Tired of the iPad already? Try these vaporware alternatives

Would-be iPad-killers bide their time; here's what you need to know (complete with video!)

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And when you have real work to do, the U1 should be able to do that too -- the same can't be said (so far) about any of the other iPad-killers, not even about the iPad itself.

Sizing up the iPad-killers
So there you have it: The current gallery of potential iPad-killers. Of course, as has been the case with the endless onslaught of hapless iPhone-killers, chances are none will have any affect on the iPad's success (or lack thereof, as the case may be). The HP Slate and the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 are both interesting, at least conceptually, though the HP Slate's basis in Windows 7 could be a double-edge sword. As for the JooJoo, given its history and pedigree, I'd stay far far away. That leaves the Dell Mini 5, which seems more like a trial balloon than a serious product.

Of course, there are allegedly a bunch more of these iPad-killers waiting in the wings. Right after Apple's iPad announcement on Jan. 27, several Chinese companies claimed that Apple's iPad trampled on their inventions, and several more said they too had iPad-like devices in the wings. Yeah, right.

Then there's a gaggle of promised Google-based tablets and slates. These are plausible, given Android's open source nature. But that open source nature means anyone can cobble together a product. Many will do just that, with disastrous results. The Android factor is a wild card best left for someone else to bet on. If Dell, HTC, or anyone else actually develops a competent Android-based tablet, then it's time to pay attention there.

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This article, "Tired of the iPad already? Try these vaporware alternatives," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Gruman et al.'s Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile computing at InfoWorld.com.

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