CES 2010: Tablets, slates and MIDs

As we await to see if the long-rumoured Apple Tablet will indeed make an appearance at the end of January as expected, CES packed in a sea of possible

As we await to see if the long-rumoured Apple Tablet will indeed make an appearance at the end of January as expected, CES packed in a sea of possible contenders.

But before we get on to what there was, there was also one noticeable absence – the Microsoft Courier tablet we got wind of at the end of last year. We sat through the whole two hours of the Microsoft keynote in hope of a Jobs-esque "one more thing" announcement, but instead had to make do with a demo of Windows 7 on an HP-badged tablet instead.

Describing the innards as "almost as powerful as a PC", Microsoft CEO Steve Bulmer said it would be ideal for browsing the web, entertainment and reading – running Amazon's Kindle software for the latter.

No details on timescales or dates on this, but as we've predicted 2010 will be the year of the tabet, expect more in the coming months.


While we're unsure what's going on with the trend of naming them boy names, the Adam boasts an ePaper mode that runs on low power, as well as the full colour mode for internet browsing and watching movies.

Running Android and packing the new Tegra 2 chip, the Adam will be able to offer 1080p video playback on its 10-inch screen, and a faster page refresh time when reading ebooks compared to a standard ereader on an e-Ink screen.

Notion Ink says its expecting to sort out 3G access before bringing the tablet to market, and whether we'll see it this side of the pond is still up in the air. However, it raises a valid point about whether this is in fact the future of ereaders – built in to a tablet packing other capabilities. We reckon 2010 could just be the year that answers this question.

Moving on to another tablet packing the next-gen Tegra 2 chip, and there was another prototype tablet this time from Compal being shown off by Nvidia itself. Packing a 7-inch screen, it was also running an Android OS like the Adam, had Wifi, microSD and SIM card slots, 1080p video playback and an HDMI port.

Pocket-friendly tablets

The GW990 however was more spec friendly, and looking rather like the BL40 Chocolate's cousin, it's a Nokia N900-esque "mobile internet device" which LG describes as combining "the high performance and rich internet capabilities of a PC with the mobility of a smartphone".

Expect a 4.8-inch widescreen display, Wifi, aGPS, a 5 megapixel camera and the Linux Moblin OS, and for it to hit shelves in the second half of this year.

One for the family

Packing a household calendar to keep a busy family in order, the Vega will run Android and feature both Wifi and 3G, allowing you to browse the net on its 15-inch screen as well as be reminded when you need to go to the dentist.

There's also talk of on-demand TV as well, although no news of partners as yet, as well as video chat thanks to the integrated webcam. We'd expect to see this on some sort of contract with T-Mobile at some point this year, but pricing is currently yet to be confirmed.

Best of both worlds

Packing two processors, it is able to run as both a traditional laptop, in full Windows 7, Intel Core 2 Duo mode, or as a tablet by removing the screen and kick starting the Snapdragon chip and proprietary "Skylight" Linux OS.

The latter concentrates on giving you access to your photos, video and music, and access to social networks and email. It's got an 11.6-inch screen, an accelerometer for automatic screen flipping, and should last for 5 hours in its tablet guise.

It's expeced to ship in June in the US for $999 – so pretty pricey. But it is pretty. We'll keep you updated on UK details.

So what do you think – has the tablet won you over? Be sure to let us know in the comments, and check out some of our other CES stuff below.

More CES stuff:

Read our best of show round up

Check out the details of the new Palm Pre & Pixie phones and Motorola Backflip

Watch our CES 2010 previewCES 2010 press day round up, and CES day 2 round up videos

Read about some CES trends we've spotted: 3DTVs, Android, cameras, sporty gadgets and ereaders

Hands on with Google Nexus One, Intel InfoScape, Samsung ereaders and the Panasonic 152-inch TV

Paddy's CES predictions: 3DTV, eBooks and tablets

Follow the Stuff CES team on Twitter:

Stuff editor Fraser Macdonald editor Simon Osborne-Walker

Consulting editor Tom Dunmore

Reviews editor Mark Wilson