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CES 2018 Day Two: Tablet Vendors Setting Sights on Adjacent Markets

by Eric Smith | Jan 11, 2018

Two of the biggest stories here at CES have important implications for tablet vendors: 1. The proliferation of voice control; and, 2. Bringing the phone experience to the compute experience. What will improved human-to-machine interaction in voice enable in tablets and how do tablets fit into this larger picture of devices with voice recognition. Why is it important that vendors are introducing cellular connectivity and longer battery life in 2-in-1 tablets? These are questions that we will address in our wrap-up report. For now, here are some of the key products we have been looking at the last couple of days as well as our initial thoughts.

Lenovo Miix 630

I had some really interesting conversations with the people at Lenovo about their plans with this device and some of the new ways an “Always Connected” PC can fit into old use cases as well as the new ones we constantly imagine. There will be more on this in our follow-up report for clients. Outside of those strategic questions on the service side, this is a really impressive device at a lower price than we are used to seeing for many of its features. Time will tell if it’s powerful enough to begin replacing traditional PCs (due to the ARM processor handling x86 applications via emulation).


Dell Latitude 5290

Dell used CES as a chance to unveil its new XPS 13-inch and 15-inch convertible PC models and the DellCinema solution to improve video, sound, and streaming quality for its premium devices. The company has largely moved away from most tablet form factors, to the point that it only had one new 2-in-1 release this year at CES in the Latitude 5290, beginning at a base price of $899. This is a fairly straightforward refresh of its 5285 model from last year but it borrows some features from its more premium cousin in giving a WiGig option.
Dell Latitude 5290

Lenovo Smart Display

This is essentially a smart speaker with a tablet connected to it. Due to the design, weight, and use case, it’s not quite a tablet any more as one cannot (plausibly) take it from room to room. The OS is even a smart speaker based as it’s just a straight implementation of Google Assistant. All of the same music, game, and information use cases are in this device with the added effect of bringing video where helpful. Detailed weather forecasts, pictures and video to accompany suggestions like recipes, and graphics for trivia games are just a few examples where the screen makes a difference. The 8-inch version is $199 and the 10-inch version is $249, with availability starting in Q2 2018.

For slate tablet vendors looking for greener pastures, this may be a good fit. It’s probably also important to note here that most tablets already have some form of voice recognition software, leaving many options available for new use cases.

 

Check out some of our other blogs covering smartphones, TVs and AI assistants, and smartwatches, or our real-time thoughts on Twitter (https://twitter.com/esmith_sa/lists/strategy-analytics) as SA’s analysts covering the latest trends and taking a hard look at the hype. Look for our follow-up report for clients after the show and do get in touch (esmith@strategyanalytics.com) if you want access to the final report or to explore these issues in more depth.

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