Resembling the shiny half of a netbook (because the screen is so large), the Motorola Xoom takes top honors in the LCD-size category with a 10.1-inch display. Remarkably, the overall size is quite similar to iPad 2 at 9.8x6.6x0.5 inches. Available with up to 32 GB of storage, the Xoom runs under Android and weighs 1.6 pounds. Screen resolution is a class-leading 1280x800 pixels. Equipped with two cameras—a 5-megapixel camera for photography and a 2-megapixel webcam—the Xoom captures 720p HD video and is a solid choice for field use.
Dell Streak 7; HP TouchPad
The HP TouchPad is roughly the same size and weight as the original iPad and has the same-size screen, 9.7 inches. It's outfitted with a 1.3-megapixel communications camera and offers 1024x768 resolution. HP decided on webOS, originally developed by Palm, for an operating system. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual CPU running at 1.2 GHz. At 1.6 pounds, it's the heaviest of the bunch, but still portable. The TouchPad is available in 16 GB and 32 GB versions.
The Dell Streak 7 is ideal for trekking because it's quite compact. It has a 7-inch screen that delivers 800x480 resolution, and it runs Android OS. Powered by a Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, the Streak 7 features a 1.3-megapixel webcam and a 5-megapixel digital camera, and comes with 16 GB of storage.
Power, Power, Power
The battery life for all of the tablets mentioned herein is about 10 hours under optimal circumstances. That's long enough for most flights, day trips and camping excursions. Just be sure to allow the tablet's battery to drop to its lowest safe operating level before you plug in the charger. While modern lithium-poly batteries, which are found in Apple iPads and many other tablets, feature the latest battery technology, they also have a finite life span that can be extended with proper care.