Computex 2011:名副其实的平板大战

上网时间: 2011年06月08日? 作者:Robert Hollingsworth? 我来评论 【字号: ? ?小】

关键字:Computex 2011? 平板? Padfone?

Trip report: The tablet wars (aka Computex 2011)

Robert Hollingsworth

The current rose in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday (May 31) on the 31st edition of Computex, the second largest computer show in the world.

The show has attracted more than 2,000 exhibitors and is expected to draw 120,000 visitors to this tiny island, and as usual, the local population is elated to see us come and spend our dollars to observe the latest trends in new technology. While no one can deny that this year's crop of products is playing catch-up to the wildly successful Apple iPad, it is clear that creative minds up are not relying entirely on duplication of the Apple formula to win consumer dollars. Without trying to be judgmental, this report will focus on trying to identify the breadth of creativity and diversity that could adorn the shelves of retail stores around the world in the months to come.

Next: Acer Iconia, Samsung Galaxy Tab

Acer Iconia, Samsung Galaxy Tab

First, let's start with a very good pair of tablets that represent fair form, fit, and function comparisons to the market leader in this category.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab seemed to be a better solution for high resolution activities like gaming, but since it was not possible to perform side-by-side comparisons, let's call this a draw. These solutions fit the mold typical to the basic definition of a tablet these days, and clearly have been designed as high quality products.

Asus

Now for some creativity.

The Asus Transformer appears to be an alternative designed for those of us who just cannot leave behind the trusty keyboard for touch screen typing. At first glance, this looks like a typical netbook or notebook, but the base/keyboard is really a docking station for the screen, which can be detached and then used as a tablet. When the screen is attached, not only can you type as if the device were a notebook, the dock also charges the tablet and offers USB ports so you can also attach additional standard peripherals.

More Asus

But the Asus guys were not finished. They also developed a solution that actually combines a tablet with a phone. The phone can be used as normal for calling and texting, but when you want to explore the internet or use a full size tablet device for any application, you install the phone into its customized slot and the tablet uses the phone for its connectivity. A single SIM card in the phone now acts to serve two purposes ... phone and tablet.

Next: Fujitsu

This Fujitsu Tablet PC solution (the only one of these devices that can truly be called a Tablet PC since it is a real Intel CPU running Windows) accomplishes the trick of appearing to be a tablet by using a rather clever hinged mechanism which allows the screen to be used as a traditional notebook or reversed and then it becomes a true Tablet PC. It's heavier than the other alternatives, but this solution shows how a PC can still provide its legacy functionality while offering a modern touch screen interface as an alternative.

Next: Viewsonic

The last tablet to be included is one of several designed by Viewsonic. While not specifically differentiated from many of the other choices, Viewsonic chose to demonstrate their solution in a booth where they emphasized connectivity between a tablet and existing high resolution monitors. Many of the other tablets at Computex also supported the same HDMI interface, enabling monitors and TVs to be connected to the tablets, but Viewsonic was the only vendor that I saw who demonstrated this connectivity as a standard part of their story. Viewsonic's mascot Gouldian finches wandered around the 4th floor of the Nangang Convention Center, trying to attract traffic to their booth. But as you can see, other vendors were relying on more traditional tradeshow techniques, dressing attractive young women in plastic clothing, to achieve the same results.

I have been careful to not spend a lot of time in this update commenting on CPUs (ARM versus Intel ATOM) or operating systems (Windows versus Android), since any serious buyer knows that the Intel solutions already support both Operating Systems and that Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 will execute on both the Intel and ARM CPUs. The one specific technology comment that was obvious in this tablet comparison was the dominant presence of Nvidia's Tegra (ARM-based) CPU in the tablets that were not supporting the Intel ATOM processor. A year after Freescale, Marvell, Qualcomm, and TI were all represented in the SmartBooks, which have been replaced by this tablet revolution, the ratio of Nvidia design wins to everyone else was remarkable.


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