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2011 - Bob's Picks

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Tablets, Tablets, Tablets...

Bob Widenhofer, Senior Analyst for TechInsights, thinks tablets will feature prominently in 2011. Here's his take:

I think that I'd pay a little more for a 7-inch tablet than I would for a dedicated book reader of similar screen quality.  This makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab a contender in my books. I think it'll still be around next year because it beat the flood of Android-based tablets to market, and did so with a 1GHz processor, decent cameras, 3G + WiFi connectivity, and a decent display to boot.

In the larger-screen category, I'm intrigued by the 10-inch tablets with Nvidia Tegra-2 dual-core processors.  In particular, the as-yet-unnamed 10.1" entry from Toshiba has my attention.  Toshiba laptops have a fine track record for balancing quality, performance, and price. I own a couple myself. The retail price has not been announced, but if it's less expensive than an iPad, I think this one will succeed.  If not, there are some down-market entries with similar specs (MSI, Foxconn) that I think will grab a niche market in the ~$400 range.  It seems certain that the Tegra-2 processor will gain traction somewhere in this market.

I don't think we'll see Windows 7 tablets with 10-inch displays doing well.  This seems an awful lot like a netbook with a touchscreen instead of a keyboard.  Any unit of this type at a price point above $450 is, in my opinion, unlikely to thrive in 2011.

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