Although smart appliances and 3D televisions generated much interest at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, it would seem that the real stars would be the tablets. Many companies unveiled their own tablets following the success of Apple’s iPad in 2010. According to International Business Times, over 80 tablets were announced at the CES and PC World reports that over 50 tablets will be on the market in the upcoming year.
While Apple’s iPad runs on its own operating system, many of its competitors released Android-based tablets. Most of these tablets operate on Android 3.0 operating system, or “Honeycomb,” which is exclusively designed for tablets.
EWeek describes several of these offerings in a recent article. One of these tablets is Motorola Mobility’s Xoom, which they worked on with Verizon. It is expected to be released to the market within the first quarter of 2011. Also scheduled to be released in 2011 is a tablet from Toshiba. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is also affiliated with Verizon and runs on its wireless 4G LTE (long-term evolution) network. Dell, working with T-Mobile and their 4G network, announced their Stream 7. Unlike many of its competitors, the Stream 7 operates on Android 2.2.
Not every tablet showcased used a third-party operating system, however. Research In Motion (RIM), the company responsible for the popular Blackberry phones, displayed its Playbook. The Playbook runs on RIM’s proprietary operating system and can also connect with a user’s Blackberry phone. Microsoft also displayed several tablets that ran Windows 7, but according to EWeek reports, many of these were mostly for Asian use. HP’s tablet, scheduled to make a debut after the CES, will be web-OS based.
Tablets may have been a highlight of the CES, but many tablet-like products also left an impression. Mentioned by EWeek was a Samsung laptop that features a sliding keyboard so it can be converted into a tablet. Acer displayed their double touchscreen laptop, whose second touchscreen can be used as a keyboard. Microsoft, working with Samsung, showed off their Surface 2, an impressive table-sized tablet. International Business Times highlighted the Asus EEE Slate EP121, which has many PC-like qualities, like a bluetooth keyboard. The Panasonic Viera was a little bit different than the other products showcased, as it was meant to be complimentary to other Panasonic devices. When paired with the Viera televisions, for example, the user can use it to watch TV programs from several different angles as well s use it as a visual remote to operate the television.
While the tablets were received warmly at the CES, it is yet to be seen whether or not it will translate to success with consumers once these products hit the market.
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