New Tablets, Slates, and Pads: oh, my. 2010 will be an interesting, touch-fueled year.

imageToday’s been a busy day, what with work and getting pinged with the press on the new tablet products coming from Silicon Valley, as noted here with an inside look at the HP Slate (the model that made its debut at CES). None other than HP’s CTO Phil McKinney shows off the the Slate in a "History of Innovation" in his latest blog post on HP’s The Next Bench blog.

Oh, yes, and there is the new Apple iPad, too. More info on the new Apple iPad via Bing here. There are some choice updates from people and press in attendance at the event today in San Francisco in my twitter feed.

imageA comment on design, timely especially since I was referencing the incomparable Bill Buxton today in a presentation.

There’s an interesting similarity to the bezel design on these two devices, both somewhat different from the approach seen on other touch tablets (‘though reminiscent of of the iPhone). As I noted on Twitter, the ASUS Eee PC T91MT makes more sense (or costs fewer cents?) given that you have the choice of using the keyboard or not. Having the option is nice, as I found when I made the case for a Revitalized Notebook (aka getting more from computers currently gathering dust). This was when I updated my Toshiba M200 with Windows 7.

imageAlthough I like the tablet functions, it’s certainly nice to have the keyboard input option. With the new touch enabled PCs like the ASUS above (and even my home desktop, the HP Touchsmart 2), the ability to move between typing and touch become second nature after a while.  And if you have a portable form factor like the ASUS or even the HP (with optional dock, I’m guessing, as we saw originally on the 2004 release of the HP Compaq TC1100) the slate design works well overall for consuming media.

Interesting to note: Amazon’s taken no time to respond on its web site with this promo for the Kindle on the home page, touting the free wireless and no need for a wireless contract…

But should you get a tablet, or slat, or pad? That depends. More on that later…

Tags: gadgets, Amazon, CES 2010, CES, Kindle, Microsoft, tablet, Tablet PC, Windows 7.

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