Last year promised to be the year of the tablet, and at least for Apple, it was. The nearly ubiquitous iPad managed not only to outsell every other tablet on the market by a wide margin, it also exceeded Mac sales in Q4 with a record 7.33 million units moved. Apple is not likely to lose its throne anytime soon, but competition is now making itself present from every possible angle. If Android's smartphone gains serve any indication this should be an interesting year for tablets.
Companies such as Asus and Samsung are coming on strong with their first Android "Honeycomb" tablets, while Research In Motion isn't doing too well with the PlayBook. It remains to be seen if HP suffers the same fate or its Palm acquisition pays off when it launches the TouchPad, the first webOS-based tablet, on July 1st.
We've compiled a comparative table with what we consider are the hottest tablets either currently available or announced so far. We'll update this guide as new tablets that catch our attention are announced and approaching their release, but with more than a dozen already in the market, this will serve as a starting point for narrowing down your purchase.