CES in brief: Tablets galore

500x_sideview_hp_slate.jpg Microsoft and HP announced a "Slate PC." It looks pretty cool, with a big touchscreen and svelte design, and the specs suggest an ability to perform. And yet it has a plain air about it: it runs Windows 7, has an enormous bezel, and is a bit chunky. Windows 7 on a tablet?
Indeed, the spectacle of Ballmer's effusive keynote fades to sinister string music as the intrepid tech press realizes that Microsoft just rebadged old news with the name of an Apple rumor. Then again, in the absence of iSlate fever, Microsoft could have called it something like "High Performance Ultra Mobile Multimedia Presentation Platform" or "Zing." So count your blessings. Perhaps capacitative touch and better specs will make all the difference. [Gizmodo and Daring Fireball] sony-dash_small.jpg Sony's 7" Dash tablet is even chunkier, but that's OK, because it's a new Chumby! As such, it's designed to lounge around at home (there's no battery) as an alarm clock-cum-webTV thingy, not replace a netbook or do much in the way of computer powerhousing. It enters the fray with the original Chumby's open-source software and many existing widgets and apps--but better hardware and an impulse-buy $200 price tag. [Crunchgear] kodak-2010107-600-01.jpg Kodak's super-slim Slice camera, shot here by Engadget's Tim Stevens, has a 3.5" touchscreen display and looks no thicker than an iPod Touch. But the promise of 14MP images suggests either great new technology or more visual noise than a firework factory explosion. Nvidia has its own tablet concept: Android, 1080p playback, no fancy design. dsc00371.jpg Motorola's Backflip runs Android, too, but is a cellphone with a big qwerty keyboard. The most exciting thing about it is the way it opens up: screen and keyboard on the *outside* of the clamshell. This means that it opens completely flat, like a tablet, but can be set on a table (in an inverted 'V') for video and alarm clock use. [Gadget Lab. Photo: Priya Ganapati] displaymedia.ashx.png Sony's Bloggie camcorder [Telegraph] is a Flip-like HD pocket camcorder with 1080p recording, a swiveling lends and image stabilization. Alas, no external mic jack, such as Kodak's supreme Zi8 offers. It also announced 13 nearly-identical standard camcorders [Gizmodo]. It's interesting to see the behemoth's two sides in action: one sharply-named and interesting item buried in a swathe of branding business-as-usual, right down to a product list that has all the panache of an industrial adhesives catalog. Make mine the DX-CX150-500N! thumb160x_vpc-cs1_wlogo.jpg Sanyo's pistol-grip Xacti camcorders got an awful lot smaller, offering 1080p recording with a 35mm "wide angle" lens in a form that'll actually fit in your pocket (unlike the otherwise excellent SD1010/2000). It's wafer thin! [Slashgear] sonylaptopz.jpg Sony's F-series laptop is big and heavy, with a 16.4" 16:9 display, Blu-ray and an i7 processor; the 13.3" Y-series is like the Macbook, but $200 cheaper; and the Z-series (pictured) looks like a larger version of the T/TT/TZ models of yore, with a light weigh-in, 13" display, 3G internet, and SSD-only storage. Cuter is the new W, a low-end netbook with a high-end price. [Gizmodo] IdeaPad_Hybrid_05_copy_610x543.jpg Lenovo's U1 touchscreen tablet runs android and clips into a keyboard to become a netbook. [JKKMobile] Sprint's Overdrive is a Mifi-like portable router, but this time using WiMax instead of standard 3G wireless internet. Great if you live in downtown Baltimore. [Engadget]