BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Amid all the frenzy over Apple's ( AAPL) iPad, it's easy to forget that tablet computers are not a Steve Jobs innovation.
During the past year, computer makers such as Dell ( DELL), Asus and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) have debuted new tablet computers, which combine the functions of a laptop with the convenience of a touch screen. At about an inch thick and 3 to 5 pounds, they're lighter than traditional laptops and easier to slip into a briefcase or backpack. Will tablets become the next must-have gadget? It's too soon to tell. But if all the iSlate hype has you intrigued by a tablet's possibilities, here are other models to consider: