By Gordon Meyer
I’ve been back from the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show about a week and the dust is still settling. This year’s annual shindig was one of the most active in years – and hopefully a good indication that the economy is finally solidly back into Recovery Mode.
So what was the big news at this year’s CES show? In a word, Tablets. Now that Google has released its latest rev of the Android operating system, there were dozens of companies showcasing Android-based tablets on and off the show floor. Interestingly enough, in many cases, these devices were being positioned as a combination of eBook reader and tablet.
So what’s the big deal about Android tablets, especially as it pertains to P3 readers? In a nutshell, it’s a potential inexpensive netbook alternative with built-in WiFi connectivity, thanks to the flexibility of the Android operating system and the myriad number of apps out there to support it.
Take its value as an eBook reader. A producer friend of mine loads hers with PDF files of all the scripts she’s got on her reading list so she can take along one compact, lightweight device on vacation or to her weekend getaway instead of hauling a heavy stack of paper.
Many of these tablets have cameras, microphones and speakers, which enables them to function as wireless phones (using Google Voice and any nearby WiFi connection you can tap into). You can take notes, do navigation, take pictures or video, just to name a few of the functions. If all goes well, I’ll have my hands on at least one of this new breed of Android tablet shortly so I can report on its benefits in more detail.
But suffice it to say, this product category has the potential to be a great boon for pros, especially when you’re working on location.