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The original iPad - iPad 1 - was launched in April 2010. Since then, the iPad (both the first and its successor) has become an important device for all those professionals who often work on-the-go... in addition to being a must-have for all gadget freaks and those who simply love its features.

The iPad 2, announced by the late founder and CEO of the company, Steve Jobs, in March 2011, was an equally smashing success.

The third iteration of the series - the new iPad - was launched on 7 March and features an all-new Retina Display, the new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics.

In a market flooded with so many different tablets... all offering a range of different specifications, combinations and pricing options, it can sometimes be difficult to pick out the truly high-end ones.

It is safe, however, to say that Apple retains its position as one of the world's leading tablet makers and the new iPad will only cement that status.

However, check out some of their contenders... the ones who are providing serious competition... recent award-winning tablets that could potentially challenge the new iPad...