It’s definitely starting to look like tablets are going to be the hot item of CES 2011. That doesn’t necessarily mean that tablets will be everywhere you look in the coming year. After all, one of the hottest items at CES 2010 was the 3D HDTV. I can’t count how many of them I saw on display, but when’s the last time you walked into your buddy’s house and saw his new 60 inch 3D TV? That said, tablets are off to a pretty good start in 2010, with a few blockbuster success stories such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, so it’s going to be hard to keep every computer maker in the world from attempting to bring a tablet to market. It’s like 2008 and netbooks all over again.
DigiTimes is reporting that we can expect a number of machines from several major Taiwanese computer makers. We’re already aware of plans from Asus and MSI, but DigiTImes says ECS also plans to introduce a line of 6, 8, and 9.7 inch eBook readers with capacitive touchscreen displays, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, and support for Linux and Google Android. While they may be positioned as eBook readers, the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor has already shown that the line separating an eReader from a tablet is pretty thin.
ECS is also reportedly working on a few Android and Windows 7 tablets with Intel and ARM-based chips. These will likely range in size from 7 to 10 inches.
MSI will show off Android and Windows tablets, while Asus is expected to introduce 3 tablets: The 12 inch Eee Pad EP121 as well as two 10 inch machines, one running Windows with an Intel Oak Trail chip, and the other running Android with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip.
DigiTimes also says Asus will also have several 7 inch models with ARM-based chips, one of which may include phone capabilities and mobile broadband access.