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1/9/2012
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CES Day One: Best Tablets

Hardware makers announced a slew of new tablets at CES 2012 Monday. Here's a look at the most interesting choices, including Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7.

CES 2012: Elegant Gadgets Abound
CES 2012: Elegant Gadgets Abound
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Despite the market's tepid response to Android tablets in 2011, hardware makers are kicking off CES 2012 with ... you guessed it: more Android tablets. Of those that have been announced, these are the ones that stand out the most.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 -- This tablet has a small 7.7-inch display and is incredibly thin at 7.9-mm thick. It is lightweight at only 340 grams (0.75 pounds), but still offers plenty of power.

Some of the most important features include support for Verizon's LTE 4G network and mobile hotspot for up to 10 devices; 1.4-GHz dual-core processor; Android 3.2 Honeycomb with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface; Samsung's Social and Media Hubs for sharing and content; and 16 GB of internal storage. It also has a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and full 720p recording and 1080p playback (through HDMI dock or adapter) and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Pricing and availability were not announced.

[ Ultrabooks are expected to make a splash at CES. Read CES 2012: Ultrabook Ultimate FAQ. ]

Pantech Element -- AT&T and Pantech surprised with this tablet. The best feature is perhaps the price: it will sell for $299 with a new data contract.

The Element is Pantech's first LTE-Android tablet for AT&T, and it is waterproof with an IP-57 rating, meaning it can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The Element runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb and includes a crisp 8-inch display with 1024 x 768 pixels, front- and rear-facing cameras, and a rich Web experience with full HTML and PC-like tabbed browsing. What's more interesting is that AT&T is offering the Element and the Pantech Burst LTE smartphone for $250 when purchased together. That's quite a deal.

Toshiba Excite X10 -- This tablet arrives at some point during the first quarter of the year. The Excite offers a 1.2-GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP processor and has a 10-inch display with 1280 x 800 pixels. It also includes a 5-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. The Excite X10 runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF700T -- This tablet features a 10.1-inch display with 1920 x 1200 pixels and Gorilla Glass. It targets the entertainment category.

The TF700T has a 1.3-GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 Cortex A9 processor and a 12-core GeForce GPU. It has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and dedicated LED Flash and 1080p HD video capture. The front-facing camera for video chats rates 2 megapixels. It includes 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage. It will ship during the second quarter of 2012.

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