Tablets have come a long way, baby, and the flood of portable devices isn't slowing down anytime soon. With new, speedy processors, razor-sharp HD screens, and ample apps for working or playing hard, tablets are the gadgets PDAs always wished they were.
Competition in the tablet market is becoming fiercely saturated, however; the available devices run the gamut from big-league sluggers to bush-league slackers. The good news is that, along with the greater, varied selection of tablets, prices are becoming more competitive. Buying a tablet has never been more on the consumer's side.
Initial product announcements sometimes lack details, and we're left reading the tea leaves to guess if the device will actually perform well or not. We've outlined some of the available information on upcoming tablets and our impressions of their place in the current tablet landscape. We'll update this blog regularly as more tablets are announced.
Editor's note: This post was originally published on September 6, 2013 and is continually updated.
What's special? Mozilla is hooking up with Alcatel One Touch to bring the world the first Firefox OS-based tablet. Theres no official price yet, but it's expected to be extremely affordable.
When's it coming? The Touch Fire 7 is expected to hit stores in Q3.
Read more about the Alcatel One Touch Fire 7 here.
What's special? This Asus device lives up to the Transformer name; it's a five-in-one device. Need I say anything more?
When's it coming? Availability has yet to be announced.
What's special? Despite its off-putting name, the MeMo Pad ME581CL is one sleek 8-incher. It's almost as slim as the slimmest tablets available and offers some promising specs. Hopefully Asus will give it a bargain price, like previous MeMo Pads.
When's it coming? Asus has yet to announce availability.
Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300
What's special? The Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 is not only of the "hybrid" variety -- it's meant to easily turn into a laptop -- but it can easily switch between running Windows 8.1 or Android as either a slate or a laptop.
When's it coming? As of now, the dual-booting tablet has been put on a shelf. In hopes of a solution, I'll keep it on the list because, a girl can dream -- right?
Read more about the Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 here.
What's special? Panasonic is releasing two small -- but tough -- tablets. The FZ-X1 is a chunky 5-inch slate worthy of the most extreme outdoor expedition.
When's it coming? According to Panasonic, the FZ-X1 should be available in August.
Read more about the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-X1 here.
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1
What's special? The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 runs Windows 8 and offers cellular service capabilities -- but Panasonic is still considering a tablet over a phone.
When's it coming? The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 is expected in stores by June.
Read more about the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 here.
What's special? The 8 and 10-inch pair are a new breed of budget Windows 8 tablets, starting at $200.
When's it coming? The pair of Encore tablets will go on sale in July.
What's special? The Toshiba tablet is unremarkable, but it stays relevant with the bargain price of $99.
When's it coming? The Excite 2 is expected to hit stores in July.
Can't wait? Check out our list of the best tablets you can buy right now.