Tablets, tablets and more tablets at CeBIT 2011

Cebit, much like every other event this year is all about tablets.

Okay, it is also about the cloud and IT for big companies and so on, but that isn’t anything consumers enjoy laying their hands on. ERP software is for the office, tablets are for having fun. And work, it could be argued.

Asus showed off a slew of tablets which will be shipped later this year in the UK. The Eee Slate EP121 is designed to serve the high-end segment, costing around £1000. It features an Intel i5 dual core CPU, Windows Home Premium 7, a 12.1″ LED backlit display and packs either a 32 or 64GB SSD alongside 4GB DDR3 RAM.

Nividia’s Tegra 2 will be powering the Asus Transformer tablet running on Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

It supports Adobe Flash, a 10.1″ capacitive screen and can be connected to a telly per mini-HDMI, just like its bigger relative of the Slate EP121.

A docking station housing a keyboard and a second battery can be bought for an extra £100. Battery life is claimed to be eight hours or, when docked, sixteen hours.

The 10.1″ Eee Pad Slider tablet houses a keyboard in its nether regions, making it a more useful device to type emails and actually work with than just play around with apps and watch Youtube while fondling the touchscreen. The Tegra 2 was the system of choice for this one. A pre-production model was still on display featuring a make-shift hinge.

Asus Slider

Asus’ Eee Pad Memo, based around a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon, is just 7″ large and comes with a stylus pen for jotting down notes. Certainly good for making shopping lists. It can also cope with 1080p video and has a micro-HDMI port.

Chinese ODM Yifang Digital had a bunch of tablets on display, of which the M707 Handwriting Android Tablet was the most interesting. It combines a 7″ Android tablet in a leather case next to an A5 paper notepad and a smart pen, allowing users to write, draw, sketch, diddle and digitise directly into the tablet. It runs videos up to 720p and partners can ask nicely to include 3G along with the standard wifi.

Yifang Combo Tablet

It may be hitting Aldi and Lidl this year, as the lady demonstrating the tablet said Medion is a partner. If Medion opts to bring it out, the Android 2.1 tablet will be branded either as a Medion or Tevion product.

2OpTop Co. from Taiwan also showed tablets which uncannily looked like iPads using VIA, Samsung, Telechip and Freescale CPUs. Android 1.6 through 2.2 was the OS of choice for these zomblets, just like all the other makers.

Two things are certain – there’s a huge market for tablets and both ARM CPUs and Android are the fellows of choice ready to mug Apple and its iPads.  

Intel just woke up to the tablet and smartphone market, AMD will need until next year to scale down to smaller processes before being able to stuff Llano and following generations into flat tablets sans ventilation.