2. Amazon Kindle Fire
I've had the Amazon tablet on this list for most of the year, and I've taken a lot of heat for it since the product wasn't officially announced until September 28. I've maintained throughout the year that the Amazon tablet is destined to be No. 2 in the market by the end of 2011, and I still believe that now that Amazon has unveiled the Kindle Fire. The fact is that Amazon is better positioned to compete with Apple than any of the other tablet makers because of its strengths in content and cloud computing. Amazon already had the Kindle e-book library and Web-based music and video stores, but in 2011 it has added the Amazon Appstore for Androidand Amazon Cloud Drive. The Kindle Fire has one other huge asset going for it -- a $199 price tag.
If you'd prefer to view this list in text format, see the companion blog post.
Jason Hiner has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.