(1 Sep 2012) Tablets and tablet-notebook hybrids are creating a buzz at this year’s IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.
Technology giants such as Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Lenovo are releasing a range of new tablets and hybrids at the show.
Now is the age of the tablet computer.
What started off as a craze – sparked by Apple’s iPad – is now a firmly-established genre which has left the laptop quaking in its docking port.
A whole range of tablets are being released at this year’s consumer electronics fair in Berlin.
There are small tablets, large tablets, tablets that pop off a keyboard and tablet-notebook hybrids.
Some run on the Android operating system, others on the new Windows 8 system.
But they have one thing in common, they are the talk of the show these days with companies realising that a tablet is a must if you are going to maintain your street credibility with the young and hip tech crowd.
Technology writer Sascha Pallenberg, who is attending his 10th IFA show this year as a blogger for the technology website mobilegeeks.de sees a definite trend towards tablets becoming the flagship product that is used to promote the company’s brand as a whole.
“Well, each and every premium manufacturer needs to have a tablet these days,” he says. “You can’t show up here without a tablet strategy. You are almost kind of out of this cool bubble or halo immediately.”
One company that has created quite a bit of excitement with their tablet and hybrid releases is Lenovo, one of a new crop of Chinese companies that are increasingly becoming mainstream in the west.
With their ThinkPad tablet, shown for the first time at IFA, they opted to run it with the Windows 8 operating system.
The tablet can dock with keyboards or larger screen, creating a hybrid type device.
Adrian Hall, who is the head of Global Communications at Lenovo, explains what he sees as the benefits of using a Windows based system in a tablet.
“Running a full Windows 8 platform, you have all the compatibility with Windows legacy Windows applications,” he says. “So, if you are already a Windows user you don’t have to get used to a new operating system and you can continue to use the existing applications you already own.”
The ThinkPad tablet will be available in stores in November and the pricing of the tablet is still to be announced.
Another company that is creating quite a lot of excitement with a tablet launch is Sony.
Their Xperia S tablet continues with the distinctive design of the previous Sony tablets.
But, with an aluminium body, it is both thinner and lighter than its predecessor the Sony Tablet S.
The Xperia S tablet runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich system, but Sony has promised that users will be able to upgrade to the newer 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system soon.
The Sony Xperia tablet will be available in mid September.
The expected price for the Sony Xperia tablet has not been announced.
Japanese electronics company Toshiba is announcing their range of tablets and hybrid tablet-notebooks.
Their Satellite U920T tablet has a keyboard that folds us, creating a notebook with one quick hand movement.
According to Gabriel Willigens, head of central European marketing at Toshiba, the tablet hybrid is marketed at people that are wants the best from both worlds of tablets and notebooks.
“This will be a real groundbreaking product for them because it’s not anymore a compromise between two worlds, it s putting the two worlds together,” he says.
The move away from traditional tablets towards hybrids and tablets targeted at specific needs, such as tablets with keyboards for writing or with electronic pens for drawing, is a worldwide trend according to Pallenberg
The IFA consumer electronics show runs until September 5.
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