When the HTC Flyer and BlackBerry PlayBook hit the market, they'll no doubt be compared to the ubiquitous iPad. But they are 7-inch tablets, so let's pit them against the other seven inchers available - the original Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Dell Streak 7.
We should be seeing the PlayBook arrive in early summer, while the HTC Flyer is imminent. The HTC Flyer UK release date is 9 May.
The HTC tablet has been given an eye-watering pre-order price of £599.99 from The Carphone Warehouse, but as yet we don't exactly know when the PlayBook will hit UK streets - although it will be out on 19 April in the US.
Our colleagues at T3.com grabbed some BlackBerry PlayBook footage which you can watch below.
The BlackBerry PlayBook runs RIM's own bespoke Tablet OS. The others all run Android, but not Android 3.0 Honeycomb like bigger tablets. Instead, the HTC Flyer runs Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread - everyone has been surprised that it doesn't have Android 3.0 and although it has been rumoured that it might come about at launch, so far nothing is confirmed.
The original Galaxy Tab - released only last October - already feels like yesterday's news. It runs Android 2.2 FroYo, like the Dell Streak 7 (and Dell Streak 5, for that matter).
While the PlayBook's OS is specially designed for tablet use, the problem with the earlier non-Android 3.0 versions of Android is that, quite frankly, they aren't designed for tablets. However, they are still usable and we reckon we'll see Honeycomb arrive on some of these tablets before too long.
We got hands on with the BlackBerry PlayBook OS at CES in January and it's a serious threat to the iPad's dominance of the sector. TechRadar's Reviews Editor James Rivington says the PlayBook "could well be the tablet that changes the game. In a word, it's a triumph."
All the units use ARM-based silicon as you'd expect. The PlayBook runs a dual core 1GHz Cortex-A9-based processor, though there are no more details on who has manufactured it. It's probably a 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP4430. The Dell Streak 7 features a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor also based on the A9. However, the other two tablets are single core A8 units - even the HTC Flyer. Admittedly it is a 1.5GHz Snapdragon chip manufactured by Qualcomm. Finally, the Samsung Galaxy Tab features a 1GHz A8 unit.
OFF TO A FLYER: HTC's tablet sports a zippy 1.5GHz processor
All four tablets have 7-inch capacitive multi-touchscreen displays.The screen on the PlayBook looks pretty spectacular. As we said in our hands-on: "The PlayBook's 1,024x600 resolution isn't far off the 9.7-inch 1,024x768 iPad, but because of the Playbook's 7-inch display, the increased pixel density makes all the difference. It's sharp and crisp, and 1080p HD video looks fabulous." Dell's display features the now popular Gorilla Glass.
CRISP: The PlayBook's screen is quite pixel dense - largely because it's only a 7-inch tablet
The Dell Streak 7 has a microSD and microSDHC slot as well as 16GB of internal storage. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the same, although there is also a 32GB variant. The PlayBook can come in 16, 32 and 64GB variants, though we're yet to see which ones will come to the UK - there is no microSD slot. The HTC Flyer is a 16 or 32GB unit and does have the microSD slot.
The PlayBook and HTC Flyer both have 1GB of RAM. Dell doesn't confirm how much RAM is in the Streak - possibly because it could only be 512MB. The Galaxy Tab has 512MB.
STREAK 7: Dell's medium-sized tab is great value at £299
The Playbook packs two cameras – a 3MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing one. The Flyer and Dell Streak 7 stick with 5MP for the rear, but there's a lesser 1.3MP one on the front. The Galaxy tab is the weakest here, with 3.1 and 1.3MP cameras.
All three are designed for use with 3G networks. However, we may well get a Wi-Fi version of the PlayBook before we see a 3G-enabled variant.
The PlayBook supports HDMI output to a TV though none of the others do. All the tablets have USB port of various types, while they all also have 3.5mm headphone jacks.
All the tablets have an accelerometer and compass (and Assisted GPS in 3G variants). The PlayBook may have a gyroscope, while the Galaxy Tab P1000 boasts a three-axis gyro sensor. The HTC Flyer and Dell Streak 7 don't have gyros.
GYRO: Will the PlayBook have a gyroscope like the Motorola Xoom?
The 7-inch PlayBook is 9.7mm thick and weighs just over 400g compared to the Galaxy Tab at 380g. The Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak 7 are thicker at 12 and 12.4mm respectively. The Flyer is the thickest (13.2mm) and heaviest (420g).
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