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10 Biggest Gadgets of 2011

        Tech | Other Gadgets

4
Apple iPad 2
Apple's iPad 2 added forward- and rear-facing cameras and improved processing, while reducing thickness and weight.
Apple's iPad 2 added forward- and rear-facing cameras and improved processing, while reducing thickness and weight.
Courtesy Apple

Although tablet computers had been out many years prior to the release of Apple's iPad in April 2010, they seemed to be popular with medical professionals and others who wanted a portable computer with handwriting recognition. And portable computers they were, too -- most were laptops with screens that could be pivoted and closed so that the screen faced outward. The device former Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed off was lighter and used a variation of the same operating system as the popular iPhone.

The tech press and the public were both uncertain of the iPad's success at first, but the public and the competition soon took notice. Many wondered what tablets from BlackBerry and devices running the Android operating system would look like. But then something odd happened -- Apple one-upped itself by launching the iPad 2 in early 2011, before most of the competition had the opportunity to get their tablets to market.

Apple's updated iPad included forward- and rear-facing cameras, a faster processor, a slimmer form factor and lighter weight. Sales of the new iPad took off and never looked back. Meanwhile, HP, BlackBerry and other devices expected to do well sold poorly. Tablets running the Android operating system proved the iPad 2's toughest competitors.

Android powers our next gadget -- read on to see which one.


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