Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

AUS­TRALIAN con­sumers will buy more than one mil­lion tablet com­put­ers this year, says re­search firm Tel­syte.

While these key­board-free com­put­ers are not ex­pected to re­place full-sized lap­tops, they could pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive for stu­dents who would oth­er­wise have pur­chased net­books.

Gart­ner re­search di­rec­tor Ran­jit At­wal says the net­book is al­ready feel­ing the pinch. ‘‘ Over the longer term, me­dia tablets are ex­pected to dis­place around 10 per cent of PC units by 2014,’’ he says.

The class of 2011 will also have plenty of tablets from which to choose. Ap­ple is ex­pected to re­lease an up­dated iPad in the com­ing months, with ru­mours about a more pow­er­ful pro­ces­sor, lighter body and bet­ter screen.

Com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Mo­torola, Acer, Black­Berry and ASUS have pledged to re­lease new tablet com­put­ers into Aus­tralia early this year.

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