iPad rivals invade Computex

Most use Google's Android software, but Windows scored some important wins

The number of tablets at Computex Taipei 2010 pays testimony to the trend Apple set in motion in April. Now that the company has sold 2 million iPads in just under two months, PC vendors globally want a piece of the action. While Google's Android was expected to sweep the show, Microsoft's Windows 7 scored some big wins.

King of netbooks deliver tablets

Asustek Computer on Monday unveiled two Eee Pad tablets running Windows software, one an e-reader. The iPad rival, the Eee Pad EP121, sports a 12-inch touchscreen and has Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium operating system and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor inside. The device is meant for Internet access, watching videos and other multimedia uses, computing and as an e-reader, the company said.

Micro-Star International (MSI) showed off an Android-based tablet PC called the Wind Pad 110 at a news conference, but the company will launch a Windows-based tablet first, a strategy some of its rivals also announced. Photo from Engadget .

Wanlida Group's Malata brand tablet, running Android and with a 10-inch touchscreen, was on display at Arm's private showroom at Computex.

Compal Electronics, the world's second largest contract maker of laptop computers, unveiled a sleek Android-based tablet with a 10-inch touchscreen and a stereo speaker it docked into. The UI is similar to Acer's Shell UI, which works on Android smartphones. The UI simplifies navigation by making the home screen a room full of objects the user taps using the touchscreen.

ProWave showed off its 7-inch touchscreen tablet, which is also running Android. It was on display in the Arm booth. Arm expects 40 tablet devices made using its processor design would be available this year, and several e-readers.

South Korea's Hardkernel showed the Odroid-T, which runs Android 2.1 and uses a Samsung Electronics' S5PC110 1GHz chipset. The devices includes external GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0, a Micro-SD slot, standard SHCH slot and more. The company's Web site says it will be available in June, but does not list a price.

Foxconn's tablet is a reference design made to show vendors what kind of tablets could be put into production quickly, and uses Nvidia's Tegra chipset inside . Foxconn is the trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronic devices, and the maker of Apple's iPad tablet.

Computex is not the only place to find iPad alternatives. Several are on the market or in the works right now that could also give the iPad a run for its money ( see slide show ).