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The CES Slate PC and Future Tablet Roundup

A Look at New and Upcoming Slate and Tablet Devices

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The release of Apple's iPad in 2010 practically changed the tablet sector overnight. Here's a look at some upcoming slate tablets of note. Let's start with some of the more noteworthy tablets featured at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

*For a look at slate tablets already out on the market or officially confirmed for imminent release, check out our Slate Tablet PC Roundup.

Asus Eee Slate EP121

Image © Asus

The EP121 features a 12.1-inch LED backlit display with 1280x800 resolution plus a 178-degree viewing angle for folks who like to do the shimmy shake during their personal computing. Brainpower is also provided by an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor mated to Windows 7 Home Premium. Other features include 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2-megapixel camera, mini HDMI port and two USB 2.0 ports. Internal storage is either 32GB or 64GB of solid state memory. Amazon lists those at $999 and $1,099 respectively.

Asus Eee Pad Slider

Image © Asus

I don't know why but I'm having a yearning for small burgers all of a sudden. The nifty sliding keyboard mechanism earned the "Slider" plenty of buzz at CES. This tablet features a 10.1-inch IPS touchscreen, 3G capability and front-and rear-facing cameras to capture wild hi jinks that can get folks either fired or arrested. Remember people, never send photos you wouldn't send to your own mother. The Slider ditches Wintel for Android 3.0 and an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Image © Asus

The third in Asus' tablet onslaught at CES. There's more than meets the eye to this Transformer, which eschews the sliding keyboard of the Slider for a keyboard dock. Besides the Android 3.0-NVIDIA Tegra 2 combo, the Transformer sports full Flash support, HD video conferencing and playback, and a mini-HDMI port for 1080p video playback to external displays. Battery life with the dock is rated up to 16 hours. Autobot and Decepticon sign sadly not included.

Asus Eee Pad MeMo

Photo © Asus
The little brother (or sister) of the Asus Eee lineup features a 7.1-inch capacitive touchscreen, Android 3.0 and a Micro HDMI port for outputting 1080p HD video externally. It also sports that annoying use of lower and upper case that drives reporters nuts when typing on deadline. I'm looking at you, enTourage eDGe!

Acer Iconia Tab A500

The features look like a checklist of popular tablet specs. High-def 10.1-inch screen? Check. 1GHz Tegra 2 processor? Check. Android 3.0 at launch? Check. But the aluminum casing sets it apart from other tablets and is sure to rope in folks attracted to shiny objects.

BlackBerry PlayBook

Image © RIM
Research In Motion redeems itself from the lackluster reception to its BlackBerry OS 6 smartphone operating system by creating a custom user interface for tablets that's earning positive responses for the PlayBook. Specs include a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch and gesture support, 1GB of RAM, and a 1GHz dual-core processor. The PlayBook also comes with dual high-def cameras, HDMI and microHDMI output, Flash compatibility, and video recording and playback up to 1080p. Now about those underpowered phones RIM...

Lenovo IdeaPad U1/Le Pad Hybrid Tablet PC

Image © Lenovo
Why, hello again, old friend. This hybrid PC and tablet first appeared at CES 2010 before the iPad's release put it somewhat in development limbo. But now it's back with a set release date, at least in China. The full set works as a Windows computer with keyboard but the display can be detached to function as an Android tablet. Now that's a real transformer.

Motorola Xoom

Image © Motorola

As the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet, the Xoom is getting a lot of buzz — pun definitely intended. Specs include a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 resolution HD widescreen display, a speedy 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM. The device comes with both front- and rear-facing cameras, along with the ability to record 720p video. Users can also output 1080p video to their TVs via an HDMI connector. Battery life is rated at up to 10 hours for video. Besides Flash compatibility, the Xoom features Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. Verizon gets first dibs via a first quarter 2011 launch. The device can also be upgraded to 4G LTE sometime in the second quarter of this year.

OpenPeak OpenTablet 7 and 10

Image © OpenPeak

OpenPeak arrived at CES with a second larger model and a much improved design. OpenPeak's OpenTablet line will now launch with a 10-inch and 7-inch model. Both will feature high-res, capacitive LCD screens with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass and a transreflective surface for improved readability in various lighting conditions. Android will serve as the operating system, though the company hasn't said if it will be Honeycomb or a lower variant of the OS. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G. Ports include USB 2.0, MicroSD and HDMI with 1080p output.

Samsung PC 7

Image © Samsung

The tablet for folks who still can’t quite let go. If you want the familiarity of a good old computer, the PC 7’s neat sliding keyboard design and Windows 7 Home Premium should fit the bill. Still, there’s a lot to be said about the need for a productivity-friendly tablet. Just ask folks who travel for business. Samsung’s PC 7 line is basically a netbook in tablet form, sporting a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom “Oak Trail” processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 10.1-inch HD display with 366 x 768 resolution. Solid-state hard drive options range from 32GB to 64GB. Folks who hate watching paint dry will love the 15-second fast start and three-second restore from Hibernate and Sleep modes. Launch date is pegged at March and pricing starts at $699.

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