CES 2013: 10 Hot Tablets For Work And Play4:15 PM EST Mon. Jan. 14, 2013
If the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show proved one thing, it's this: Tablets aren't killing the PC, but they're definitely stealing its thunder.
The massive tech trade show highlighted the industry's hottest new tablets, including some that are "rugged," some that are sleek and some that are down-right enormous. Here are 10 tablets that attendees couldn't get enough of.
Lenovo rolled out a number of new products at CES 2013, but none garnered as much attention as its new IdeaCentre Horizon "Table PC."
Essentially a gigantic tablet that doubles as an all-in-one PC, the new IdeaCentre Horizon measures 27 inches, supports multipoint touch and even comes with accessories like "e-dice" and mini joysticks that make it perfect for multiplayer gaming. When it's time to get down to business, users can prop the Horizon up, pair it with a keyboard and use it as an all-in-one PC. The new device was so popular it managed to nab the "Best of CES 2013" award in the "PCs and tablets" category.
The IdeaCentre Horizon runs Windows 8 and will sell for $1,699 when it launches this summer.
Acer expanded its flagship line of Iconia tablets at this year's CES, introducing its new entry-level Iconia B1. The 7-inch Iconia B1 will go head-to-head with other smaller-sized tablets, including Apple's new iPad mini , Google's Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Acer was mum on availability details but hinted that the B1's price tag would be competitive, likely somewhere under the $150 mark.
The tablet's specs include a Mediatek 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 8 GB of storage, with a USB 2.0 and micro-ports also included. The Iconia B1 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, weighs in at just 0.7 pounds and measures 0.4 inches thick.
Most Windows 8 tablets on the market today run either and Intel or ARM-based processor. But, Vizio has infused some variety into the mix by introducing a new tablet fueled by AMD.
Simply called the Vizio 11.6-inch Tablet, the new device runs AMD's tablet-focused Z-60 APU, which boats a dual-core architecture and runs up to 1GHz. Vizio's new tablet also packs 2 GB of RAM, micro-USB ports and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.
In addition to running an AMD processor, the Vizio 11.6-inch Tablet is unique because of its software. The device runs a "Signature" version of Windows 8 that's been stripped entirely of third-party software and other pre-loaded apps, which Vizio claims make its "Junkware"-free.
Panasonic took the wraps off a new tablet that meshes Windows 8 with the "ruggedness" of its Toughpad brand.
Called the Toughpad G1, the new 10.1-inch device was touted by Panasonic as being the most durable Windows 8 tablet on the market today. It runs an Intel "Ivy Bridge" Core i5 processor and boasts an 8.5-hour replaceable battery, all of which is encased in a frame that's dust-proof, water-proof and, perhaps most importantly, drop-proof.
Panasonic said the Toughpad G1, like the rest of its Toughpad family, would be ideal for vertical markets like healthcare or field services, where device durability is a must. That said, that "ruggedness" will come at a cost: The G1 will sell for $2,899 when it launches this March.
A finalist for the "Best of CES" awards, the new Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 has all the makings of a first-class business tablet.
First introduced by Lenovo in October, the new ThinkPad Tablet 2 runs Windows 8 Pro and touts a number of enterprise-specific features, including a Fingerprint Reader, biometrically stored passwords and full-sized USB ports, poised to make it an IT manager's dream. It can also be paired with a stylus for signature capture or note-taking in meetings.
Despite its business flair, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 still boats that sleek look-and-feel consumers crave, weighing in at a light 1.2 pounds. The tablet is available now, starting at $649.
In addition to the new ToughPad G1, Panasonic's CES booth showcased the company's new 20-inch Windows 8 tablet.
It's not quite as big as Lenovo's new IdeaCentre Horizon, but Panasonic's 4K Tablet does include an Ultra HD Display that makes Windows 8 pop in a way most tablets can't. The new, over-sized tablet also includes a 1.8GHz Intel i5 Core processor, Nvidia GeForce graphics and 4 GB of memory. Despite its massive screen size, the Panasonic 20-inch 4K is still just 0.4 inches thin and weighs in at 5.3 pounds, a respectable weight given the amount of screen real estate in tow.
There's no word from Panasonic on pricing or availability just yet.
The Google Nexus 10 isn't brand new, but it still piqued CES attendees' interest in a big way.
Manufactured by Samsung and first unveiled by Google in October, the Nexus 10 is a 10.5-inch tablet with an impressive 2,560-by-1,600 display, armed with more than 400 million pixels. It runs the latest Android Jelly Bean OS and can support nine hours of video playback, along with over 500 hours of standby. Under the hood is a Samsung dual-core Exynos 5 processor.
Part of the Nexus 10's appeal is its relatively modest price point (compared to Apple's iPad, at least). It runs for $399 for the 16-GB model and $499 for the 32-GB model.
Another CES crowd-pleaser was Samsung's Ativ Smart PC, a tablet that doubles as a notebook when paired with its detachable keyboard.
Targeted primarily at business users, the Ativ Smart PC has an 11.6-inch HD display, touts an Intel "Clover Trail" 1.5GHz processor and runs Microsoft's Windows 8. The tablet portion is 0.39 inches thick and weighs 1.6 pounds, with the full clamshell weighing in at 3.26 pounds. Also included is native support for Samsung's S Pen stylus and the S Note app, so users can takes notes and doodle on-the-go.
The Samsung Ativ Smart PC is available now, starting at $649.
Lenovo's new ThinkPad Helix was another half-tablet, half-notebook device that rose to fame at this year's CES.
Like Samsung's ATIV Smart PC, the Helix works as a stand-alone tablet and as traditional clamshell when used with its detachable keyboard. The device can also morph into a third form factor called Stand mode, ideal for watching movies or viewing PowerPoint presentations.
The Windows 8-based Helix runs an Intel third-generation processor and supports near-field communication technology, allowing users to share photos and other files with a simple tap. Despite its unique, multifunction design, the Helix is still a ThinkPad at heart, boasting Lenovo's signature trackpad and aimed largely at the enterprise.
Toshiba's Excite 10SE was one of the standout Android-based tablets on the CES show floor.
It has a 10.1-inch display that packs a 1,280-by-800 resolution and features an Android Jelly Bean 4.1 OS. The Excite 10SE also includes an Nvidia Tegra 2 mobile processor, an impressive 12-hour battery life and micro-USB ports. Spec-wise, the tablet is pretty similar to the Toshiba's original Excite 10, but the difference is in the price tag. Toshiba said this 10SE is targeted at the entry-level market and is priced at a competitive $350.