One of the big stories of this CES has been the massive wave of tablet computers being launched and shown off all over the show floor and talked about in keynotes, supersessions, and late night bull sessions anywhere geeks hang out. Which is just about everywhere you look in Sin City this week.
NVIDIA’s Mike Rayfield sat on a Supersessions Panel on disruptive technologies this morning, and gave some insight as to why tablets are the talk of the show right now.
“Honestly think we’re looking at the next personal computing revolution. I personally love the tablets and superphones,” Rayfield said. “You see 10s of thousands of people doing their computing on these devices as they’re walking around the convention.” He went on to speculate that we will likely “look back five years from now and see that a significant percentage of the population did their first computing on mobile devices – because of the portability, the touchscreens, the ease of navigation.”
NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 technology is literally in the majority of the tablets being shown off at CES 2011, including the first-ever Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” products to be announced. Here’s a quick roundup of the new high-profile tablets featuring NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 chipset:
Motorola Xoom for Verizon
Perhaps the highest-profile tablet launch, Xoom is not just a flagship product for Verizon’s new 4G LTE service, but also the vehicle of choice for showing off Google’s much-anticipated Android 3.0 operating system this week. Featuring a 10″ HD display, 1080p video playback with HDMI out, 3G/4G/WiFi connectivity, and dual cameras for capturing photos/video and conducting video calls, Xoom is seriously a do-it-all device. Look for Xoom to ship in 3G form in Q1 of this year, followed by an upgrade to 4G service in Q2.
T-Mobile G-Slate with Google by LG
Another Android 3.0 tablet powered by Tegra 2, G-Slate, was shown briefly at T-Mobile’s press conference and will be available in the coming months. The device will utilize T-Mobile’s 4G network and NVIDIA’s visual computing prowess for new applications like Google Talk with video and voice chat and Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction.
Dell Streak 7 for T-Mobile
Built for one or two-handed use, the Streak 7 is T-Mo’s first 4G tablet computer, capable of up to 21 Mbps downstream data speeds. Streak 7 features a 7″ Gorilla Glass display, Android 2.2 and full Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support.
Acer ICONIA Tab A500
Acer’s ICONIA was being used to show off some sweet Android-based games at the NVIDIA booth. Featuring a 10″ display and support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, ICONIA was shown in non-final form running Android 2.2, though word is it will ship with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which would make sense given the device’s lack of physical buttons (kind of a must for 2.2). ICONIA felt really nice in my hands, thanks to its slim 13mm profile and aluminum housing. Looking forward to hearing more on this one as it gets finalized.
Asus unveiled two unique tablet computers, both running Tegra 2 dual-core processors. The Eee Pad Transformer features a 10 inch touchscreen and detachable keyboard, making it a dual-threat device for touch and keyboard input. The Eee Pad Slider also sports a physical keyboard, but as its name implies, its touchscreen is mounted on a sliding mechanism – slide the screen out and angle it up to use the device laptop-style with the QWERTY board revealed, or slide the display back to its closed position for touch-only usage like a traditional tablet.
Both devices are being shown running Android 2.2 this week, but Asus says they’ll both be running Honeycomb (3.0) when they ship later this quarter. Expect 10 inch displays, dual cameras, and HDMI output on both Eee Pads, along with WiFi and – most likely – some form of 3G connectivity.
Toshiba was showing a prototype of an unnamed tablet featuring Tegra 2 on the inside. The device sports a 10.1″, 1280 x 800 pixel touchscreen, HDMI out, front and rear cameras, and some Toshiba magic designed to enhance audio and video output from source files. The prototypes being shown this week were running Android 2.2, but like the other Tegra 2 based tablets here in Vegas, Toshiba says their new baby will run Honeycomb 3.0 when it ships.