iPad Chasers

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 8:52am

Several tablet computers are set to take a piece of the iPad market.

This time last year few people were certain whether there was a market for tablet computers.

The iPad proved there is.

Now other companies are trying to get a piece of Apple's pie.

Samsung's Galaxy tab is already giving chase.

CNET.com tech editor Molly Wood has her eye on three more competitors on the way including Motorola's ten inch Xoom tablet.

"This actually has a dual core processor, which means it's just going to be flat out a lot faster than the iPad and potentially, a lot more useful if you want to use it for work and play," she says.

Wood says front and back cameras, which the iPad lacks, also help.

So does an HDMI output, which allows a connection to your TV.

Xoom will be out by early spring.

Its price hasn't been announced.

Price is also up in the air for HP's Touchpad tablet, which is due in early summer in a WiFi only version.

The Touchpad features a 9.7 inch HD screen along with front and back cameras.

HP is trumpeting its Webos operating system as a major advantage.

Blackberry is hoping the same for its Playbook tablet.

A spring arrival is expected.

A seven inch screen and multi-tasking capabilities are part of a mix that the company promises will amplify the experience of Blackberry smartphone users.

All of these competitors are giving chase to Apple even as that company prepares to release what is widely expected to be its next generation iPad later this year.

Most industry observers anticipate Apple will add front and back cameras to the iPad and make it lighter, among other possible changes.

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