This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was dominated with tablets — nearly 80 to be exact. While we’d love to cover them all, I’ve hand-picked the ones that stood out from the crowd and the ones I see making a huge splash in the coming year.
Here’s our favorites…
RIM’s Blackberry Playbook
We know there’s been a lot of press regarding RIM’s highly-anticipated entrance into the world of tablets, but it’s for good reason. The Blackberry Playbook is an awesome device, and one I see making huge strides once it’s released in the near future. Sporting a 7-inch, HD display the device is beautiful. Like most tablets entering the market this year, it comes packed with a powerful dual-core processor that facilitates multi-tasking in a way that seems light-years ahead of the iPad — even effortlessly streaming two HD-quality videos at the same time without breaking a sweat. Other goodies include front and rear HD video cameras, micro USB and HDMI outputs and full 4G connectivity. I have to say I had my doubts about the Playbook, but after going hands-on with one at CES, I must admit that RIM has done a fabulous job with its first-gen tablet.
The Vizio VIA
Flat-screen TV upstart Vizio has made waves in recent years with its low-cost HDTV offerings, and introduced a rather impressive tablet at CES. Called the “VIA,” the company’s first foray into tablet computing comes with an 8-inch screen, sports an Android OS and will ship sometime this summer. What I liked about the device is Vizio’s integration with its “VIA Plus Ecosystem,” which is basically Google TV combined with Vizio’s proprietary internet applications that allow users to seamlessly share content throughout their homes and abroad. Combined with a low-cost that Vizio is known for, the VIA tablet should prove successful if they play their cards right.
Motorola’s Xoom was hands-down the most impressive tablet on display at CES. The feature-set is the most rounded we’ve seen yet from a tablet device — packing a dual-core processor, front and rear-facing cameras, 720p video recording and 1080p playback and a large, high-quality 10.1-inch display. The device will come standard with Android 3.0 and will even be easily-upgradable to 4G LTE with a simply hardware-switch, something that’s never been done before. The device comes standard with 32GB of storage but also has a microSD slot, as well as micro USB that will support flash drives. When it hits store shelves in the next couple months, it will undoubtedly be the best tablet on the market, and one of the first to ship with Android 3.0. Put simply, we can’t wait to get our hands on this device again.