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Top 5 touchpads

Touchpads fall in between being a smart phone and a computer, making them one of the coolest devices around. They are bigger than phones but smaller and lighter than notebooks and laptops. The great news is they nearly have all the features of both gadgets enabling the user to multi-task from browsing and emailing to video calling and movie watching.

Top products in the market

Compared to the glut in the smart phone markets, touchpads are not quite there yet. But there are still plenty of models to choose from:

1. Apple iPad - From the 16GB to the 64GB, the iPad holds the market share in the tablet market with its easy interface, top-notch graphics and endless applications.

2. Acer Iconia Tab A500 - It has a 5MP camera and a 2MP front camera. Like Dell's Streak 7, its SD card slot can hold up to 32 GB of memory. It is run on an Android platform and has dual-core processors. Our main criticisms are its bulkiness and weight.

3. Asus Eee Pad Transformer - With a LED-backlit 10.1-inch LCD screen, this touch pad runs on an Android OS. It has a dual core processor and a 5MP camera. A secondary 1.2 MP camera is included. These are cheap but there are recording and playback issues.

4. Dell Streak 7 - Powered by a dual core processor, Dell has a 5MP front camera and a rear 1.3 camera. It has an SD card slot for memory extension of up to 32GB. It's priced reasonably, but critics are not too happy with its graphics.

5. Samsung Galaxy Tablet - Samsung consolidates its hold in the electronic devices with the Galaxy. Run on dual-core processors, this tablet is blazing fast. The picture screen is great as its 8MP camera. There is also a second 2MP camera for video calling which is not bad at all, while the sound from the dual speakers greatly enhance viewing and listening experience. A sore point is the absence of an SD card slot.

Other touchpads to consider

Here are other touchpads that might meet your needs:

1. HP TouchPad - This tablet was discontinued in 2011 but its interface is good and it uses an Android platform. Prices were reduced drastically so it is an interesting option if you can get hold of one.

2. Blackberry Playbook - Packed with all the features fit for the busy corporate person, the Playbook is criticised for its lack of emailing capability and a dearth of applications. However, it is very compact, lightweight, powerful and fast.

3. ViewSonic ViewPad 7 - This is a 7-inch device that has a powerful processor. Fitted with a 3MP camera and a 0.2MP secondary camera, it runs on Android 2.2. Users find it bulky and awkward to use.

4. Sony S Tablet - Sony fans will love its sleek design and smooth user interface. It has a 3MP front camera and 2MP rear camera. Applications are not overflowing compared to other tablets.

5. Motorola Xoom - Supported on an Android 3.0 platform, Xoom is a solid and fast-performing tablet.

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