Feeding the Beast: The Blossoming Tale of the Tablet

By Bob Hansen
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 11:50 AM PDT
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The iPad is changing the world and the rest of the electronics world wants a piece of the action.

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Lights, Camera, Gadgets!

Big names are betting they have the next big thing.
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I've been going to the Consumer Electronics Show for many years and for a long time, people have promised a future of tablet computers. They've shown them off at their CES booth, some have even offered them for sale but until Apple hit the streets with the iPad, it was all an empty promise. 

Now they are making promises again.
Maybe the iPad is making room for others to enter the market. All the big names have either jumped into the mix or hinted that a tablet is in the works.

Dell, Samsung, Acer and BlackBerry are showing off their tablets at CES. HP and Sony both say there are tablets in their future.

So what's changed?

Apple used its cool cache and software genius to create a need where few people thought it existed. It super sized its iPod Touch into a mainstream sensation. Some feel it's on it's own little mountain, others feel there is room at the top.

So who will challenge Apple? By the looks of the show floor, many will try.
BlackBerry's PlayBook is a good-looking product. Its seven-inch screen includes two cameras, HD video and a thin sleek approach. Dell and Samsung are playing with small laptops that convert into tablets, clever but not true tablets in my book. Hewlett-Packard held back its tablet from the show and Sony says it's working on it. There are dozens more that I have yet to see.
Competition brings innovation and lowers the price.

The dream is revealed at CES. Look for the reality coming to an electronics store near you.

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