Now that Amazon has announced the release of its tablet-style media device the Kindle Fire, other low-priced, niche market options may begin to appear from mobile manufacturers. On the other end of the market spectrum, however, are the highest-power, feature-filled tablets that could pose a threat to the personal computer industry.

As tablet sales increase and the traditional computer sector slows, devices bordering on touchscreen laptops have been appearing. One of the most notable newcomers is the Asus Eee Pad Slider, which includes a slide-out keyboard for normal typing.

At about the same cost as an iPad, the Pad Slider lets those who wish to use their tablet for heavy typing to forgo the usual mobile accessories such as a keyboard dock and screen stand. What is gained in convenience, however, is lost in portability: The Asus is thicker and heavier than many models.

Other high-power tablets consumers are using as computer replacements include the Samsung Galaxy Tab. With an optional wireless keyboard, the device can be quickly set up to function in the same manner as the Pad Slider. Although tablets with attachable (or wireless) keyboards are often lighter than an all-in-one device such as the Asus model, carrying the accessory adds the weight back in.