Remember when tablets were going to take over and kill the PC? Even a few years ago, tablets were all the rage. However, CES 2019 has shown that in terms of portable computing for work, slim notebooks and 2-in-1 convertibles are back in.
As a result, pure tablets at CES are harder to find this year, but a few have popped up that got our attention. Here’s a quick look at the best tablets that were shown or announced at CES 2019.
Lenovo Smart Tab series
Lenovo announced two upcoming Android 8.1 Oreo tablets at CES 2019 with an interesting twist. Both the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 and Smart Tab P10 are 10.1-inch tablets that come with a charging dock that also serves as a smart speaker. The charging docks have two 3W speakers and three far-field microphones and use Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant for voice commands and info.
Placing the tablets inside the dock turns the smart speaker into a smart display that can show things like content of your security videos, recipes, your calendar, and much more. Both tablets will go on sale in March, with the Lenovo SmartTab M10 priced at $199.99 and the Lenovo SmartTab P10 priced at $299.99.
Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite
This mid-range Android tablet, which has already gone on sale in other parts of the world, was shown at CES 2019 because it is now entering the U.S. market. The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite has a 10.1-inch IPS display in its aluminum body, with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200. Inside, there’s Huawei’s in-house Kirin 659 processor, along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. You will also find an 8MP front and rear camera and a 7,500mAh battery. There’s even a fingerprint scanner, which is rare on tablets.
The tablet is going for the family market, and it includes an M-Pen lite stylus for taking notes or creating artwork. Parents can set up the fingerprint scanner for their children so when they log in, they will be taken to an app called Kid’s Corner with more child-friendly graphics and parental controls. Look for the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite to go on sale in late January in the U.S. for $299.
Asus is launching its first Chrome OS-based tablet at CES 2019 with the CT100. This product is targeting the education market and has a 9.7-inch display with a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution. Inside, it has the hexa-core OP1 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 35Wh battery.
The tablet has a 2MP front-facing camera, a 5MP rear camera and a 35Wh battery. One of the nicest features on the CT100 is that it includes a built-in stylus. Because it’s being sold to schools, it has been constructed to take a lot of abuse; it should keep working even if it drops down from 100 centimeters (~39 inches). Asus has not yet announced a price or release date for the CT100.
Asus ROG Mothership
Would you like a tablet that can play any Windows PC game you want? Asus thinks there’s an audience for such a product that has high-end PC hardware, and, at CES 2019, it revealed the ROG Mothership. Basically, it’s like Microsoft’s Surface Pro, but boosted up to insane levels.
The Mothership has a 17.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display and can stand up on its own with its built-in kickstand. It also has a detachable keyboard that can work with the tablet wirelessly, or it can be connected via a USB Type-C cable. The keyboard is also backlit with RGB lighting, allowing for tons of custom setups.
The ROG Mothership itself has Windows 10 pre-installed, of course, with support for up to 64GB of RAM. It can also hold up to three 512GB PCIe SSDs in a RAID 0 array. Intel’s speedy Core i9-8950HK processor gives this “tablet” a huge boost, along with its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. Asus has even put RGB lighting on the tablet, including behind the kickstand.
The ROG Mothership also has features like four front-facing speakers, a Realtek 2.5G Ethernet controller, Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (802.11ax) technology, and support for up to three separate displays. At 10.4 pounds, this is less of a tablet and more of an all-in-one PC, but it can run on battery power on its own so we are going to call it a tablet (Asus didn’t offer info on how long it will last on a single charge). The ROG Mothership will be released later this year. Pricing has not been announced, but we expect it to be very expensive indeed.
Wacom Cintiq 16
Wacom normally makes high-end, high-priced tablets made for serious or professional digital artists. At CES 2019, the company announced the Wacom Cintiq 16, a tablet that will have a lower price point of $649. That’s less than half the price of the current Cintiq Pro 16 tablet, which should make the new device more appealing to a wider audience.
For that price, you get a 15.6-inch touchscreen with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, along with a 72 percent NTSC color rating with 16.7 million colors. It still supports Wacom’s Pro Pen 2 stylus which has a whopping 8,192 levels of pressure. The pen also features electromagnetic resonance charging, which means it should never run out of battery power. The Wacom Cintiq 16 will go on sale later in January.
This was the only one in the list we weren’t able to get hands-on time with, but it’s still one of the most interesting announced.
And that’s it for our look at the coolest tablets launched at CES 2019. What’s your favorite?