Travel means packing, and packing means packing light. Or trying to. So you don't want the extra weight of books, CDs, and DVDs to haul around, which makes a tablet the ideal vacation companion.

There are dozens of tablets on the market now, in various sizes and with various capabilities. Some are simple e-book readers, others with a snap-on keyboard can almost replace a laptop computer. Most shoppers are (overly) familiar with Apple's market-leading iPads, but there are alternatives that are as capable if not more capable than Apple's icons. Here are three of the best that I've tested.