Last year CES sported e-Readers made by just about any company that felt like creating one. If the ramp up to CES 2011 is any indication, we'll see just about everyone offering a tablet at the beginning of 2011.
Of course, the big boys are going to be playing in the tablet game, too. First came Apple with its iPad, next up is Samsung with the Galaxy Tab, and coming soon is the BlackBerry PlayBook, with either the Windows-based tablet and / or WebOS-based PalmPad wrapping up the tablet offering.
The iPad is definitely first to market, but will Samsung have an edge over the competition by launching on all carriers simultaneously? And even if it does, will the public consume? And what about RIM? It enjoys a strong foothold in the enterprise market, and the PlayBook is a nice complement to the company's BlackBerry offering.
I'm a daily iPad user, and even writing that I am shocks me. When I first saw Jobs tell the world that the iPad fits between the iPhone and the MacBook, being an owner of both I thought that I would never have a need for one. Today I still take the iPad and my MacBook with me when I go somewhere, but most of the time it's probably out of fear that the iPad may not do what I need and not whether or not the iPad can perform the tasks needed.
With Android, RIM, WebOS, and even Windows-based tablets coming to market, the line between a notebook and tablet will blur even further. There have been unofficial reports that netbook sales are down, and with tablets coming out on all platforms, there's no doubt that laptop sales will also take a hit.
Again, the big question is need versus want. Do we need a tablet? We already know that we want one, but is it really offering an experience that we can't create by combining two or more devices that we already have?
Are you in the market for a tablet? If so, which one are you holding out for and why?