Invasion Of the Tablets

By Branko Miletic

CES 2011 so a plethora of tablets hitting the shelves. Wanting to take advantage of Apple’s success with its iPad, manufacturers have made 2011 the year of the mine PC. Since November 2010, more than 100 tablets have been launched on the global market. Now most of them won’t make it to our shores, but some will, so we take a look at what the new generation of tablets will and won’t do for you.

ASUS Eee Pad MeMO
The Eee Pad MeMO has a 7.1-inch capacitive touch-screen making it small enough to slip into a jacket pocket, yet still suitable for taking handwritten notes using the supplied stylus pen. The Android 3.0 operating system offers a wide range of productivity and entertainment software, while a Micro HDMI port means the MeMO can even connect to an external display for full 1080p HD video playback.

Lenovo’s Launches Deadly Duo
Using Intel's oldish 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU, the Lenovo S10 is not going to match up with a Core 2 Duo. Yet considering that most people use tablets for web surfing, email, and modifying Word documents, rather than gaming, the S10 will cut the mustard for just about everyone. The specs for the S10 include Windows XP Home Edition; 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 533MHz; 64MB Mobile Intel CPU and 160GB Western Digital 5,400rpm HDD. Lenovo has also optimised its ThinkPad X201 tablet for a smart business computing experience.

It features a 12.1-inch capacitive multitouch screen with a touch-based hardware interface and Lenovo SimpleTap navigation application and a full-size laptop with keyboard. It comes loaded with Microsoft Windows 7 business operating system, a wide-viewing angle screen for viewing up to 185 degrees, security tools including fingerprint reader, anti-theft technologies and even a self encrypting hard drive. The X201 can connect via 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and or Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and comes with a USB port for watching multimedia.

HP Slate 500
The HP Slate 500 is for professionals who don’t usually work at a traditional desk, yet need to stay productive in a secure, familiar Windows environment. It is also intended for those who use custom applications built for Windows. Users can check their e-mail, browse the web, read and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets and more.
Showing training or product videos and streaming video from the web on the is possible due to its two cameras.

Users can also connect accessories like a keyboard, mouse and printer with the HP Slate 500’s built-in USB 2.0 port and if you hate those messy cords, then you can use the Slate’s Bluetooth connectivity to connect to peripherals such as printers, mice and headsets.

Dell Streak
Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell has hitched its wagon to the Android OS. The Streak uses its Android 2.2 including the Stage User Interface (UI) and a collection of widgets that bring content such as music, photos and email to the home screen. It includes Adobe Flash 10.1 support for the full mobile Web experience and the capability to use the Dell Streak as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared with up to eight other devices.

The 5-inch screen lets you surf, watch videos and stay connected with less squinting and pinching, plus front-and-back cameras can capture photos and videos on the fly with 5-MP1 resolution. Built with 6-inch wide x 3.1-inch high x 0.4-inch thin dimensions, there’s plenty of space, plus the high-quality scratch-resistant Gorilla glass means your viewing is pretty good. Also, the ambient light sensors are designed to automatically adjust the screen brightness, giving better battery life, claims Dell.

RIM PlayBook
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion's first tablet device featuring the all-new QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS is a real cracker. With specs that include a 7-inch LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touchscreen with full multi-touch and gesture support; a 1 GHz dual-core processor (Cortex A9 Processor), 1 GB RAM; up to 64GB  of RAM, 5300mAh battery, Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing) which support 1080p HD video recording; video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV and weighing less than 400 gms, the PlayBook is no toy. If you look at the punishment that RIM and the BlackBerry have taken courtesy of Apple and its iPhone, the PlayBook could save RIM from the technological abyss.

Motorola’s Temple of Xoom
Motorola’s Xoom turned a lot of heads at CES 2011. It is the first tablet with a dual-core processor and the Android 3.0 OS all wrapped up in one hot little bundle with front and rear facing cameras, a camcorder, Adobe Flash and a 10.1-inch HD screen. What’s not to love? Especially as it comes with 32GB of storage, which can be upgraded via an SD card slot and also has 1GB of DDR2 DRAM. Yes, Motorola when it launches the Xoom this Autumn hopes to become a major player in the Australian Tablet market and by all accounts after looking at the Xoom, it may well be correct in that assumption.

RRPs
TBC

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