By Peter Jenkinson,

The next generation of mobile computing has arrived, so look away now if you have just splashed out on a lovely new laptop – they’re so last season, this autumn it’s all about the tablet.

Highly portable and prod-able, this genre has seen an upsurge in interest from consumers since the launch of the iPad. Although Apple’s latest release stole the headlines there are some serious contenders vying for your hard-earned wallet fodder.

At a recent consumer electronics show every major manufacturer showed off a tablet device – there’s a real feeling they’re already starting to erode the laptop market. Here’s our pick of the top six tablets that represent the cream of next generation mobile computing.

Packs A Punch – Dell Streak – £499.99 from

Computing giant Dell has waded into the tablet arena with this sleek looking device with a five-inch screen that offers eye-pleasing delivery of content. It operates on the Android system and  combines the functionality of a smartphone, a tablet PC, a digital camera and a sat nav into a package that’s a serious contender.

Leading Light – Apple iPad (3G Wi-Fi 64GB model) – £899.99 from

Taking everything you love about the iPhone and repackaging it behind a multi touch 9.7-inch screen  will be enough for dedicated followers of the fruit to head straight toward the buy button. This machine does plenty and of course offers apps a plenty to keep you busy. Its web surfing, media playback and calendar functions are superb but it suffers from an inability to multitask which may frustrate.

Internet Only – JooJoo – £319 from

It is always good to see an upstart try to upset the status quo of the bigger players. While this first effort from JooJoo comes up a little short, we think it is only a matter of time. This browser model has a sizeable screen to view videos over Wi-Fi and digest content, but as yet there are no applications designed for the tablet so we’re bookmarking its homepage in anticipation of JooJoo II.

Out There – Samsung Galaxy Tab – £679.99 from

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has been applauded by the tech community since its recent arrival and firmly touted by the Korean manufacturer at those wanting to avoid the restrictions of the iPad. Operating on Android, you’ve access to an ever increasing number of quality applications which, on this device, you can operate more than one of at a time – a multitasking marvel.

Entry Level – Archos 10.1 tablet (8GB model) – £269.99 from

After producing a long line of top quality personal media players the French technology company has just launched a range of five Android-based tablets. This lightweight Android device is just about pocketable and, among other features, offers Wi-Fi connectivity and the best picture quality around.

Coming Soon – Viewsonic ViewPad 7 – £349.99 from

The seven-inch screen ViewPad could be seen as an oversized phone as it features 3G mobile connectivity with voice calls, texting and MMS all on board. Inside is the latest Android system update with two cameras for video calling, Wi-Fi, GPS connectivity and Bluetooth too – it is a super smartphone.

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