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CES 2011 - Tablets & Phones (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 8-January-2011  23:42:42 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

As most of you know, CES 2011 is happening right now in Las Vegas and news of upcoming tech is coming thick and fast. It seems that mobile computing is really getting a lot of attention, understandably. In the last couple of years, smartphones have really taken off and not far behind are tablet computers. Apple obviously has the iPhone and the iPad and while we're seeing some competitors in the last year or so for the iPhone, CES 2011 has a bunch of manufacturers bringing out their own tablets to battle the mighty Apple Corp.

We've already had a brief preview of Asus' new tablet line up a couple of days ago, but HotHardware has a somewhat closer look at the four tablets on offer along detailed specs and what can only be described as 'vague' price points, with the exception of the 'Slate' model.

TBreak has an even closer look, with a large number of hands-on images, showing the new Asus tablets running Android 'Honeycomb' along with a couple of videos. "Out of the two Android tablets, the transformer and the slider stand out. Also impressive, was ASUSí concept of stretchable LCD display called IRIS."

Still with TBreak, they've had a good play with the new RIM Blackberry Playbook. I gotta say, it looks pretty nice. I want one, except for this: "I would very much like the PlayBook to connect directly to a BES server. Right now, it can only do that when paired with a BlackBerry. What this means is that anytime I want to access my BBM or calendar or emails, I will need my BlackBerry within 30 feet of the PlayBook." (BES meaning Blackberry Enterprise Server)

Microsoft of course aren't going to be left behind and have their own tablets to preview. "The Windows tablets launched at CES, some of which were shown on stage, were not groundbreaking as far as the user interface is concerned and appeared to offer the regular version of Windows 7 shoe-horned into a tablet form factor." Is it me or does that first picture of Steve Ballmer make him look like the Emperor in 'Return of the Jedi' about to fire lightning at Luke Skywalker? He is not a photogenic man.

Onto phones, and one that really wow'd Agg and myself was one that the lucky Engadget guys got to have a play with: the Motorola Atrix 4G. "But the most impressive part of the entire package is the software and user experience that ties it all together. The Webtop app essentially turns the Atrix 4G into a full blown PC, complete with windowed UI, an Mac OS X-like application dock, a full version of Firefox with Flash 10.1 support, a file manager, and Citrix remote desktop support (shown connected to a PC running Windows XP full screen). Better yet, the state of the Webtop app is maintained between sessions, allowing the Atrix 4G to be undocked at any time without missing a beat."

Finally, nVidia talked about their Tegra 2 processor, which apparently will "usher in the era of the 'Super Phone'". LG have already developed the Tegra 2-based Optimus 2X and I have to say it looks pretty shmick, although I dunno how long that battery will last. In the same presentation, nVidia also mentioned "Project Denver", an ARM-based CPU that they're developing for HPC (High Performance Computing).

Don't forget to check out more CES 2011 discussion on the OCAU forums here!

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.