5 upcoming iPad competitors Apple shouldn’t ignore

Apple is riding solo in the tablet market right now, but they better not get cocky – some hot new competitors are gearing up to launch their tablet missiles into the marketplace. 

In no particularly order, I present to you five potential competitors expected to be closely chasing the iPad’s tail:

1. Notion Ink Adam

This 10-inch, Android-powered tablet/e-reader hybrid boasts impressive screen technology that combines the a full color multi-touch LCD display with a lower-powered reflective mode which makes it readable in direct sunlight. Indian startup Notion Ink has said it expects to release the device this year, as soon as this June. The price has been rumoured anywhere from $300 to $800, but the common consensus is that it will be on the lower-end of the spectrum.

2. Dell Streak

Dell hasn’t been big on details, but the Streak is a hot topic. During its Consumer Electronics Association 2010 keynote, Dell discussed working on multiple “upcoming slates,” one of which being the slick-named Streak. This model may be their tiniest tablet rendition at a puny 5 inches, but the more-portable size may prove an advantage, and if Dell launches a larger version, the company will boast some unrivalled diversity in consumer’s tablet choices.

3. HP Slate

CES this year. It wasn’t a major event of thunder-stealing mania, but it’s yet another indication that the tablet market is about to explode. The HP Slate will run Windows 7, differentiating it from all the Android-run Tablets. It will run you about $550, has a 9 inch screen, 1.6GHz of processing power, 1GB of ram, and 32GB of storage. A more expensive version will have 64GB of storage. Both models will have an approximated 5-hour battery life, as well as USB port, dock connector for power, audio, HDMI out, and more. The hardware looks good, but Windows 7 will have to prove itself on a tablet to make success of the product.

4. ICD Vega

Opposite the micro-tablet Streak, the Vega by ICD is a whopping 15.6 inches. On top of major screen real estate, the Vega boasts 32GB of storage, a Tegra processor, and 3G/Wi-Fi connectivity. Right now, it’s only launch will be in the U.K. on the T-Mobile network. Like all upcoming tablets, HP Slate aside, the device will run on Android.

5. The HTC/Google/Verizon… something-or-other

The rumour mill is spinning madly on this one. What we know: Android tablet device. Butt Google doesn’t actually make any hardware. Well, Google Android devices in the U.S. are made by Motorola, HTC, and Samsung. It’s expected that HTC is the most likely candidate for making a tablet. There are no details and nothing is 100% confirmable, but these are three industry giants and their combined efforts could potentially create an iPad killer.

Now that you’ve had your fill of iPad killers, check out some less-than-impressive iPad clones.