Joining the ranks of the tablets is the HP tablet with its new Web OS. The interface looks better than Android 2.3 and 3.0 in that all the open program is displayed in one neat display. Unlike Androids, you can end each program by flicking them up the screen. However that feature is very sporadic. It sometimes work and sometimes doesn't. What I mean is that when you flicking the open program up the screen, it sometimes does not end the program. In addition, you will have to flick it straight upward. Any deviation (e.g. diagonally) will not end the program. Like Android, Web OS does support flash, which is nice. Web OS is my favorite OS so far.
Like Android, I believe the Web OS support plug and play. What I mean is that you do not need any additional softare to transfer things to and from the PC.
Android is the stable for most tablets. The new Android 3.0 Honeycomb is the latest version of Android OS specifically for tablets. What that means is that it cannot be used on Android phones (latest version for phones is 2.3). Android 3.0 sport a new interface that is touch friendly. However, Android have one drawback: you cannot end the software once you are done with it. There is no "x" or close button on most Android software. The only way to end em is to a. install task manager and force quit them or b. force quit them by restarting the tablet. In addition, you can't view all the open Windows at once, like Web OS can do.
Another benifit of Android is that it support plug and play. What I mean is that you do not need any additional softare to transfer things to and from the PC.
The biggest change of Android 3.0 is that it no longer auto run flash. You would have to "press" to play it. Also, if you decide to run Android 3.0, I recommend you install Opera Mobile as the interface is more intuitive and bookmarks can be shared across platforms (i.e. you can sync them with Opera on your desktop as well as Opera Mini on your dumb phone). Opera Mobile also have better support for HTML5.0 than the default browser.
iOS is the operating system powering the popular ipad tablets. iOS is the most basic of the tablet OS. Although it is quite good for out of the box experience, it does not support flash. That means you cannot run flash games, flash videos, etc. You will have to rely on proprietary apps to do most of the stuff (one of the things Apple boasts: there's an app for anything!).
Another drawback of iOS is that it relys on itunes to sync your stuff to your PC. It does not have plug and play support like Android and Web OS. In addition, you can't use your ipad or any "i" products unless you "register" it to Apple via the itunes software on the PC
Windows 7 OS
You may be suprised to see Windows 7 on the list, but some tablet makers use Windows 7 OS on their tablets. However, Windows 7 is more suitable for desktops so the controls is very fisky. Menu options are very hard to chose and the keyboards is not tablet friendly. In addition, since this is a full fledge desktop Windows 7 OS, you would need an antivirus software to protect from malware (I recommend Norton Internet Security, which IS upgradable to the LATEST version for FREE within subscription).
BlackBerry Tablet OSThe below section is copied and paste from my later blog post reviewing the Blackberry's Playbook.
The tablet hype that started with the ipad is still around. In the rush to capitalize on Apple's success, many manufacture have release their own version of the tablet. I have recently reviewed some of the most tablet's OS. On Steve's request, I have tried out the Blackberry playbook.
The word "blackberry" is a funny name for a phone company. It sounds like the name of the berry! Just take a look at the following video to appreciate the humor!
Humor aside, Blackberry phones is rather popular among buisness types or buisnessman wannabes. However, Blackberry was not able to keep the hype up with its Blackberry Playbook. The operating system of the Playbook, Blackberry's own proprietary tablet OS named BlackBerry Tablet OS, is quite tricky to use. For one thing, there isn't any "physical" menu keys like the ipad or the HP Touchpad. Neither is there a "home button" or "back button." Instead to close the app, you simply have to swipe your finger upwards from the bottom of the screen. This will cause the app to minimize to the middle of the screen in the style of HP's WebOS. In addition, the menu system is quite tricky to use as it utilize both the side swipe and scroll technique. The side swap changes the menu to other prefix such as games favorites, etc. The scroll just scrolls the screen up and down to show more menu options. Also, the desktop of the Playbook cannot be used to pin apps. Instead the top of the menu sticks up from the bottom of the screen.
Another glaring problem with the playbook is the inability to fetch e-mail or access other personal information management data such as address book, BBM, memos, calendar, and tasks, for example without paring with a Blackberry smartphone. Although, I think this may be done to increase the sale of Blackberry smartphone, this feature seems to cripple the Blackberry. It also cannot access 3g/4g (US only) without smart phone paring (although it could access WiFi on its own). Updates also require Smartphone/computer paring
A further problem with the Blackberry OS is that it is slightly sluggish. This caused a problem for me with the music player. That is because after pressing "play" the music doesn't immediately load. The Playbook sports a "play" button as well as the volume rocker at the top of the screen.
On a plus side, the BlackBerry Tablet OS runs flash, but it is hard baked into the system. Flash compatability isn't much of an issue nowadays due to the avent of HTML5 video and audio. But it would be nice for flash support (which many "ipad" killers are doing).
In summary, although Blackberry is quite a popular brand of smartphones, the Playbook is just another fad and ipad wannabe. There are other better tablets out there. I am inclined towards the HP Touchpad cause its operating system is slightly easier to use and supports flash. However, to the best of my knowledge, the Touchpad does not support Opera Mobile or Opera Mini. If you want to run the excellent Opera Mobile browser and have flash support, you better stick with the Android operating system. But check carefully as some Android devices does not support flash. Ask the sales person for more info of whether the device you want to buy supports flash.