Tablets are Huge At CES

By  Stephanie Blanchard, Assistant Editor & Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — January 10, 2013

On Christmas day 2012, more tablets were activated than smartphones, and more than ever before. The Kindle Fire, while not yet impacting the enterprise saw a 322% growth in December; Nexus grew 7 0%; and the two newest iPads are also grabbing market share according to research from Localytics.
 
In the tablet wars it’s the same old battle between Android and Apple, with Microsoft trying to break in, but none of these companies are really talking devices at CES this year, and Apple isn’t even there. So for less popular tablet makers, it’s a chance to make some noise.

There were several devices launched at the show and two trends could be forming. While the iPad went mini last year, based on several new tablets, the future size is bigger, in fact, huge, with one tablet coming in at 27 inches. This enlargement can be seen in a phablet or two as well and Hauwei introduced a 6.1 inch smartphone. The other trend that continues is in the convertible category. From Ultrabook to tablet in a flip, rip or twist, Lenovo and ASUS showed these type of devices. 
 
Here’s a roundup of the tablet announcements and releases at the show so far.
 
Business Ready
Expanding upon the Latitude 10 standard configuration launched in October 2012, Dell announced the Latitude 10 essentials configuration to offer a secure, manageable and durable enterprise-ready tablet option to budget-conscious customers. Designed for organizations such as small businesses and schools, the new tablet runs on Windows 8 and enables seamless sharing.
 
The Latitude 10 does not require new mobile device management (MDM) or software licensing, supports new and legacy Windows applications, is compatible with Adobe Flash and connects with existing peripherals.
 
As with the other Latitude 10 configurations, the new tablet is framed in magnesium alloy and covered with soft-touch paint for enhanced durability and a good grip. Corning Gorilla Glass delivers a responsive touch experience and vivid graphics display and stands up to the test of busy and active users.
The optional productivity dock allows for a traditional keyboard and mouse. A full-size USB port provides connectivity to existing equipment and SD card reader
 
The 64 GB configuration is available today starting at $579 and the 32 GB will be available in the coming months at $499.
 
Convertible
Lenovo debuted its ThinkPad Helix, featuring a "rip and flip" design. Functioning as a high-performance Ultrabook, the 11.6 inch tablet separates from its base, allowing users to flip the device a full 180 degrees and stand it upright for business presentations. Users can also fold the screen down to use as a tablet.
 
Featuring LTE high speed wireless, the ThinkPad Helix runs up to 10 hours a day. It includes a full-size keyboard, on-board pen and a five-button clickpad and incorporates seamless sharing and enhanced security and manageability.
 
Transformer
How about two devices in one? The ASUS Transformer is a 13-inch Ultrabook with a standard Intel Core i7 processor, 1,920x / 1080-pixel IPS display and runs on Windows 8. But what makes this unique is the hardware. Release the screen and it becomes a detachable tablet.
 
The device features 128GB1 capacity, allowing for rapid application launch and quick boot-up. Using the SanDisk U100 Solid State Drive (SSD) in the mSATA mini form factor, the tablet is designed to retain its high performance. It also works with the HHD for additional storage. Release date and retail price have yet to be announced.
 
Big
Huawei takes the idea that "bigger is better" seriously. The company launched the Ascend Mate, a smartphone with a huge 6.1 inch display and screen-to-body ratio at 73%. The device's narrowest part is 6.5mm.
 
Operating on Android 4.1, the Ascend Mate features a 1.5 GHz Hi-Silicon quad-core processor, a 4050 mAh battery, an 8.0-megapixel AF rear-facing camera and 1.0-megapixel HD front-facing camera. The "Magic Touch" technology allows users to access touch screens while wearing gloves.
 
The company claims the smartphone runs up to two days on a single charge. International travelers may be interested in its global roaming functionality, which supports five frequency bands and high power data transmission. The Ascend Mate will be on sale in China starting in February 2013. A North American release date has yet to be determined.
 
Bigger
ASUS also unveiled its VivoTab Smart, a Windows 8 tablet with a 10.1-inch IPS display featuring 1366x768 pixel resolution. Running on a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor, the device offers 5-point multi-touch technology, an 8-megapixel rear shooter and a 2-megapixel front camera. Its "Transleeve" keyboard acts as cover and stand.
 
Panasonic announced, but did not debut, the development of a new “4K Tablet” with a 20-inch 4K IPS Alpha LCD and a high precision pen. It is expected to significantly enhance the way architects, engineers and construction professionals view and interact with digital drawings.

Targeted to become available later this year, the tablet’s 20-inch IPS Alpha LCD panel contains more than four times the resolution of full high definition. It leverages the touch capabilities of Windows 8 and includes a high precision digital pen for making notes on the panel’s screen. This lightweight and less than an half inch thick tablet is incredibly slim, portable and represents the future of design review, bid, estimation, RFI response, and plan room access to drawing sets.
 
Biggest
Lenovo also demonstrated its IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC, a preposterously large tablet that can sit upright or lay flat on a surface. In fact, according to the Associated Press, it’s the size of eight iPads. It’s being dubbed as the first “interpersonal” computer as the screen can respond to 10 fingers touching it at a the same time.

Featuring Windows 8 and a 27-inch display, the device weighs in at 15 pounds and will cost $1,699. Not exactly designed for BYOD, it could still be seen in businesses and is not the only one on the market. Microsoft and Sony each have an earlier version of the table tablet.

Cool but Useless?
Thin and flexible, the aptly named PaperTab is designed by Plastic Logic, Intel Labs and Queen's University, a Canadian college.
 
Similar in appearance to a sheet of paper, tablets feature a 10.7 inch flexible, plastic display. Like turning the pages of a book, users can tap through emails and documents. Instead of using several apps or windows on a single display, users have 10 or more interactive displays, one per app in use.
 
Documents are kept track of in relation to each other and the user. For example, when the device is out of reach, the screen reverts to a thumbnail overview, similar to icons on a computer desktop. Pick it up, or touch the PaperTab, and it switches back to a full screen page view.  Although stylish and trendy, the tablet's current configuration is unlikely to affect the enterprise anytime soon.

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