Tablets are taking center stage at CES, at least so far, but big announcements from Microsoft and buzz around chips are also in the limelight.
About 100 new tablets are expected to be on display at the show this year. Asustek kicked off the tablet announcements, unveiling four on Tuesday, including the Eee Pad Slider that uses the Honeycomb version of Android, the first designed for tablets. Another from Asustek, the Eee Slate E121, runs Microsoft's Windows 7.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Otellini says Intel's new tablet chip is gaining momentum. | Also: Asustek unveils Honeycomb, Windows 7 tablets. | With CES raining tablets, some will get flooded out. | Stay ahead of advances in mobile technology with InfoWorld's Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]
Lenovo is showing off its first tablet, the LePad, and said it has plans to launch more tablets later this year. The LePad runs Android 2.2 and will initially be offered in China. The company hasn't yet decided if it will sell it elsewhere.
Toshiba demonstrated a tablet that doesn't yet have a name. The demo device runs Android 2.2 but Toshiba hopes to update it to Honeycomb for the launch, expected around the second quarter.
The second largest tablet vendor, Samsung, announced a Wi-Fi- only Galaxy Tab, which includes a 7-inch screen, and runs on Android 2.2. The company already offers a Galaxy Tab which includes Wi-Fi and 3G. It will be available for purchase in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2011, but further details were not provided.
Samsung also announced the sleek 9 Series ultraportable laptop, which has been termed a Macbook Air killer. The laptop includes a 13.3-inch screen, weighs less than 3 pounds, and is only 0.64 inches thick. And like the Macbook Air, it is also expensive, priced at $1,599. It will be available in Spring.
A new tablet player, Motorola, showed the Xoom, which has a 10.1-inch touchscreen and runs on the Google's Android 3.0, formerly called Honeycomb. The tablet will launch as a 3G/Wi-Fi device by the end of March, and upgrade to 4G LTE in the upcoming quarter. The device will perhaps be the first Android 3.0 tablet on the market. Pricing information was not provided.
In chip news, Intel unveiled Sandy Bridge. The family of chips will include dual-core, quad-core, 6-core and 8-core chips primarily for desktops and laptops.
Taiwanese electronics maker Micro-Star International on Tuesday was one of the first at CES to unveil laptops and motherboards with the new Intel processors. HP and Lenovo have already announced PCs based on the Sandy Bridge chips.