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The geeks were out in force for last night’s gdgt live event in Seattle, so we seized the opportunity to do one of our periodic “Geek on the Street” polls — although technically the setting wasn’t the street, but rather the nicely air conditioned Showbox SODO.

Our question this time around: Which tablet will be at the top of your wish list this fall?

Of course, the question isn’t perfect. For example, we don’t yet know what Amazon will be coming out with as a successor to the Kindle Fire. But it’s an interesting way of getting a sense for which tablets are generating the most interest.

Interestingly, the response we heard most frequently wasn’t the iPad but the Microsoft Surface — proving that Microsoft has succeeded in building the buzz for its new tablet even before people know the pricing. Continue reading for highlights, and weigh in with your own thoughts below.

David Lewis, Gig Harbor, Wash.: “The Microsoft Surface. Just the fact that it’s so dynamic, and also I’m a huge Windows fan, so I’m really anxious to see it hopefully beat the iPad. … The iPad seems like it’s great, but for artists. I’m not personally an artist. I like science and business, so I like the Windows format way more.” Lewis said he’s hoping that the Surface digitizer ups the quality of pen input on tablets, and he’d be willing to pay as much as $1,200 for the version of Surface that will run Windows 8 Pro.

Veronica Belmont, tech media veteran and host of Tekzilla: I’m most excited right now for the Surface. I am an iPad user, but I’m ready for something a little bit different. I know that tablets are definitely a luxury-style device, and they’re not for everyone, but I’m excited to see what type of technology Microsoft puts into this area. They haven’t really stood out in this field yet. They’ve done a lot with tablet software, but in terms of hardware, I think they have the capabilities to make something that really goes strong against the iPad. A lot of people are worried that it’s coming a little bit late into the market, but I don’t think that matters. I think it’s all about quality and price point. If they make a better device at a competitive price point, they have just as much a chance of taking on the iPad as any other manufacturer out there.

Alex Tokiyeda, Seattle: I really like the Kindle Fire. I think it’s really cool. I like the iPad, but to me it’s more of a glorified iPhone, and I already have an iPhone. There’s just something about the Fire that just seems so much cooler. It just seems like you can do more. It’s not just about the apps. There’s so many more functions, in my opinion.

Jason Rezek, Stanwood, Wash.: I really, really like the (Google) Nexus 7. The hardware looks great. And you can actually open it, which is cool. Completely customizable, it’s got the Android system. It’s actually got Jelly Bean, which is awesome. If you don’t want to do the Apple thing, because it’s so closed and pricey, it’s going to be the best tablet out there. It’s on par with the Kindle Fire, so why not. I have an iPad, I love my iPad, but I’ve been trying to convince my wife to get the Nexus 7. ‘You really need this.’

Julian Hunt, fifth grader, Kirkland, Wash.: Probably an iPad 3. It has almost everything. Good display, 4G.

Jake Ludington, all-around tech guy, Seattle: While I haven’t actually seen the physical product yet, I think the Surface would be my next tablet, simply because I do most of my work on Windows already, and it’s a tablet that actually runs real productivity applications, as opposed to just being apps.

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