CES 2011: The Three Tablets That Wowed Us Most

CES 2011 was a deluge of tablets. The eye-popping experience was akin to being a kid in a candy emporium. So we turned to the online coverage of CES to guide us.

Below, we’ve listed the three tablets that wowed us most. These tablets reportedly include some impressive specs, specifically three sorely missing from the iPad: Flash-support, cameras and multitasking.

Note that while we have yet to fully test and “tablet-optimize” Android and BlackBerry tablets, there’s a good possibility you can connect to Boingo Wi-Fi if you have installed Boingo Mobile app. Stay tuned for an update on our progress. Meanwhile, we encourage you to provide feedback to us if you connect to Boingo on these tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi-only version

The Wi-Fi only version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab (watch the video above for a quick demo from the CES show floor) is a welcome option for tablet enthusiasts looking for a no-contract, lower-cost option. According to this Engadget article, the new model will have the same specs as the already in-market 3G/Wi-Fi one — just without the cellular connectivity. Recently-announced tablet competitors may steal some of the Galaxy Tab’s thunder, but we’re guessing the device will continue to do well with consumers (Samsung reports they’ve sold over 1.5 million units globally — and they only just launched in mid-November 2010), especially if the price of the Wi-Fi only Tab undercuts that of other tablets.

  • Specs:
    • Runs on Android 2.2 (FroYo)
    • 512MB of RAM, 1GHz processor
    • Wireless: Wi-Fi
    • 7-inch display, 1024×600 resolution
    • Two cameras: front (1.3-megapixel) and rear (3-megapixel), records 720p video
    • Standard micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports
    • Adobe Flash 10.1 enabled
  • Availability:
    • Q1 (unconfirmed)
    • Offered through Best Buy, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile (unconfirmed)
  • Pricing: $400 to $500 for 32 GB model (unconfirmed)
  • Buzz:

Motorola XOOM

The XOOM won the highly-coveted Best of CES award and for good reason. For starters, this is the first tablet to run on the new Android 3.0 OS, which reportedly offers a much-improved UI experience (watch the official Android 3.0 preview demo). The XOOM also has more RAM and higher resolution cameras than the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Given its robust functionality, the XOOM is our vote for the most formidable rival to the iPad. Motorola might steal some serious market share from Apple if the XOOM sells for $100 less than the iPad.

  • Specs:
    • Runs on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
    • 1GB of RAM, 1GHz dual-core processor
    • Wireless: Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G-compatible
    • 10.1-inch display, 1200×800 resolution
    • Two cameras: front (2-megapixel) and rear (5-megapixel), records 720p video
    • Standard micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports
    • Adobe Flash 10.1 enabled
  • Availability:
    • Q1 for Wi-Fi/3G (unconfirmed), Q2 for 4G (unconfirmed)
    • Offered through Verizon
  • Pricing: Unavailable
  • Buzz: CNET Best of Show award

BlackBerry PlayBook

Spec-to-spec, the BlackBerry PlayBook and the Motorola XOOM are almost identical. The notable differences are the form-factor (the PlayBook is smaller), the operating system and the UI. Before choosing between the PlayBook and the XOOM, we’d invest some quality time with each device and make a decision based on user experience.

  • Specs:
    • Runs on the BlackBerry Tablet OS
    • 1GB of RAM, 1GHz dual-core processor
    • Wireless: Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G-compatible,
    • 7-inch display, 1024 x600 resolution
    • Two cameras: front (3-megapixel) and rear (5-megapixel), 1080p video playback
    • HDMI video output
    • Adobe Flash 10.1 enabled, built-in HTML 5 support
  • Availability
    • Early 2011 (unconfirmed)
    • Offered through Sprint
  • Pricing: $499 for 32 GB model (unconfirmed)
  • Buzz: Tim Gideon of PCMag.com declares the BlackBerry Playbook the best tablet at CES 2011 and “the best bet to contend with Apple’s iPad in 2011” in this article.

What Do You Think?

Which tablet most strikes your fancy? Do you think any of the tablets at CES 2011 will significantly impact the iPad’s marketshare?

About Melody Demel

Melody is Senior Manager, PR for Boingo Wireless, where she is responsible for media relations, brand building and thought leadership initiatives. Melody is a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and retired NCAA DI college field hockey player.
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2 Responses to CES 2011: The Three Tablets That Wowed Us Most

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  2. I beleive this is going to be one of the best tablets around for the next 2 months. The fact that they allow flash to run + they have tabbed browing should make it a killer especially if the Ipad 2 doesnt allow flash off the bat. Flash is the one thing that can offset not having a super App store since you can play all those flash games without needing an App store.