With the original iPad, many questioned whether there was a place in the market for such a device. Netbooks were surging, notebooks were getting faster and thinner, and smartphones finally reached a point where they were effective mobile Internet tools. With the iPad 2 and countless other clones, it started becoming clear that consumers were indeed attracted to the new tablet format. With the iPad 3 and current generation slates, there's no doubt that tablets are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
As was widely anticipated, Apple unveiled the third-generation iPad last March 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Analysts speculated that we would see the iPad 3 or perhaps the iPad HD but Cupertino defied all in attendance by simply calling it "the new iPad."
It's no secret that tablet makers are having a hard time competing with Apple in this still nascent market. In fact, the iPad is selling so well that it surpassed the number of PCs shipped by any individual PC manufacturer over the last quarter of 2011.
We've compiled a comparative table with what we consider are the best tablets either currently available or announced so far. We've also included metascores from our Product Finder engine and review links to help you dig deeper and narrow down your next purchase.