We have one new fact to report and one new prediction to make about Hewlett-Packard’s webOS-based tablet computing gadget or gadgets, which will not be on display in Las Vegas. Read more

Not content with sending Apple past Microsoft in market value last year, investors on Monday gave it a new bragging right on the first trading day of 2011: a market cap exceeding $300bn. Competition for the iPad may be just around the corner, but for now, the stock market is betting that Apple will continue to lead the field by a large margin. Read more

And we’re off… as the clock struck midnight in Las Vegas for the beginning of CES week, Toshiba unveiled the first of many tablet devices expected to be shown at the Consumer Electronics show.

The Toshiba Tablet is the first aimed at the US market by Toshiba and looks an advance on the Folio tablet it introduced in Europe towards the end of last year, which I saw unveiled at the IFA show in Berlin. Read more

Every time a new category of mobile device emerges, network operators have sought to grab a bigger slice of the pie by cutting out branded manufacturers and selling their own-branded gadgets. The first Android-based smartphone, for example, was manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC but was better known as the T-Mobile G1.

It was therefore only a matter of time before this dynamic was extended to tablets. Taiwan’s Vibo Telecom, a 3G operator with 1.8 million subscribers, was among the first to take that step when it launched its 7-inch, Android-based Vibo Vpad this month. Read more

Intel, which has made slow progress to date in tablet devices, pointed on Wednesday to a pickup in 2011 with 35 design wins with manufacturers.

But the world’s biggest chipmaker continues to struggle to break into smartphones, with Paul Otellini, chief executive, telling Barclays Capital’s Global Technology Conference in San Francisco that its first would not appear until the second half of next year. Read more

Samsung is urging operators to bundle sales of its new Galaxy tablet with cell phones and their data plans in order to cut the cost to consumers.

Speaking on the sidelines of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Lee Don Joo, head of global sales and marketing for Samsung’s mobile products, said it would be a burden if consumers had to pay for a separate plan for the Galaxy Tab on top of their existing phone plan. Read more

Rivals to the iPad will come in similar shapes but all screen sizes, judging by the launches here in Berlin on Thursday of tablets from Samsung and Toshiba (pictured).

The competition is also packing its cheaper devices with features the iPad may not have for some time, such as cameras with video calling. Read more

There are two ways one could think about Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab.

One would be to look at its slick casing, its compact 7-inch form, the latest Android software and extensive 3G support from European mobile operators, and say: here is a device which proves the iPad isn’t the only show in town.

The other would be to look at its slick casing, its compact 7-inch form, the latest Android software and extensive 3G support from European mobile operators, and say: isn’t this just an oversized smartphone? Read more

Well that didn’t take long.  Just a few days after Apple’s iPad hit international markets, both Asus and MSI, the Taiwanese PC brands best known for their netbooks, on Monday unveiled their respective versions of the tablet PC ahead of Computex

They weren’t the only ones, either.  Gianfranco Lanci, Acer chief executive, beat both his competitors to the mark by showing a glimpse of Acer’s tablet PC at a Beijing press conference last week.  So what to make of all these competing devices?  Several things stood out, after the jump: Read more

Computex, the world’s second-biggest IT trade fair, does not officially start until Tuesday but already the hype about which tablet personal computer will challenge the iPad as the hottest product of the year is in full swing.

The chief executive of Nvidia, the specialist graphics card company that is also a big supplier of chips for tablet PCs, kicked things off by making the prediction that within five years “tablets will be the world’s biggest computing category”. Jen-hsun Huang said tablets could even surpass netbooks and notebook PCs in terms of volume. Read more

There just still seems to be no clear consensus on whether netbooks – cheaper, simpler notebooks that were one of the fastest-growing tech segments last year – are starting to lose steam.

Paul Otellini, Intel chief executive, insists the tablet PC won’t “eat the notebooks’ and netbooks’ lunch”, while others suggest the netbook’s breakneck growth is running up against other barriers such as rising manufacturing costs . The latest numbers from Taiwan’s Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, a government-backed research institute, hardly help clear up the issue.

 Read more

Panasonic's C1 convertible tablet

Despite the best efforts of Microsoft and its hardware partners over the past decade, pen-operated tablet PCs – particularly slate-style devices – never really took off outside niche verticals like health and insurance.

Even convertible tablets – laptops with touch screens that fold down on top of the keyboard to turn the devices into a slate-style PCs – never really made much headway though I personally used a convertible X- Series ThinkPad for several years. Read more