Samsung and Sony ramp up tablet push

Asian manufacturers mounted more realistic challenges to Apple’s groundbreaking tablet and laptop products at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin this week, while the competition among television manufacturers over 3D TVs intensified.

Samsung, Sony and Toshiba all showed off strong alternatives to the iPad, while Toshiba and Acer introduced the first models in a new category of Ultrabooks, aimed at emulating the success of the MacBook Air.

Samsung has now completely surrounded the 9.7in iPad with its tablets in a range of screen sizes. After launching the 7in Galaxy Tab a year ago as its first tablet, it has since launched a 10.1in and 8.9in version.

At IFA this year, it introduced a thinner 7.7in Galaxy Tab and the 5.3in Galaxy Note, a hybrid smartphone/tablet with a digital pen included.

Toshiba announced a 10.1in tablet that was thinner and lighter than both Samsung’s 10.1in Tab and the iPad 2.

Toshiba also came up with a notebook it said was the thinnest and lightest in the world, while Acer unveiled the similarly slim Aspire S3, which will come to life at a lift of the lid in 1.5 seconds after being in sleep mode for up to 50 days on its battery.

Sony also announced details of its late entry into tablets in the autumn with the S slate and folding, dual-screen P.

In televisions, Toshiba took a significant lead over rivals when it showed off the first large-screen glasses-free 3D TV. The 55in model will go on sale in December.

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