Highlights from Japan and the CEATEC Show
Fujitsu Arrows Tab LTE F-01D
The tablet craze is clearly raging in Japan. I just wish we got tablets like the Fujitsu Arrows Tab. This recently released 4G model runs a 1GHz OMAP 4 processor and Android Honeycomb, has a lovely high-resolution 1280 by 800 pixel display and a pleasing curved design.
The size isn't groundbreaking -- it stands 0.45-inches thick, just under the average, and thicker than the newest tablets like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Regza Tablet AT700, but it weighs just 1.32 pounds -- about the same as the current iPad 2.
NEC LaVie Touch LT550/FS
This is another one of those nifty designs that we'll never see in the U.S. market. NEC introduced the LaVie Touch, a “two-way PC” as the company's marketing materials put it. The Touch is a Windows 7 10.1-inch tablet that pairs with a thin docking station that houses ports and a DVD burner. Together with a wireless keyboard and mouse, the LaVie Touch turns from tablet to desktop PC.
The tablet runs Windows 7 Home Premium, an Intel Atom 670 processor, 2GB of memory, and a 64GB SSD; along the edges, it has an impressive complement of ports -- SD card, USB, and HDMI. It also measures by 7.6 inches by 10.4 inches, stands 0.62 deep and weighs 1.6 pounds, among the lighter Windows tablets we've seen.
While the design was a bit boxy and squared off, it was pleasant to hold -- more so than many of the bigger Windows tablets I've tried. NEC says the battery will last 10.6 hours. The LaVie Touch's design is a compelling one, and this approach should be even more appealing when Windows 8 and its tablet-optimized operating system ship.
NEC Android Tablets
In addition to the LaVie Touch, NEC showed off several Android tablets. Among them, the LifeTouch W, a surprisingly lightweight (1.2 pounds) commercial version of a dual-display concept design shown previously at CES.
The LifeTouch W has an ARM Cortex A8, 1GB of memory, and two 7-inch 800 by 600 pixel displays. On board ports include SDHC card slot and micro-USB. The tablet runs Android 2.2, and has 4GB of built-in storage. I also liked the design of the Android, Nvidia Tegra-based Note LifeTouch NA75F; it wasn't new, but it had a built-in keyboard and a clamshell design, something we've not seen with the bevy of Android devices to hit the U.S.
NEC LifeTouch Communicator
I especially liked the NEC LifeTouch Communicator. This white Android 2.2 tablet has the same internal guts as the LifeTouch W -- Cortex A8 and 1GB of memory -- and puts physical navigation controls on the left side. It looks as if it's intended for use around the home. The best part? NEC showed this tablet communicating with and controlling an adorable robot that almost looked like a little cousin of “The Jetson's” Rosie.