Tonight at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) chipmaker Nvidia unveiled a super chip called Tegra which CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said would propel the interactive tablets of the future -- 10x speed, 8x the resolution, and 20% less energy consumption.

Rumors of a Google tablet running Chrome emerged earlier in the week, Dell showed off its 7" iPhone replica running Andoid today, and of course there is the cloud of rumors surrounding the mythical Apple iSlate.

Last night Microsoft CEO coyly dismissed rumors of a Microsoft-designed tablet, electing instead to show off HP's new tablet Slate. But some believe he is playing down what he hopes will be the Apple iSlate killer -- The Courier (check it out it's really cool).

One thing is certain. It is definitely, definitely the "Year of the Tablet."

Though Apple and Microsoft may be rolling out whiz-bang versions of this new culture-defining device later in the year, the basic elements are all the same -- a multi-touch screen like a big iPhone, mobile connectivity, and lots of memory -- elements which though not entirely original (thanks to the iPhone) are sufficient to make last year's object de jour, the e-book reader, a part of ancient history.

With these new tablets, we will be able to do, hear, see and (if the rumors are right about the iSlate) apparently even touch things that would be hard to imagine just a few years ago on a device that weighs little more than a pound. Video conferencing will be a reality. Portable television. Video Projection. Gaming that manipulates virtual 3D objects. A whole new computing paradise on the go.

And God said, "Let their be Tablets."

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