Android at CES 2012: The Tablets

The Consumer Electronics Show has just ended in Las Vegas, leaving a week of Android announcements behind. One category that took prominence at the show was tablets, mainly those powered by Android, including ones from ASUS, Samsung and Acer.

After yesterday’s look at new Android phones, today we’ll take a look at the tablet announcements from the show.

Asus Transformer Prime TF700T

Asus announced an update to the Transformer Prime at CES, bringing some more up-to-date specifications to the device. The ASUS tablet now features a 1920 x 1200px resolution (on a 10.1-inch LED backlit Gorilla Glass display) on which images have been described as “outstanding”. The device also sports a 1.3GHz NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 1GB of memory.

The Transformer Prime’s cameras have also been updated, now with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and 8-megapixel autofocus shooter on the rear.

Asus Transformer Prime TF700T

The Asus Transformer Prime TF700T - Image courtesy of The Verge

Asus MeMO Me370T

Asus won a Best of CES award in the tablet category for their MeMO ME370T tablet, a 7-inch device with a 1280 x 800px resolution and 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor. The device sports Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Asus says it will cost about $250, a price to let it compete with tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire (although hopefully this one will make it out of the US), when it ships in the second quarter.

The $250 price tag is the key selling point here, allowing it to target the cheaper end of the tablet market and not necessarily try to compete with the 9.7-inch iPad.

Asus MeMO ME370T

The Asus MeMO ME370T - Image courtesy of The Verge

Acer Iconia Tab A700

Acer announced their own tablet at CES, the Iconia Tab A700. The A700 features a 1920 x 1200 resolution on a large, 10.1-inch display. The A700 is powered by the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, clocked at 1.3GHz, with 1GB of memory.

The tablet has been praised for its glare-free display, which is a big deal for such a portable device. It also sports Android 4, Ice Cream Sandwich, which will likely be even fresher when the tablet is released in the second quarter of this year.

Acer Iconia Tab A700 - Image courtesy of Engadget

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

If you’re outside of the United States, you’re probably already familiar with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, as its available in other markets (including the UK at around £400). At CES this week, Samsung announced a version of the tablet for the American market, featuring LTE connectivity.

The tablet features a 7.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with a resolution of 1280 x 800px (let’s start to put some context to these resolutions; 1280 x 800px is the same resolution as the 13-inch MacBook Pro) with a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The device will run Android 3.1, Honeycomb, but should recieve an update to Ice Cream Sandwich later in the year.

Other specs include a 3.15-megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p video recording, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and even NFC.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Toshiba Excite X10

The Excite X10 is an incredibly thin tablet, measuring just 7.7mm thick, which is a metric that’s been highly boasted about during the show. The Excite X10 includes a bunch of ports, including micro HDMI, micro USB and a micro SD card slot – all the ports that its predecessor had full-size versions of. The 10.1-inch display has a resolution of 1280 x 800px, covered in Gorilla Glass, that sits above a dual-core 1.2GHz processor.

The device, which competes with Samsung and Apple for the title of thinnest tablet, will be available “mid first quarter” for some fairly high prices. The X10 will be sold in 16GB and 32GB capacities, priced at $530 and $600 respectively – higher than the market-leading iPad. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an incredibly thin Android alternative to Apple’s tablet, this seems like a solid choice.

The Toshiba Excite X10 - Image courtesy of CNET

Toshiba Concept Tablets

Toshiba showed off a trio of concept tablets at CES as they explore the range of available tablet form factors and sizes.

The Toshiba Muse is a 5-inch “tablet” that’s pretty wide, and it looks like a would-be competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy Note. Meanwhile, in what is a more traditional tablet size, the unnamed 7.7-inch concept tablet features an AMOLED display and Ice Cream Sandwich. Finally, the 13.3-inch device was described by PCMag as looking like a “serving tray” with a 1600 x 900px resolution and four speakers.

The tablet I use on a day-to-day basis is an iPad, which has a 9.7-inch screen. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind that being a lot larger since, for content creation especially, it does feel small at times.

Toshiba concept tablets

The Toshiba concept tablets stacked on top of each other - Image courtesy of PCMag

Roundup

And that’s it. As you can see, there weren’t that many Android tablet announcements at CES, although a few are quite significant (I’m looking at you Asus!). One key trend I’ve noticed is the shift of focus towards 7-inch devices, instead of the larger sizes that most makers introduced last year to unsuccessfully compete with the iPad. Hopefully this is going to continue throughout 2012 and we’ll see more, cheaper tablets at this price point and size.


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