Every year at CES we see a new trends in technology. Last year it was 3D televisions, the year before that, OLED TV’s and netbooks. This years trend is Tablet PC’s.
Tablets aren’t new kids on the block. Archos has been making tablet like media devices for years. The Kindle started a revolution in e-reading. The iPad took the market by storm and now every manufacturer wants a piece of that market share.
Apple’s iPad was launched last year and proved to be more than a giant sized iPod Touch. With it came a slew of new HD games and applications to fully utilize the new OS. Apple is Apple though. They purposely left out industry standardized features like USB ports and a front and back facing camera.
While Apple is waiting to bait it’s customers with iPad 2, Samsung swept the industry off their feet with the first Android based tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab. This tablet had everything that the iPad didn’t. It came with Android OS, removable microSD, Flash video playback and front and back cameras. Samsung has now just announced a Wifi only version of the Galaxy. So now you don’t need to sign a contract to use.
The new Archos tablets come in 10 and 7 inch models. The Archos 70 can be upgraded to a 250gb hard drive. They both feature Wifi and HD video capture via webcam. The 101 comes with a microSD slot for expandability. Both of these models are sleek and gorgeous. It’s amazing how thin and light weight the 70 is.
MSI didn’t have a tablet to show at their press conference, but dropped one on the crowd in their booth on the show floor. I didn’t get a chance to see it but will be looking into it before release.
Finally, Lenovo showed off their Windows 7 tablet. Not much details were given on the tablet but it is running a full version of Windows 7 and has it’s own tablet UI. It’s 10″ like the iPad and in fact looks just like it.
There were several other tablets that appeared at the show but I didn’t get a chance to see them. Look for more updates on tabletmania in the weeks to come.