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Tablets, smartphones and a Hulu app for Android from CES 2011

by Kristen Nicole

Tablets galore

CES brought its fair share of iPad competitors from the Android camp, including the new lineup from Sharp (SHCAY.PK). The device maker debuted two models that even look like iPads, one featuring a 10.8-inch screen and the other slightly smaller at 9.7 inches. Named Galapagos, these revolutionary tablets’ claim to fame is their ability to share content across multiple Sharp Android devices, including the option to stream video to a TV. You can expect the Galapagos devices to hit the market by summer this year.

There’s no set release date for NEC’s (NIPNF.PK) tablet prototype, but its dual-screen format lights up the imagination as far as Android devices go. With 7-inch resistive LCD touchscreens, the Android Cloud Communicator is designed for a different kind of tablet use, centered around media consumption. Two screens in one tablet certainly signals e-reader use, but will also support videos on one side, with text on the other. NEC’s after a niche market here, but it’s good to see Android tablets approaching that point of diversification.

Smartphones still on the rise

Android’s smartphone lineup is still expanding, with HTC (2498.TW) announcing two additional 4G devices at CES this week. The ThunderBolt for Verizon (VZ) and the Inspire for AT&T (T) round out the phone manufacturer’s presence across all the major wireless providers, reiterating its support of Android’s OS.

Acer (2353.TW) is after similar success, with a new lineup of Android smartphones as well. It’s the Liquid Mini that’s worth mentioning, with a 3.2-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera and Acer’s own Jogger app to manage your social networks. Running Froyo 2.2, you can look for the Liquid Mini in stores this April.

Hulu surprise!

A surprise Android announcement at CES was the revelation of the upcoming Hulu Plus app, with Samsung (005930.KS) actually letting the cat out of the bag at their event press conference. That leaves us with little details about the app, but we’re certainly happy to know Hulu and others are still working towards Android support, given online video’s growth and success in the mobile sector.