HP showcased a high-end version of this concept, more robust, with what appears to be more money spent on both making the product look richer and providing a stronger touchpad. This will likely sell at a premium over Acer and Asus's offerings and closed it looks close to a MacBook. They are clearly targeting the traditional Apple class of buyer seeking products that convey status.
Lenovo and Dell showcased their business-focused tablets. These are sturdier, use a larger screen and tend to being more robust. They trade off price for these features and typically use wireless keyboards like the iPad does for greater functionality. These emphasize security and productivity. While I think that a millennial will initially be drawn to the more attractive first class, the more experienced buyer will likely favor this class because it should provide a substantially better expedience for folks that need to work off these things thanks to its tighter focus on productivity.
The ZTE Wild Card
From China came the ZTE Wild card. Unlike the other presenters, ZTE argued that its leading go-to-market feature wasn't the hardware, which extended down into Intel-powered phones, but was services. Strangely enough I think they actually understood the millennial target audience best because this audience is likely less about the hardware and more about the need to be constantly connected.
So what does this all mean? It means that your young employees will be driving to make sure you are up to your armpits in new tablets and you may want to spend some time providing direction as to which ones you'd prefer they brought into your shop. It might also be wise to start watching Samsung and ZTE; you'll likely be seeing more of them in the coming years.
And what else can prepare you for these screaming millennials? Well just think back to what worked when you came in screaming that the MIS department needs to support your new PC. Yep, that's right, not a damned thing...karma.
Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Rob writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.