network. It comes with a 4.3-inch screen, making it bigger than the iPhone 4's 3.5-inch option. It also has an HDMI connector, letting folks watch content from the smartphone on an HDTV. Combine that with support for 4G and its $99 price tag after a two-year agreement and mail-in rebate, and it looks to be a nice choice for customers who are on Sprint and can't get their hands on the iPhone 4.
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
The BlackBerry PlayBook isn't for everyone. The device comes with a 7-inch display and is most useful when used with a BlackBerry smartphone. However, for enterprise users, it's quite attractive. It supports BlackBerry Enterprise Server, features enterprise-grade security and delivers a very BlackBerry-like experience. Consumers might not like much of what they see with the device, which starts $499, but enterprise users will.
Motorola Droid 3
The Motorola Droid 3 is the latest version of one of the company's flagship smartphones. The device comes with both a big touch screen and a slide-out physical keyboard, for folks who want a future-proofed device with an easier typing option. The best part is the device costs $59.99 with a two-year agreement with Verizon Wireless.