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Tablets taking precedence over PCs

As the iPad 2 has become the latest rage in tablets and portable computing, Nielsen research is reporting that more and more people are turning to their tablets as opposed to mp3 players, e-readers and PCs. But, is a tablet right for you?

According to "Early Show" technology expert Katie Linendoll, "It's an influx because believe it or not there are over 120 tablets on the market and people are hard pressed to name two that aren't the iPad."

Are there a legit replacement for a PC?

"I call it a one-two punch, a powerful laptop and portability and traveling on the go," Linedoll said.

Linedoll suggests that you subsidize. Typically, if you just want a wi-fi only version fine, you pay one price. If you want the data plan, if you want Internet connectivity anywhere you go you have the 3g and 4g options, 4g faster. If you buy the two-year data plan knocks down $200 or more off the device, Linendoll said. She added it's a good idea to go month-to-month.

"We're evolving so quickly," she said. "I like to go to the month-to-month plan."

So what's hot on the market?

Dell Streak 5"

  • UNIQUE FEATURE: 5" SCREEN - Just goes to show you that tablets come in all different sizes. This could nearly double as a phone (a large one) but possible and supports voice plans.
  • $100 (two year contract) - $450
  • Android 2.2
  • Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Gorilla Glass Screen
  • 1.3MP front facing camera / 5MP rear facing camera
  • Phone / Tablet

Lindedoll showed the highly anticipated Blackberry Playbook. "It's kind of more towards business professionals especially those that want to bridge their blackberry with the playbook," she adds.

BlackBerry Playbook:

  • UNIQUE FEATURE: Geared toward the business pro.
  • Starts at $500
  • 7" LCD Screen
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • dual-core processor
  • 3MP front-facing camera / 5MP rear-facing camera
  • 1080p video
  • HDMI capabilities
  • BlackBerry Messenger Capabilities
  • *Wifi only right now will have 4G capabilities later this year

Does it have to be connected to an actual blackberry device?

"Think of it as tethered, it has your Google Gmail, you can sync to your calendar, you have BBM, that's huge to have it move toward your tablet. Seven-inch screen, lighter weight and portable than having a 10-inch tablet."

Motorola Xoom

  • $800 or $600 (2yr contract)
  • UNIQUE FEATURE: ANDROID 3.0 - running off the first operating system made specifically for tablets.
  • 1.6 lbs
  • 4G Upgradeable
  • 10" HD screen
  • dual core processor
  • 2MP front-facing camera / 5MP rear-facing camera
  • 720p video capture and playback
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Over 294,000 apps

"People called this the iPad competitor and it has some great features. It has a high price point, about $800 or $600 with a two-year contract. It is the first tablet to run Android Honeycomb. ... This is an operating system made specifically for tablets, dual-core processor, it's incredibly fast and has that front facing and rear facing camera, the rear-facing is about five megapixels and capable to stream high-def videos," Linedoll adds.

LG G-Slate

  • UNIQUE FEATURE: 3D CAMERA AND CAMCORDER - Niche feature
  • $530 (two-year contract) - $750
  • 8.9"
  • 1.37 pounds
  • Android 3.0
  • 2MP front-facing camera / 5MP rear-facing camera
  • dual-core processor
  • HDMI output
  • 4G Capable
  • HDMI capability

"I want to focus on the novelty of this one. ... What's cool about this one it has capability to record 3-D video," Linendoll said.

Samsung 10.1

  • UNIQUE FEATURE: Available June 8th - best competition to the iPad
  • Starting at $500
  • 10" LCD Widescreen Screen
  • Android 3.0
  • 1.3 lbs
  • 2MP front facing camera / 8MP rear-facing camera
  • dual-core processor
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life

"I'm excited about this one. The Galaxy Tab, the previous versions were the only one that made a dent in the marketplace. They have 4 percent of the tablet marketplace. This is the new version of the Galaxy Tab, it's the 10.1 inch one and it will be out June 8, it also has that front-facing, rear-facing camera. I think this is the only one that can be considered a competitor to the iPad. Lightweight, fast, and I just think it's where we're going in terms of competition," she explained.

iPad2

  • Starts at $500
  • 10" LCD Screen
  • 1.5 pounds
  • Front- and Rear-Facing Camera
  • HDMI capabilities
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Over 350,000 apps

According to Linedoll, if anybody asks her what tablet to purchase, she recommends the iPad 2.

"It reigns," she said. "There's something about a get-it factor. I don't have to say anything. It's intuitive, if you want to compete with it you have to undercut it in price."