When we're not talking about 4G or 3D at next month's CES, one of the major focuses will be the multimedia tablet market, an area that didn't really even exist until the launch of the iPad. Last year, no one was showing anything like it. Now, almost every major consumer electronics company will have one. Everyone wants a slice of the pie that the iPad made.
Lenovo marketing director Nick Reynolds and other executives have reportedly confirmed the company will have tablet units on display at CES next month.
It's expected we will finally get to see the "LePad" tablet, which runs on Google's Android operating system, the biggest rival to the iPad and its iO platform. Other than that, we don't know much.
Interestingly enough, Lenovo was one of few companies that showed off a "tablet" last year. The IdeaPad was a regular laptop computer with a detachable touch-screen.
However, after the iPad came out later in the year, the IdeaPad appears to have been killed, though Lenovo's last official status was just that it was "delayed." The IdeaPad was going to retail for more than $1,000, pricing it far out of the iPad market.
An IDG report also suggests Lenovo might display a tablet aimed at business users, the ThinkPad tablet. The world of business-centric tablets still hasn't really been tapped, but a number of businesses are already using the iPad. Research in Motion hopes its Playbook tablet will be the defining offering for businesses, and is one of the company's biggest gambles for 2011.
Samsung, Dell, HP, Toshiba, and others will all also likely have tablet products on display at CES. The question is how each one will try to differentiate itself.