When competition between vendors heats up and innovation is the word of the day, the consumer stands to benefit! One thing that stood out in the tablet arena at CES this year is that companies realize the value to consumers of tablets that provide a lot of value for the dollar. Buying trends have definitely shown that consumers are willing to bypass the way more expensive iPad if they feel they can at least get something that comes close and does what they want it to do.
There are a lot of really exciting tablets set to take center stage and Ice Cream Sandwich updates at least should be going into full swing by the middle of the year if not earlier. The competition between vendors with the Tegra 3 powerhouse tablets is definitely set to take center stage as well with Acer now coming out with a powerhouse tablet of their own with true 1080p HD display in the Iconia a700 and it will already be loaded with ICS out of the box. It sounds like Acer is trying to do things right with this tablet – no updates, everything ready to go, etc. Asus’s Transformer Prime has been plagued by an extreme shortage of stock ever since its release and this is still the case with Prime. Online retailers still show that the Prime is out of stock or on backorder. Hopefully production will be ramped up on the Prime, so consumers can take advantage of this tablet. Asus stands to lose a gigantic lead that it had on paper at least when other vendors such as Acer come to market with competing Tegra 3 products.
The trend as we mentioned in the outset is definitely bang for the buck. Acer has released a budget tablet in the a200 which is basically a redesigned and released version of the Iconia a500 with very similar hardware specs and selling at around the $350 price point as opposed to the $500 price point when the a500 was released. Another really great looking little heard of tablet is the Le-Pan II and III which are more of an iPad form factor in the 9.7 inch screen. The Le-Pan II is being released with the Honeycomb 3.2 software with upgrade to the ICS Android and the Le-Pan III is supposed to come with ICS.
Asus is also coming out with a really awesome 7-inch Tegra 3 ICS tablet for a mind boggling $249! There is one thing for sure, things are definitely going to be in the consumer’s favor this year. Tablet manufacturers are going to be in a heated competition to win your dollar by innovation, design, and feature sets that are definitely well worth the value/dollar.