The Top 10 Tablets From CES 20112:11 PM EST Mon. Jan. 10, 2011
There was a deluge of tablets, slates and touch-screen pads at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, as every PC, display or mobile phone manufacturer is jumping into the tablet market. Which ones will emerge as a true challenger to Apple's iPad?
Here's a look at 10 of the best tablets at CES 2011 in Las Vegas.
There are two kinds of ViewSonic Viewpads. The 7-inch model runs on Google Android 2.2 and features a Qualcomm MSM 7227 600MHz processor, 512 MB of Flash memory, two Webcams (one front-facing, one rear) and a display resolution of 800 x 480. But the Viewpad 10 is a little more advanced; it carries a 1.66GHz Intel Oak Trail processor, a 16-GB solid state hard drive, a 1,024 x 600 display, and not one but two operating systems -- the Viewpad 10 can dual-boot both Windows 7 and Android 1.6.
Lenovo executives tressed that this particular device is a prototype, not a soon-to-be released product. But nevertheless, it's an alluring 10.1-inch tablet that runs on Intel's Oak Trail platform. No other details are available about this prototype, but it's similar in shape, size and feel to Lenovo's other tablet, the Android-based LePad (see next slide).
Lenovo plans on releasing the LePad in China in the near future, but sadly there are no plans as of yet to release a North American version of the tablet. That's too bad, because the LePad has a lot going for it, including Android 2.2, a 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a touch-screen display with a 1,280 x 800 resolution. The LePad is the same tablet used in Lenovo's IdeaPad U1 hybrid.
Samsung's Galaxy tab has already been on sale for a few months, but the company will release a new model -- the Wi-Fi-only version of the Android-based 7-inch tablet. The Wi-Fi-only model comes with all the other features of the original 3G wireless model (front and rear-facing Webcams, full HD playback, and 16 GB or 32 GB of memory). Samsung also said a 4G model of the Galaxy Tab is coming, which will be supported by Verizon's 4G LTE network.
Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook is the company's long-awaited 4G tablet. The PlayBook runs on the BlackBerry operating system and comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM. The PlayBook also has a front-facing 3-megapixel Webcam, which can be used for HD videoconferencing, and a rear 5-megapixel Webcam. Users will be able to easily connect to and synchronize with their BlackBerry smartphones, too.
Toshiba's unnamed tablet could be nicknamed Honeycomb, since the forthcoming tablet will indeed be running on Android 3.0. In addition to the latest version of Google's mobile OS, the 10-inch tablet also comes with Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core processor and an easy-to-grip rubberized back, not to mention an HDMI connection, full 1,080p HD video support and a user-replaceable battery.
Like the unnamed Toshiba tablet, the Motorola Xoom comes with Android 3.0 and Nvidia's Tegra 2 mobile processor. The device also comes with 32 GB of storage, 1 GB of memory, a front-facing 2-megapixel Webcam and a rear-facing 5-meapixel Webcam. According to Motorola, the Xoom will be upgradable to Verizon's 4G LTE network, too.
Panasonic is pitching the Viera tablet as a smart device for leveraging cloud services -- specifically, the tablets can sync up with Panasonic's line of Viera HDTVs through the Viera Connect App. The device can also leverage content from Panasonic's Viera Connect IPTV service. The Viera tablet itself runs on Android 2.2 and comes in three sizes: 10, 7 and 4 inches.
Another TV maker has jumped into the tablet market. Vizio's Via is an 8-inch touch-screen tablet that features a 1GHz processor, GPS capability, a front-facing Webcam and 2 GB of internal storage with a microSD slot for additional capacity. The Android-powered Via also supports full 1,080p HD video playback and has an HDMI connection. It can be easily connected to users' Vizio HDTVs and act as a remote control.
Asus' Eee Pad is a big tablet. Not only does the device have a 12-inch display but it also runs on an Intel Core i5 processor and comes with a 32-GB or 64-GB solid-state drive and up to 4 GB of RAM, making the EP 121 arguably one of the most powerful tablet PCs on the market. The EP121 runs on Windows 7, supports full HD video playback and comes with an HDMI connection.