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CES Roundup: Raft Of Tablet PCs Shine

1/17/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
LAS VEGAS — Tablet PCs dominated the International CES like few products before, with dozens of models being unveiled here in early January.

The Consumer Electronics Association reported that more than 80 tablet models were on display during the four days of the show.

Here is a roundup of many of the tablets that were on display during CES:

Coby’s first three tablets, all using the Android OS, consist of 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch models with resistive touchscreens, Wi-Fi, web browser, FM tuner, MicroSD slot to expand memory, 1080p HDMI output with included cable, USB 2.0 port with included cable and two embedded speakers. They also come with the Coby media manager to access stored audio, video and photos. World alarm clock, calendar and game apps are included. They’ll be available in the first quarter in 4GB and 8GB versions.

Dell’s tablet assortment centered on the Streak 7, which uses the Android 2.2 OS. It has Flash 10.1, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 32GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. The company reported the OS will be upgraded to Honeycomb soon after its release.

Digital Gadgets, under the Sylvania brand, shipped its first tablet to Sears in November, and it went to CES with two more tablets, both priced at less than $200.

The Sears tablet was based on the Android 2.1 OS, but one of the two new tablets will run on the Android 2.2. The other new one will run on the Windows Compact 7 OS, and while both feature a 7-inch touchscreen, the Android model uses a resistive touchscreen and the Windows 7 model uses a capacitive touchscreen. The Android version will retail for $129. Pricing on the Windows 7 version was unavailable. Shipments start in the first and second quarters.

Lenovo took the wraps off its IdeaPad U1 hybrid with LePad Slate.

The Android 2.2 device comes in two parts: a base unit that resembles a traditional laptop and a removable 10.1-inch tablet, or slate, that when attached to the base acts as the display and has its own built-in intelligence so it can operate separately.

The LePad slate can also be purchased as a separate unit, the company said. The product will hit China during the first quarter of 2011 and will cost about $520 in the Chinese market. Pricing and availability for other markets has not been released.

LG and T-Mobile have teamed up to offer in the coming months an Android 3.0 Honeycomb-powered 4G tablet operating on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. The device will be called the T-Mobile G-Slate with Google by LG. It will be among the first tablets, including a Motorola- made Xoom 4G tablet for Verizon’s 3G and 4G networks, to use the tablet-optimized Honeycomb OS.

Motorola discussed at CES the Xoom, an Android 3.0 tablet for Verizon Wireless. It is equipped with dual-core 1GHz processors. It’s one of the industry’s first tablet built on the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS designed specifically for tablets.

Motorola is targeting first-quarter availability of the 3G Xoom with the 4G coming in the second quarter.

Tablet features include 10.1-inch 1,280 by 800 touchscreen with 16:10 aspect ratio, 1GB RAM, 32GB embedded memory, SD Card support, 802.11n hot spot, rear- and front-facing cameras for video chats, HDMI output and Adobe Flash 10.1.

Naxa Electronics’ first Android tablet and first combination e-reader/multimedia player are on tap.

The tablet is the $149-suggested Android-based The Core, or NMI-1500. It was to be shipping by CES. The NMI-1500 features a 7-inch color LCD touchscreen, Wi-Fi, gravity sensor to rotate the display into portrait or landscape mode, web browser, email capabilities, SDHC card slot, USB inputs, 720p HDMI output and embedded 8GB memory.

The e-reader/multimedia player is the $109-suggested NER-1400 with full wireless capabilities. It was scheduled to be currently available with a 7-inch 800 by 480 TFT LCD screen, 90-degree screen rotation via a gravity sensor, built-in speakers, SD card slot and embedded 4GB memory.

Noah will enter the tablet business under the Envizen Digital brand with five Android models in 7-, 8- and 10-inch sizes. Additional details were unavailable.

Research In Motion (RIM) announced a 4G PlayBook tablet for use on Sprint’s network beginning sometime in the summer. Additional details and pricing will be released closer to launch, RIM said.

The long-promised Wi-Fi-only version of Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab tablet is in the works along with a 4G Tab for Verizon’s 4G LTE network and a pair of Wi-Fi-equipped Sliding PC 7 tablets based on the Microsoft Windows 7 OS.

The Wi-Fi-only Android-based Tab will arrive in the first quarter.

Samsung also announced plans for the first 4G LTE-enabled Galaxy Tab but didn’t say when it would become available for the Verizon Wireless network.

Sharp reported it would officially jump into the U.S. tablet computer market in the second half the year with U.S. versions of its Galapagos tablets, now on sale in Japan. The company is still deciding on an OS and screen sizes, although the Japanese versions sport 5.5- and 10.8-inch displays.

Pricing was not mentioned.

Sungale plans to launch its first Android tablets sometime this year, having released a Linux tablet in 2009. The two models in the Cyberus line are the 10.1-inch ID1010WTA at a targeted $329 and a 7-inch ID708WTA at a targeted $229. They feature Android 2.2 OS, 3D gaming, 3D gaming applications with the integrated 3D accelerator, e-book reader and compatibility with Microsoft Office. The 7-inch model has a front-facing camera for video chats.

Toshiba exhibited an as-yet-unnamed tablet at CES that will use the Android Honeycomb operating system and will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual core processor with integrated graphics. The first version will be Wi-Fi only, but the company is looking at other options. The tablet will have a 10.1-inch multi-touch LED display with 1,200 by 800 resolution. The screen is adaptive and can adjust to different lighting situations. It will weigh about 1.7 pounds. The company said it will be priced similarly to the iPad.

ViewSonic showed its first three tablets. They are an Android 2.2-based ViewPad 7 with 7-inch touchscreen; 10- inch Android 2.2-based gTablet; and 10-inch ViewPad 10, a dual-OS tablet that boots up in the user’s choice of either Android 1.6 or Windows 7. All feature Wi-Fi, but the ViewPad 7 adds a SIM card slot to adds circuit-switched cellular voice and 3G data.

As of mid-December, the gTablet was available, the ViewPad 7 was available for preorder, and the ViewPad 10 was on track for first-quarter availability at an expected $629.

The Wall Street Journal reported Vizio would come out with a tablet; however, the company would not comment on the story. According to the Journal, the tablet will feature an 8-inch screed, a frontfacing camera and Wi-Fi. The news report had it shipping this summer.

Other companies with tablets at the show include: AOC, Stream TV Networks and oCosmos. — Reporting was done by Joseph Palenchar, Greg Tarr and Doug Olenick.
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