The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show is going to be all about the tablets - an inevitable reality given the huge success enjoyed by Apple last year as the lone superpower in the contemporary tablet marketplace. And while Apple's touchscreen tablet may remain the top dog among tablets in 2011, it's certainly no longer going to be lonely within its category. With each passing day it seems another "iPad challenger" emerges. And CES 2011 is already ramping up their introductions.
On Tuesday evening, Lenovo unveiled to the media its 10.1-inch Google Android-based tablet called the LePad. The touchscreen device will run Android 2.2 and has a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. According to Computerworld
, the LePad will initially go on sale in the Chinese market early this year. The tablet is expected to see a price tag of somewhere between $399 and $449. A US version has not be slated yet, although Lenovo is believed to be planning a US version that would connect to the Android Market. During the second half of 2011, however, Lenovo plans to release "several" Android-based tablets in the US, about which no details have yet been given.
While Lenovo was busy talking up its 2011 slate of tablets, Asus was also busy jockeying for position in the market. According to CrunchGear
, the company plans to release three distinct families of tablet-esque devices - devices that represent a catch-all of the various established and not-so-established features common to the present tablet world. First up will be the Eee Slate, which will run you about $1000. It's a straightforward Tablet PC that runs Windows 7. It serves up an Intel Core i5 with 2 or 4GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD, and a 12.1 inch 1280x800 IPS stylus-compatible screen.
Later this spring, Asus will roll out the Eee Pad Transformer, which has been described as the tablet most like the iPad. It will sport NVIDIA's ARM-based Tegra 2 application processor and a 1280x800 IPS touchscreen. Unlike the first-generation iPad, however, it will deliver both front and rear facing cameras - something to nicely complement its miniHDMI video output, a miniUSB port, and a microSD card slot.
Last but not least in June, Asus will release the "mini-me" of tablets officially dubbed the MiMO. It will have a 7-inch screen and pack into a small frame some of the features common to larger tablets. It will deliver a snazzy dual-core Qualcomm 8260 Snapdragon ARM application processor and maintain the bells and whistles of other Asus tablet offerings, like front and rear cameras. The MiMo will run Google's Android 3.0.