With apologies to Sega's classic "Genesis does what Nintendon't" ad campaign, there are many tablet and touch-screen PCsthat do things the upcoming Apple iPad simply can't. While Apple's tablet runs a version of the company's iPhone operating system, most of these tablets run different flavors of Windows, and (at least in theory) are capable of performing any task a standard laptop can.
The benefits of having a full computer operating system are many, from running your choice of Web browsers, such as Firefox or Chrome, to streaming Flash video from Hulu and other sites. These missing features are among the biggest complaints leveled (admittedly usually sight unseen) against the iPad.
We previously asked whether the iPad should even be considered a computer; arguing on one hand that the look and feel of app-driven devices is slowly migrating to small Netbook and smartbook systems (rather than the other way around), and pointing to the iPad's very computer-oriented iWork suite.
One the other side, the iPad's lack of freedom to install basic apps and plug-ins makes it far too limited a system to be considered a full-fledged computer. Ditto for the lack of multitasking.
In adopting one of these other touch devices as your tablet of choice, you pick up plenty of flexibility, but at the same time, lose out on the carefully constructed walled-garden of Apple's user interface. For the most part, you're stuck with a standard Windows XP or Win 7 setup, with perhaps some touch-friendly control overlays (if even that).
Of the products we've tested, none 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.
That said, please click through to the gallery below to learn about our rogue's gallery of tabletsthat do a few things the iPad can only dream of. Note that some of these are currently shipping and some are prototypes of to-be-released products.
These PC tablets are Apple iPad alternatives (photos)See all photos
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