5 of the best new iPad (iPad 3) alternatives

Since the dawn of the iPad, others have tried to beat it at its own game. Fast forward to round 3 and here are the best alternatives

iPad 3 alternatives – iPad 2

You've heard the hype about the iPad 2, you know Apple's sold more of these than Malcolm Tucker has sold lies – but there's a reason for that. Not just the iPad 2's specs like the A5 dual-core processor or its 8.8mm depth – it's Apple's ability to make everything work perfectly.

If you want to check emails, play games, watch films, socialise online, write a document… alright, it does most things. And it all comes at a cheaper-than-the-latest-iPad price, making it still a perfectly capable tablet for most.

Read our iPad 2 review here.

iPad 3 alternatives – Huawei MediaPad 10

Huawei has really been pulling out all the stops of late. Not only has it been responsible for some pretty snazzy smartphones, but it's brought its A-game to the tablet arena too, with the quad-core toting MediaPad 10.

The 10in, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich sporting slice of beauty is powered by Huawei’s very own 1.5GHz K3 quad-core. Combined with its 4G LTE connectivity, the MediaPad 10 will stream buttery smooth video onto its 1920x1200 IPS display – which is also great for viewing snaps from its 8MP camera.

In spite of being spec heavy, the MediaPad's aluminium alloy frame is a surprisingly light 600g and just 8.8mm thin – so very tempting.

Read our Huawei MediaPad announcement story here.

iPad 3 alternatives – Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung's stylus-packing 5.3in Galaxy Note has almost doubled in size, to become the Galaxy Note 10.1. It may have been stripped of its call-making abilities, but Sammy's gone and packed its second-gen rectangle with a bevy of headline specs –10.1in 1280 x 800 pixel screen, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and front (2MP) and rear cams (3MP).

Scribbling on the screen is made easy thanks to the S Pen – and with more doodle space, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is more than ideal for annotating... and defacing Facebook pics. Find out what we thought of it in our hands-on review.

iPad 3 alternatives – Asus Padfone

Asus finally introduced its versatile, form-changing PadFone to the public at Mobile World Congress. Part phone, part tablet – with its tech twist on the Russian doll, the PadFone is a truly unique device. As a phone it's a good looking, high-end handset that serves up a 9.2mm thick, 4.3in Super AMOLED qHD display, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and an 8MP shooter, complete with an LED flash and f/2.2 autofocusing lens.

The Padfone's most distinguishing feature however, is its ability to turn into a 10.1in tablet with the optional tablet station. You can even add an optional battery-boosting keyboard dock for a proper typing experience. Finally, you get a Galaxy Note-inspired stylus, which also doubles up as a nifty headset for receiving calls. We went hands-on with it at MWC - find out what our first impressions were.

iPad 3 alternatives – Kindle Fire

Amazon's Kindle Fire might not be available in our neck of the woods just yet, but its wallet-friendly price tag has many gadgeteers holding onto their cash in anticipation.

It's not just the price that's attractive. Combining Amazon's e-reading nous with tablet features and a tiny price tag means the Kindle Fire has gone down a treat in the US. It may have ditched the sunlight-friendly, backlight-free E Ink screen, but in its place comes a sharp, colourful, 7in 1024 x 600 LCD display and a bespoke interface, complete with a scrolling 3D carousel, one-click shopping and the all-new Silk browser.

Find out if it's worth the wait by reading our review.

UPDATE: Read our in depth new iPad 3 review here.

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