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Gallery: Leading tablets and e-readers

Doug Gross, CNN
There were tablets before the iPad, but Apple's tab introduced the concept to millions who had never heard of one. More than 84 million have been sold, dwarfing the competition. With its high-definition "retina display" screen, dual cameras and extensive app catalogue, it's the standard by which other tablets are measured. They start at $499 and run up to $829 for a 64GB version with 3G connectivity. There were tablets before the iPad, but Apple's tab introduced the concept to millions who had never heard of one. More than 84 million have been sold, dwarfing the competition. With its high-definition "retina display" screen, dual cameras and extensive app catalogue, it's the standard by which other tablets are measured. They start at $499 and run up to $829 for a 64GB version with 3G connectivity.
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Tablets and e-readers: iPad
iPad Mini
Kindle Fire HD
Microsoft Surface
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Google Nexus 7
Kindle Paperwhite
Nook
Kobo Touch
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Here's a quick look at eight of the leading tablets and e-readers
  • The tablet market, dominated by the iPad, is becoming increasingly crowded

(CNN) -- When people think mobile, it's generally smartphones that come to mind

But tablets and e-readers have increasingly become part of the equation, with millions of people now owning devices that many had never heard of a couple of years ago.

On the tablet front, Apple's iPad has ruled the market with an iron fist. Since its rollout in early 2010, competitors from HP to Dell to BlackBerry-maker RIM have tried, and failed, to match the device feature for feature.

But in 2012, the landscape has gotten more interesting.

Amazon first released its smaller Kindle Fire, which cost $300 less than the cheapest iPad. Google followed suit with the Nexus 7, while makers like Acer and Samsung have earned rave reviews for their devices.

Now tech titan Microsoft enters the game with plans for the Microsoft Surface, a hybrid that, with its built-in keyboard and souped up processing power, promises to bridge the gap between tablets and the new, sleek ultrabooks.

No one has threatened the iPad's dominance -- yet. But serious players are now taking aim at Apple with creative new approaches.

On the e-reader front, Amazon rules the roost with its Kindle line. But Barnes & Noble's Nooks are a solid second and fan favorite Kobo still hangs around, with more support in its native Canada than in the United States.

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