Four years ago, e-book readers and tablets were the hot stars of the famed ConsumerElectronics Show. At this year’s CES, underway Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, standalone e-readers aren’t even lukewarm but a new generation of tablets still occupies the spotlight.
A host of new tablet models, representing a variety of features and forms, are on display at the show, according to C/net. Manufacturers seem to be trying to figure out just what consumers want in a tablet. Do they need one with a stylus, a larger screen (up to 12.2 in.), mini versions with cellphone capabilities, or a stripped-down model with a cheaper pricetag? How about a hybrid laptop/tablet that can boot up both Windows 8.1 and Android operating systems?
Tablets will almost certainly gain ground with college students, who would rather tote something lighter than a laptop around campus, especially if all they want to do is take notes and go online.
Wired.com’s CES coverage also highlighted a new higher-end tablet that might work well for professors doing field research or campus retailers handling off-site sales at the stadium. The Panasonic Toughpad can be dropped without damage from a normal standing or desk height, resists dust and water, and comes with ports for a payment-card reader, bar-code reader, GPS unit, or extra battery.
For the first time, a section of the CES floor was devoted to showcasing new developments produced by higher-education incubators. The Academia TechTechZone features innovations from seven institutions.