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iPad 2 alternatives – PlayBook, Kindle Fire and more

Fed up of waiting for the arrival of the iPad 3? Keen to try out an Apple alternative in the tablet market? We take a look at some of the best tablets that could be worthwhile alternatives to the mighty iPad 2.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime

ASUS have been under the radar of many technology newbies for a while, but, similarly to HTC in the smartphone arena, the company continually produce exciting, innovative and affordable tablet devices. The new Eee Pad Transformer Prime is all of these things and a worthy competitor to the iPad 2.

The Prime promises to be “blazing fast”, and boasts NVIDIA’s next-generation quad-core Tegra mobile chip – codenamed project Kal-El – to make multitasking and HD movies a “piece of cake”.

The tablet will also feature a 10″ display, an SD card port, and mini-HDMI. It’s 8.3mm thick and the battery will last 14.5 hours.

Archos G9 Tablet

Want an iPad, but want to save some pennies? A good value tablet could be the Archos G9 device. The portable device runs on the Android Honeycomb 3.1 operating system and has up to 250 GB of storage. The device also features the use of 1080p HD video and an optional 3G stick. It also feature ARM cortext dual core processors running at 1.5 GHz. Prices start from £200 onwards.

The Blackberry PlayBook

The Blackberry PlayBook may have taken a bit of a knock recently with poor sales performance, but the PlayBook is still a worthwhile tablet to consider, particularly if you already have a BlackBerry phone.

The PlayBook has rear and front cameras and stereo speakers and microphones, which are perfect for capturing and creating video. Available in three models with 16 GB, 32 GB and 64GB, the new PlayBook also has dual core Marvell SoC at 1.2GHz, 1GB RAM. It also supports Flash for better web and file browsing.

The Sony Tablet S

The 9.4 inch Sony Tablet S has been created for “rich media entertainment” and with a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor inside. Weighing in at around 598g, it is lighter than the iPad 2, plus it has a very clever feature which makes it easier to be held for long periods of time as the device’s weight is shifted closer to your palm, making it feel lighter.

The new Android operating Sony Tablet S also comes in 2 storage versions, holding either 16GB or 32GB. Internet connectivity is across Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 3G.


Lightweight and smaller than a magazine, the ICONIA TAB A Series runs on the tablet-tailored Android operating system and also offers a powerful mobile processor, for good graphic viewing. It also has a good RAM and offers intuitive multi-touch screen navigation. It might not look like an iPad, but it is a good alternative.

Kindle Fire

Building on the phenomenal popularity of the Amazon Kindle, the Kindle Fire is Amazon’s fist foray into the tablet market. Are they actually hoping to take on Apple and the iPad? Who knows, but the Kindle Fire is a good piece of technology.

The Kindle Fire is capable of running Android apps and games and is backed by a wealth of Amazon’s entertainment offerings, including, as you’d expect, access to Amazon’s online bookstore.

From MP3s to movies and TV shows to books, newspapers and magazines, Amazon promises the Kindle Fire puts 18 million pieces of digital content at its owner’s fingertips. It also has a brand-new web browser called Amazon Silk, free cloud storage, a colour touchscreen and a powerful dual-core processor.

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