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Tablet innovations dominate 2013 consumer tech

The 2013 edition of the International Consumer Electronics Show was staged from Jan. 8 to 11 in Las Vegas, giving us a peek at what we can expect to hit the shelves all this year. As the tech community’s most anticipated annual event, it brings together the biggest, the brightest and the fastest-rising stars in consumer electronics. Among the 2,000-plus company booths were niche products like a fork that vibrates to regulate eating speed, a window-cleaning robot and GPS tracking on luggage. However, people were most interested in innovations in mobile communications, computing and entertainment, like impressively stunning and massive ultra HD and 4K television sets and ultra-compact PCs.
Sony Xperia Z
But the real story here are tablet integrations. CES saw several innovations in making tablets the “it” device of the year. There’s one that’s a gaming console, one that’s as big as a table, several that are merged with phones and plenty that are crossed with laptops. A new entry into the gaming segment makes its debut at the CES—the Edge created by Razer. It’s a 10-inch gaming-specific tablet operating on Windows 8 and powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM and 65GB SSD. The Pro version is amped up by 8GB RAM, Core i7 and 256GB SSD. (Other gaming gadgets include Nvidia’s Project Shield and Valve’s Steam Box.)
Razer Edge
The ThinkPad Helix, Lenovo’s bid in the ultrabook market, is a tablet-laptop hybrid with a detachable keyboard. When attached, the screen (tablet) rotates 180-degrees and can even be folded to be a convertible tablet. The two components—the tablet and the keyboard—have separate batteries whose juice can be combined when connected. Another Lenovo innovation that got people talking was the IdeaCentre Horizon, a supersize 27-inch tablet made for tabletop use. Running on Windows 8 PC, it has multi-user capablility that allows for interactivity among local users. Two people can play one-on-one air hockey, for example.
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix
Of course, phablets (phone-tablet hybrids) are not to be forgotten. Taking Samsung’s lead, Huawei and ZTE, among other makers, are exploring this odd space of “are they big phones or small tablets?” The clear frontrunner in the phablet race is the Sony Xperia Z, hailed the best CES smartphone by IGN. It comes in an ultra-modern-minimalist design with a quad-core processor.
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