The tablet market continues to expand this year, and many new versions were introduced this week at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Some innovations to the tablet are major. Fujitsu's tablet can be fully submerged in water for up to 30 minutes without any damage, while Lenovo's tablet can easily be converted into a laptop with double the battery life. Other companies are creating simple upgrades to their older models, like Toshiba's Excite—which is a sleek .67 inches thin and coated with an anti-smudge surface.
There are also some changes so small, they might have gone completely unnoticed, with some saying an iPad 3 prototype could be hidden among all the buzz at CES.
If there's anything to take away from all of the tablet talk at this year's event, it's that the market is not going anywhere but up. Many popular PC manufacturers, such as Dell, are finally joining with its own touchscreen device. And nearly three-quarters of small business owners are looking to buy tablets this year.
Here are the year's newest tablets on the market. Let us know which device you think will be the biggest game-changer in the comments.
1. One Laptop Per Child
The XO 3.0 tablet includes the Marvell Armada PXA618 SOC processor, Avastar Wi-Fi SOC, standard or Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display and supports Android and Linux operating systems. Unlike any other tablet on the market, it can be powered by solar energy, other alternative energy sources and even hand-cranks.
2. Velocity Micro
Velocity Micro's Cruz Tablet T507 will run on Android 4.0 and retail for less than $150. Its 7-inch touchscreen features full Flash support and a Cortex A81.2 GHz Processor, as well as 512MB DDR3 of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
The Cruz Tablet T510 has a larger 9.7-inch touchscreen, and features front and rear cameras, while the T507 only has a camera in the front. The price for the larger tablet has not yet been finalized, but it’s expected to retail for less than $250.
3. Lenovo IdeaTabS2-10
The IdeaTabS2-10 is a 10-inch tablet running on Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich. The tablet can be converted into a laptop with the $200 keyboard dock, which also includes a second battery that doubles its battery-life. Cameras are forward- and rear-facing, and there's an LED display and HDMI. Inside, there is 64GB of storage and a dual-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm CPU.
4. Lenovo YOGA
Lenovo‘s new IdeaPad YOGA is marketed as a device that's four-in-one. It can switch from a laptop to a tablet in various positions. The YOGA, which operates on Windows 8, is just .67 inches thick and weighs 3.1 pounds.
The Excite, a 10-inch Android tablet, is .3 inches thick and weighs 1.2 lbs. The screen supports a 1280 x 800 resolution and is coated with an anti-smudge surface. Inside, the tablet is running a 1.2 GHz dual-core Texas Instruments CPU and 1GB of RAM. It's yet to be determined if the Android OS will be Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich.
Fujitsu's 10.1-inch tablet, running on Android, can survive a dip in water—and full submersion for up to 30 minutes. It has not yet been released in America, but it is being sold in Japan. Fujitsu won’t bring this waterproof tech to the U.S. until it’s proven in Japan, so you'll have to put this one on the back burner for now.
Dell is expected to enter the tablet market in late 2012, with a Windows 8-based touchscreen device, according to a report.
8. ViewSonic Tablet Series
ViewSonic introduced a few devices ranging in price from $170 to $850, including the ViewPad 10pi and 10e, which are both 10-inch tablets that run on Android's Gingerbread. There is also the E70, a 7-inch tablet that runs Android 4.0.
Photo credit: Courtesy Lenovo