I am currently the owner of an Apple iPad. I really like it a lot. I find it a very useful tool at work, and a great entertainment device at home. Apple had a lot of impressing to do for me to actually say I like another iOS device, after they hobbled my old iPhone 3G.
Even though the app experience is quite wonderful on the iPad, I still think its an incomplete experience. There isn't any support for Adobe Flash, and probably never will be. There is also limited interoperability between apps. Files you create in an app on the iPad generally remain within that app, and the files aren't available to other apps on anything other then a very limited basis. This is a very limiting experience. We're used to being able to open a file on our computers in any number of apps.
I think that these shortcomings have been largely overlooked because Apple is so far ahead of any other tablet that is out on the market. Shortly after the iPad burst onto the scene, countless manufacturers have tried to rush something to market. Most of these tablets have been based on Android. Google itself has said that Android isn't designed for anything larger then 7 inches. Of all these 7 inch and smaller tablets the Galaxy Tab is the only one that seemed to have potential. I used one, and I wasn't impressed. I couldn't figure out if I was supposed to use it in my lap, or hold it against my face like a giant women repelling phone.
There are two tablets that have been recently announced that I think actually have potential to rock the iPad boat:
The Xoom is the first tablet to run Google's "Honeycomb" operating system. This one is specifically designed to run on larger screens. Incidentally, the screen on this gem is just about the same size as the iPad's, which I think is perfect. This screamer of a tablet also packs front and rear cameras, and a 3G radio for all the road warriors. Motorola says that you can upgrade it to 4G as well.
The HP TouchPad
The HP TouchPad looks very intriguing as well. I thought the Palm Pre was one of the best mobile operating systems out there. I believe it failed because Palm spent all of there money on this bizarre add campaign. After they were out of money they couldn't market or develop it anymore. With HP's deep pockets, and its "play nice attitude" with its sister devices, I think this one has real potential. WebOS and the Pre were developed by someone who used to work for Apple on the iPod, and it really shows in WebOS devices.
So which one is the best? As soon as I can get my hands on one and compare it to my iPad, I'll let you know. If you follow this blog, you'll know that while I love my Apple products, I am not 100% loyal.