Can't score an Apple iPad? Try these other touch tablets instead (at your own risk)

Apple's iPad is apparently a big seller even before hitting its retail release date. So if you didn't preorder, reserve a unit, or plan to line up at 5 a.m. outside your local Best Buy (which will carry iPads in 600-plus stores), it's time to start considering your touch-screen options.

Apple's iPad is apparently a big seller even before hitting its retail release date. So if you didn't preorder, reserve a unit, or plan to line up at 5 a.m. outside your local Best Buy (which will carry iPads in 600-plus stores), it's time to start considering your touch-screen options.

As we've previously pointed out , there are many tablet/slate devices available that do things the Apple iPad simply can't. Though Apple's tablet runs a version of the company's iPhone operating system, most of these tablets run different versions of Windows, and (at least in theory) are capable of performing any task a standard laptop can.

From watching streaming Flash video (hello, Hulu!), to having a Webcam, to playing Facebook games such as Farmville, the iPad has more than its share of blind spots. We've been able to get at least some of that missing functionality from the products profiled below, which range from Netbook-size convertible laptops to very iPadlike slate devices.

That said, you should transfer your touch-screen fetishism to one of these PC tablets at your own risk. We honestly can't say any of them comes close to being the all-things-to-all-people tablet PC that could rightfully be called an iPad killer. In fact, most were downright frustrating to use, thanks to slow hardware and inexact touch controls.

Take a brief tour of iPad alternatives .

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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