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What to expect from tablets at CES 2014

Wintel is back. At CES 2014, Intel and Microsoft will do their best to stomp the tablet market with enough low-priced Bay Trail-packing slates to dispel any conviction that Microsoft isn't a big player in the tablet market.

Detachable? Convertible? Swivelling? The line between the laptop and tablet arenas dissolved long ago in Microsoft's world, and the major Microsoft tablet partners are going to be out in full force.

Intel's new CEO, Brian Krzanich, is taking the biggest keynote spot at the show, and he promises "a vision for improving interaction with computing across 2-in-1s, tablets, all-in-ones and more."

That means Windows 8.1 tablets up the wazoo. We've seen a lot of them before, but we're going to see more, probably from the usual suspects: Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and probably Dell and HP.

Asus published a teaser video for a hybrid Windows 8.1/Android tablet, which certainly goes with the company's "transformer" theme. We'll hear more about that one tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Samsung leads the Android charge

Rumours abound about Samsung's tablet line-up at CES, but everyone agrees on one thing: We're going to see some Galaxy Tabs at this show.

So what sort of Galaxy Tab will appear? CNET suggests it'll be a 10.5in tablet with an AMOLED screen. SamMobile gives us a whole range: Galaxy Tab Pros in 8.4in and 10.1in sizes, a huge Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and a low-cost Galaxy Tab 3 Lite. DigiTimes is trying to stoke rumours of a Samsung Nexus 10 tablet, but DigiTimes has close to zero credibility and is usually wrong.

Samsung is the leading Android tablet vendor in much of the world, but it has really struggled in the UK and US against Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets and the Nexus slates. It'll be interesting to see what Samsung brings to the table in Las Vegas.

Acer has already pre-announced two Android tablets, the Iconia A1-830 and B1-720. The most interesting thing there is that the A1-830 costs just $149 in the US (£90, but of course it will be priced at more than this in the UK) and it uses an Intel Atom processor, which means it joins Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the slim ranks of Intel-powered Android devices.

Smaller Android tablet makers are also getting into the mix. Fuhu, best known for its Nabi line of kids' tablets, has a tie-up with Dreamworks coming for 8in and 12in "DreamTab" tablets full of Dreamworks content, priced under $300 (£180). Polaroid (yes, they still exist) has a line of "Q tablets" with quad-core processors in 7in, 8in, and 10in sizes running from $130 (£80) to $180 (£110). Another low-profile, low-cost tablet company, E Fun, also said it'll be bringing similar quad-core tablets to the show.

Stay tuned for all the details next week, and in the meantime, you might want to have a gander at our preview of the laptops which will be appearing at the show, and our piece on the most important trends to watch at CES 2014.