You may not realise it by looking at market share data in the tablet category, but there are numerous alternatives to Apple's iPad available, most of which run on Google's Android platform.
Unlike the iPad, Android tablets come in a range of sizes, with variations in connectivity options and features. Sizes range between 7 and 10.1 inches (or even as small as 5 inches if you count Samsung's "phablet", the Galaxy Note), and while some Android tablets match Apple's single proprietary port approach for charging and data transfers, others include full-size USB Host ports, SD cards slots and HDMI.
We've now reviewed well over a dozen Android tablets here at CNET Australia
, and while we have a few favourites, overall we've been disappointed with the range so far. The hardware design of these machines has been pretty uninspired to date, with a few notable exceptions, and the performance of Google's Honeycomb version of the Android OS leaves a lot of room for improvement.
We're anticipating a big leap forward in performance for the next generation of Android tablets, with the introduction of the Ice Cream Sandwich software update and new quad-core processors. So if you're in the market for an Android tablet, but not in any great hurry, we think it's worth waiting for the next batch of tablets before committing to buying one.