Tablet market hots up

 
Steve Dinneen
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A resurgent Microsoft hopes a new range of devices running Windows 8 will succeed where Google has failed and shake up a tablet industry dominated by Apple. Here are some of the players hoping to steal the iPad’s limelight.

Sony Vaio Duo 11
The Vaio Duo 11 is a flippy, foldy, deckchair-like device with a physical keyboard that falls somewhere between a tablet and an ultrabook. The extra hardware, though, makes it heavy.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC
This hybrid tablet comes with a keyboard docking station, aiming to combine the useability of a laptop with the, well, the coolness of a tablet. It looks a bit like a beefed up Galaxy Tab.

Lenovo ThinkPad 2
Positioned towards the business end of the market, the ThinkPad 2 is a 10.1 inch device that comes with a full USB slot, despite being just 9.8mm thick. It follows the trend of having a keyboard dock.

Toshiba Satellite U920T
Well, would you Adam and Eve it? Another hybrid tablet, this time in the form of a fairly gigantic 12.5 inch, Gorilla Glass device with a fold out keyboard. Not the most practical solution on the market.

Dell XPS Duo 12
A slightly baffling device that will have you spinning it around in wonder the first time you get your hands on it. After the novelty wears off, though, you might wish it was a bit more straightforward.

Asus Vivo Tab
This purple contraption comes with... Yup, you guessed it... A keyboard dock. The keyboard is one of the better ones out there, although the tablet itself isn’t going to win many design awards.

HP Envy X2
The X2 is essentially a touchscreen version of HP’s Envy 4 ultrabook. It’s a slick piece of kit, working pretty well with and without the keyboard. This is one of the ones to watch.