By Larry Magid

BERLIN (KCBS) – Sony and Samsung unveiled tablet computers Friday at the IFA Consumer Electronics Show in Berlin that try to break the mold Apple established for handheld computers when it introduced the iPad.

Both are small enough—bigger than a phone but smaller than the typical tablet—to fit inside the pocket of a sports coat.

“I’m not even sure tablet is the right word” just because of the size, said KCBS technology analyst Larry Magid.

KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid:

The Sony model has a clam shell design that unfolds to reveal two screens on either side of the hinge. The bottom screen can serve as a touch keypad or merge with the top screen to offer a 5.3-inch display.

The Samsung resembles a phone and measures five inches.

“I will give both Sony and Samsung credit for being innovative. They’re not simply cloning the iPad. They’re doing something different,” Magid said.

The price €599 price, roughly $840 in the U.S., would make most Americans balk.

Magid predicted both companies would find a way to lower the price point if they decided to market on this side of the Atlantic.

“Things tend to be more expensive here in Europe anyway,” he said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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