As of the second quarter of 2012, sales of the Apple iPad accounted for upwards of 70 percent of the domestic tablet market according to The Washington Post. The relative dominance of the iPad might lead you to believe that few alternatives exist to Apple's tablet juggernaut, but that is not the case. Comparable tablet PC offerings are available from companies including Microsoft, Samsung and Dell.
To understand how other tablet PCs are similar, it's necessary first to take a look at the iPad's features. Released in 2012, the third-generation iPad measures 9.5 inches tall, 7.31 inches wide and 0.37 inches thick. It weighs 1.44 pounds. It features a 9.7-inch Retina screen with a 2,048-by-1,536 resolution. The iPad is powered by a dual-core Apple A5 processor and is available with 16, 32 or 64GB of storage space. For photo and video, Apple outfits the iPad with a five-megapixel primary camera with 1080p video and a VGA-quality secondary camera for making video calls. Apple sells Wi-Fi and cellular-capable versions of the iPad. The device runs Apple's iOS operating system.
Microsoft offers two versions of its Surface tablet: one running the Windows RT operating system and another running Windows 8 Pro (the latter isn't out yet as of November 2012). The Windows RT version measures 10.81 inches tall, 6.77 inches wide and 0.37 inches thick. The Windows 8 version is nominally wider and thicker. Both versions have 10.6-inch ClearType HD screens. The screen on the Windows RT version has a 1,366-by-768 resolution while the screen on the Windows 8 version has a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution. The Windows RT version has a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and 2GB of RAM, while the Windows 8 version has an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. The Windows RT version is available with 32GB or 64GB of storage space, compared to 64GB or 128GB for the Windows 8 version. Both versions have microSDXC memory card expansion slots, USB ports, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Each has a pair of high-definition LifeCam cameras that record 720p video. The Windows RT version has a 31.5-watt-hour battery while the Windows 8 version has a larger, 42-watt-hour battery. The RT version does not run legacy Windows software made for Windows 7 or earlier versions.
Samsung Series 7
The Samsung Series 7 tablet measures 11.66 inches tall, 7.24 inches wide and 0.51 inches thick. It weighs 1.98 pounds. Samsung outfits the Series 7 with an 11.6-inch LED backlit screen with a resolution of 1,366-by-768. The Series 7 features an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage space. Samsung also equips the device with a microSD memory card expansion slot. For photo and video, the Series 7 features a three-megapixel rear-facing camera and a two-megapixel front-facing camera. Additional features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, an HDMI port and a USB port. The Series 7 runs on the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.
Dell XPS 10
Dell’s XPS 10 tablet measures 10.8 inches tall, 6.98 inches wide and 0.36 inches thick. It weighs 1.4 pounds. Like the iPad, it is available in Wi-Fi-only and cellular-capable versions. Dell outfits the XPS 10 with a 10.1-inch screen with a resolution of 1,366-by-768 pixels. The XPS 10 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. Dell sells the tablet with 32GB or 64GB of storage space. The Series 7 also has microSD memory card expansion slot. For photo and video, Dell equips the XPS 10 with a five-megapixel rear-facing camera and a two-megapixel front-facing camera. The XPS 10 runs on the Windows RT operating system. Like the Windows RT version of the Surface, the XPS 10 does not run legacy Windows software.