We all know about the iPad and Kindle. Whether on the TV, the side of a bus, or a billboard, you can hardly turn a corner nowadays without seeing an ad for the game-changing devices. They’re everywhere. And while I’m certainly not anti-iPad/Kindle (I absolutely love them), I think it’s important for any traveler to know about and consider all available options.
Aluratek Libre Air
This e-reader offers a 5-inch screen, access to 1+ million book titles from Borders, and has a reflective light LCD screen for faster page turns. The screen is an inch smaller than the Kindle—talk about portability! Cost: $130. Release Date: February 2011.
NEC LT-W Cloud Communicator
Can’t give up that classic feel you get with opening a book? This color-screen e-reader, with dual 7-inch non-glare screens (think: clamshell opening) almost makes you feel like you’re holding an old-school book. Y’know, if old-school books were computerized. Cost: Not available. Release Date: Not available.
As makers of exceptional entertainment electronics, there’s no reason to expect anything other than awesome from Vizio’s first shot at a tablet. With a sleekness comparable to the iPad, this device will also feature an 8-inch screen, Micro USB and HDMI port, multiple external speakers and volume control, and even an infrared blaster at the top, so you can program it to also function as a universal remote. (How cool is that?) Cost: Not available. Release Date: Summer 2011.
Enspert Identity Tab E301
From a little-known company and with a responsive 7-inch touchscreen, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and 5MP back-facing camera, mini-USB, micro-HDMI, microSD, and headphone jack, this tablet stands to make waves when it hits the market. Cost: Under $300. Release Date: First Quarter, 2011.
Notion Ink Adam
Another relative unknown in the market, the two features I absolutely love about this 10.1-inch tablet are: its 3.2MP swivel camera (so you can rotate it from facing you for video chat/self portraits, or facing away from you like a traditional camera); and its ability to toggle between LCD viewing (think: traditional computer monitor) or reflective mode (think: muted, E Ink–esque display ideal for using outside). Cost: $375 Release Date: Available now.
Of course, the above are just a taste of all that CES 2011 had to offer this year. Be sure to check out our recent Best New Travel Gadgets feature for more great products.
Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor and resident tech guru at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis.