Interested in how the wave of tablet computer popularity could benefit your company’s service operation, but not sure the iPad’s right for you? Not to fear. It seems every computer company is riding the success of Apple’s iPad by developing their own iterations of it. Any why not? Consumers love them, and businesses are starting to wise up to their potential to drive sales and streamline operations.

Channel Insider’sJennifer Lawinski writes about several computer vendors that unveiled new tablets at this year’s CES conference. As Lawinski notes, not only have these devices moved beyond mere consumer novelty, but SMBs and other verticals are realizing the power of the tablet as vendors develop ruggedized versions for the enterprise. She notes:

A slew of tablet products competing with Apple’s beloved iPad and the recently-released Samsung Galaxy tablet are making their debut. Expect products from heavy-hitters like LG, Asus, Motorola, whose tablet is to be the first running Google’s Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system, Toshiba and Vizio. Motion Computing is showcasing a rugged tablet for businesses, and we’ll likely hear more about Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook. Cisco will demonstrate its new Cius Tablet PC.

This flurry of new products on the market means your businesses will have even more choices when considering whether to equip your field service or HVAC tech with a tablet. Choice — it’s a language you and your customers understand, and it seems the computer manufacturers are paying attention. Jonney Shih, chairman of Taiwan-based Asus, emphasized the importance of choice during an interview with the BBC:

We admire companies like Apple that offer great innovation, but they provide very limited choices for the customers. Different kinds of customers have different kinds of needs, and the best way to better serve them is to provide choice.