This time last year, the tech world was holding its collective breath for the "slate" device Apple was heavily rumored to be releasing. A few weeks after CES, we had the Apple iPad, and a new product category with a clear leader was officially born. Since then, it feels like someone poured water on the tablet category or fed it after midnight. The sheer multitude of tablets seems to multiply like gremlins, and many of the products are equipped with operating systems that have a few gremlins of their own. CES 2011, nonetheless, will be remembered as the opening bell for the year of the tablet. Thus far, only two true contenders, Apple's iPad and Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab, have emerged as viable, enviable tablets. In about a week, that will all change…maybe.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is currently the one viable iPad competitor on the market, and we are featuring it in our Deal of the Day. You can get the Sprint version of the Tab from HSN at a 43% discount, saving a total of $300 off the regular price, and you don't even need a contract. The Galaxy Tab offers a 7-inch touchscreen, 2GB internal memory, 3G built in (although you need a data plan to take advantage of it,) 1.3 megapixel front camera, 3 megapixel rear camera, and it ships with Android 2.2:
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.
Microsoft, along with various hardware partners, entered the tablet market a decade ago, but it was never a big success for them. Now that the iPad has taken off, and with Android tablets also looking strong this Christmas, the New York Times has an exclusive report saying that Microsoft is about to release a series of new tablets at CES early next year. According to inside sources, Steve Ballmer will introduce devices from Samsung, Dell and others, and try to get Microsoft back in the race. However, unlike the iPad and Android tablets, they will run Windows 7 or 8, a full desktop OS, and include a slide out keyboard.
Of course the fact that they will run a full OS brings questions like how much battery life they will have. Also, some of the marketing points will be for people to "work on Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint while doing work”. This seems very similar to what the UMPC and previous Windows tablets were about, and it seems like a repeat of previous attempts--including last year at CES where Ballmer announced their new tablet initiative.
Read More | New York Times
A 10-inch slate tablet seemed imminent when news broke that Dell had an iPad rival on the way, but that turned out not to be the case. The 5-inch Dell Streak was their first attempt, but ended up being more smartphone than tablet. Its second attempt—the Dell Inspiron Duo ($549.99 direct)—isn't even close. Although it is a novel take on a netbook convertible tablet, it's anything but an iPad rival. It features a cleverly designed flip hinge that exposes (and conceals) a physical keyboard, and is one of the few netbook tablets that run on an Intel Atom processor and a full blown Windows 7 operating system. Although it sports one of the most innovative designs we've seen in a while, the Inspiron Duo is no threat as a touch device to any tablet and completely misses as a netbook.
At a Rogers TabLife conference this past week David Neale from RIM provided a very interesting first look at their upcoming tablet, the BlackBerry Playbook. As he commented about the media skepticism on whether the recently announced tablet was up to par with the iPad and Android tablets, or if it even existed, he said "it does live!" The video presentation showed the fast processor, 1080p video, flash browser and multi-tasking. He also promised that the unit was not finished too and that it would be even faster. In the questions part of the interview he touched on the fact that the tablet is aimed at the "professional grade" audience. He also said security was a top concern, and that it would securely pair with BlackBerry smartphones via Bluetooth. He stated that 7-inches would be the form factor for the first instance, but that he could see more sizes coming in the future, and even devices with keyboards. Check out the video for more interesting tidbits from the 18 minutes presentation.
Read More | Vimeo
Coby has just released another Android tablet which is available now for $250. Coby’s new Android tablet, the Kyros MID7015, is equipped with a 7-inch resistive touchscreen, Android 2.1 (AppsLib marketplace only,) 4GB of built-in memory, a microSD card slot with an upgrading capacity of up to 16GB, and an HDMI port for 1080p video.
Read More | Coby
It’s no secret that Apple’s iPad is a hot-ticket item this holiday season. Though with its price of $499-$699, you better hope your secret Santa has the hots for you this year. No such luck? Well, if you’re in the UK then consider looking to Orange for a contract-tied iPad deal of the decade. That’s right, with a two-year contract of £27 ($42) per month (£25 for existing customers) you can get an iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at prices of £199 ($312) for the 16GB version, £249 ($391) for the 32GB, or £349 ($626) for the 64GB.
This two year monthly plan allows you 1GB of anytime data, 1GB off-peak data (basically between midnight and 4pm), and 3GB of BT Openzone Wi-Fi.
Read More | Orange
We have a Samsung Galaxy Tab in and wanted to give you guys a look at the first major competitor to the iPad. The Galaxy Tab is a 7-inch Android tablet available from Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and soon AT&T. It sports a 7-inch display, and in all actuality, just feels like a really big Android phone. Hit the video above for the full scoop.
The line of Android-powered tablets seems to be increasing weekly, and indeed this week saw yet another contestant to the iPad being released, the Archos 101. It's a 10-inch tablet running the Android 2.1 OS, and powerful enough to play 720p video at a reasonable $299 price tag for the 8GB version, and $349 for 16GB. The main features include a capacitive touchscreen, a HDMI port, 802.11n Wi-Fi, front-facing camera, and an SD slot for more storage space.
Read More | Archos