Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

THIS year’s show was ded­i­cated to tablet com­put­ers.

Many bet­tered the cur­rent leader, Ap­ple’s iPad, of­fer­ing more pow­er­ful, fully fea­tured forms. Some even came in hy­brid lap­top form.

Mo­torola’s Xoom, due early this year, was among the stand­outs.

Pow­ered by a 1GHz du­al­core pro­ces­sor, it will be the first to use Google An­droid soft­ware cre­ated specif­i­cally for tablets.

The 10.1-inch Xoom showed off 3D Google Maps, large wid­gets, re­designed apps and a tablet-friendly ar­ray of icons.

Re­search in Mo­tion gave users the first chance to use its 7-inch Play­Book tablet. The slick, slim com­puter op­er­ates quickly, and uses a touch­sen­si­tive border as a but­ton.

But it needs a Black­Berry to re­ceive a mo­bile in­ter­net con­nec­tion, and doesn’t in­clude cal­en­dar and email apps.

Other CES tablets fea­tured unique, hy­brid de­signs.

Sam­sung’s Slid­ing PC 7 Se­ries tablet hides a full-sized key­board un­der its screen. Len­ovo’s IdeaPad U1 uses Google An­droid un­til you in­sert it into a lap­top-like shell and trig­ger Win­dows 7. And Dell’s In­sp­iron Duo is a net­book with a screen that flips round to take tablet form.

Ex­pect mod­els from LG, Toshiba, Sharp, Dell and Sony, which an­nounced its in­ten­tion to be­come the world’s sec­ond­biggest tablet maker even though it has yet to show one. cess­ing for the first time. For many, this will elim­i­nate the need to buy ded­i­cated graph­ics cards for lap­tops, In­tel PC client group vice-pres­i­dent Mooly Eden says.

But it is the ad­vances de­liv­ered by adding graph­ics power that will make the great­est dif­fer­ence to users.

Com­put­ers with the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Core i3, i5 and i7 chips can use ad­di­tions, in­clud­ing Quick Sync Video, which will con­vert high­def­i­ni­tion home movies to new for­mats or pre­pare them for YouTube in record time.

The sec­ond gen­er­a­tion i7 chip is al­ready be­ing added to Dell’s new-re­lease XPS 17 lap­top with a stereo­scopic 3D dis­play. Other next-gen­er­a­tion chips will be added to lap­tops next month.

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