Friday, September 2, 2011

Tablets, tablet, tablets

It's the big IFA show in Berlin this week. IFA is normally pretty quiet when it comes to new smartphones and tablets, but this week has been mental with more devices than you can safely shake a stick at. Here's a look at just some of the tablets being touted at IFA.

Sony Tablet P and Tablet S
There's just one brand that I can think of that rivals Apple in the gadget market, and that is Sony. So naturally when Sony announced it was making Android tablets then it stirred some interest.. but I don't think anybody would have predicted the two concepts they showed in April which included a tablet with a hinge down it.

Well the Sony Tablet P and Tablet S really are coming, and they look just like the concepts that Sony showed earlier in the year. The Tablet P looks mental with the hinge down the middle.. but the Nintendo DS is a similar idea. The Tablet S looks like a normal tablet from the front, but it's actually a sort of wedge shape to make it easier to hold and use when on a table. There's some real innovation in these devices that we haven't seen before. They're quite expensive though, around the same price as the iPad.. but then Sony is one brand that people are prepared to pay a premium for.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
Cast your mind back a year to the launch of the original "iPad killing" Galaxy Tab. Samsung got masses of press for the release of this device, and although the hardware was quite nice it really felt just like an oversized smartphone and not a tablet.. plus it was very expensive. The original Tab desperately needed Android 3, and here it is in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 which looks like a very nice bit of kit indeed, if Samsung can price it sensibly that is.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE
Does Samsung really need a tablet mid-way between their 10 inch and 7 inch ones? They seem to think so, but the expensive Galaxy Tab 8.9 hasn't appealed to customers much and sales have been very low compared to other tablets.

However, the LTE version adds 4G and gives a significant speed boost, making this a very powerful tablet, and crucially one that isn't covered by (yet) by Apple's many lawsuits against Samsung. You don't need LTE to use it, it will work just fine with normal 3G networks as well.

Toshiba AT200
Toshiba recently pulled out of the mobile phone industry completely, but they are a leading manufacturer of laptops so it seems sensible that they are still fighting it out for a slice of the tablet market.

The Toshiba AT200 is relatively thin and light, and it comes with the reassurance of the Toshiba name on the back. Whether or not Tosh can use their prominent position in the laptop market to see tablets is questionable though.

Via [1] [2] [3] [4]


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