Asus Eee Transformer Prime

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Asus Eee Transformer Prime

This tablet, the first quad-core, ARM processor-based Android tablet to grace the market, is drawing rave reviews from gadget Websites. The device is only 0.31 inches thick and weighs just 1.29 pounds, so it has power but is lightweight. As the Verge noted: "The Prime is an incredible piece of hardware. It has a marvelous display, form factor, the best camera on any tablet yet, and its new quad-core internal organ puts more graphics and gaming power in your hands than you'll know what to do with." Of course, it's still no iPad, the Verge concluded.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

We loved this tablet when we tested it earlier this year. It's also very thin at 0.34 inches and weighs only 1.31 pounds. It has an excellent display and is speedy to use with its 1GHz dual-core chip. It runs Honeycomb better than the original Motorola Xoom.

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Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

While its first Galaxy Tab was a lackluster, Android 2.2 "Froyo"-based affair, the latest Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has advantages for consumers who love 7-inch tablets. The Honeycomb 3.2-powered slate is faster than its 10.1 predecessor, with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and light at just 12.2 ounces. Easily our favorite 7-inch tablet to date.

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HTC Evo View 4G

While it's tough to be Samsung's latest 7-inch slate, the Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"-fueled HTC Evo View 4G on Sprint was a special treat, coming as it did with HTC's Scribe digital stylus and digital pen software. The Scribe pen is a great little tool that lets users take freehand notes. Users can also simply begin writing or drawing on any home screen on the tablet. Notes and annotations may also be instantly saved to a user's Evernote account.

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HTC Jetstream

HTC also makes the Jetstream, which AT&T is selling as a premium tablet running on the company's 4G LTE network. While the Evo View 4G was fast, this Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core processor that allows users to flit comfortably from one application to the next with a few flicks of the touch screen. The 10.1 inches of WVGA display real estate with a resolution of 1,280 by 800 are a good companion to the HTC Scribe pen-that's right. Scribe rules on the Jetstream, providing a bigger palette for digital ink technology than the Evo View 4G from HTC.

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G-slate From T-Mobile

T-Mobile got in the action, too, with the G-slate, which is powered by a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra dual-core processor and sports a pair of stereoscopic cameras capable of shooting 3D footage. We like this tablet because it has a unique tweener size, offering 8.9 inches of display real estate.

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Toshiba Thrive

The Thrive is the first enterprise-oriented tablet we tested, and it's wrapped in a thickish rubberized, super textured grip to guard against slipping and sliding. The Honeycomb-based Thrive is a chunky 1.6 pounds, but it's still juiced by the Nvidia Tegra 2 quad-core 1GHz processor and offers users the larger-scale standard 10.1-inch multitouch LED backlit display at 1,280-by-800 resolution. Thrive has a major focus on business applications, including QuickOffice for enterprise file management, LogMeIn remote app access, as well as Toshiba's PrinterShare and FileManager apps. The device also departs from existing tablet designs with a USB 2.0, HDMI and SD card slot to enable consumers to both sync with and port their content to other devices. Yes, it's an enterprise tablet. The back comes off, too, as you can see here.

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Acer Iconia Tab A500

Acer makes a mean Honeycomb tablet, too. The 10.1-inch Acer Iconia Tab A501 4G tablet from AT&T is equipped with a 4G radio to run on AT&T's 4G HSPA+ network. It's powered by Nvidia's Tegra 2 mobile 1GHz dual-core processor and integrated GeForce GPU.

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Nook Tablet

The Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is a bargain at $249. It's an Android-based glorified e-reader, and B&N caters well to children with its kiddie book titles. The Tablet has more memory than the preceding Nook model and provides access to Netflix and Hulu content. Importantly, Barnes & Noble also allows Nook Tablet users to download and read books from other bookstores, while Amazon doesn't.

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Kindle Fire

Coming in last is the Kindle Fire. While we had some issues with the user experience, the Fire is a great on-ramp to Amazon's content services, including Amazon's Instant Video Kindle bookstore and other cloud services. And for the $199 price point, it's tough to beat. It's our top choice for the low end of the tablet market.

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Bonus Round

The Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 and 8.2-inch models haven't made it to market as of this slide show publication. But we're giving Motorola the benefit of the doubt from the form factor and specifications. The tablets are fitted with high-definition Corning Gorilla Glass displays backed by splashguard coating, and both connect to the Web via WiFi. The Xoom 2 has a 10.1-inch screen, while the Xoom 2 Media Edition has an 8.2-inch screen, making it a "tweener" tablet at a time when most Honeycomb slates offer either 7 inches or 10 inches of screen real estate. But we're betting these two devices, branded under the Xoom name in the U.K. and Ireland, will prove to be high quality when they arrive in the U.S. from Verizon this month. If not, Motorola can pretty much kiss its tablet chances goodbye after failing to get its Xoom Honeycomb 3G and 4G LTE tablets to take off in the market in 2011.

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