TREND ALERT: Best 'thin and light' gadgets

If you thought only smartphone manufacturers were obsessed with making their handsets thinner with each iteration, think again. Toshiba has introduced its ultra-thin and super light tablet at the Mobile World Congress this week. Here's a look at other 'thin' gadgets.

If you thought only smartphone manufacturers were obsessed with making their handsets thinner with each iteration, think again. Toshiba has introduced its ultra-thin and super light tablet at the Mobile World Congress this week. The 10.1 inch Excite X10 LE tablet is based on Android and is being marketed as the world's thinnest and lightest tablet.

The tablet will run on Android Honeycomb but is expected to get Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) by the end of this year.

The tablet was announced by Toshiba at CES in January this year where it won the PCWorld title for the 'Best Tablet'. It was initially labeled Excite X10 at CES but Toshiba is now selling the device under a new name, Excite X10 LE. The device will hit stores in US on March 6th. That's exactly a day before Apple is expected to launch its much-anticipated iPad 3.

The world's thinnest and lightest tablet from Toshiba is a 10-inch tablet which is just 7.7 mm thick and weighs 1.18 pounds. In case you want to compare, the iPad 2 is 8.8 mm thick and weighs 1.33 pounds making the Excite X10 LE just 1.1 mm thinner than the iPad 2. With iPad 3 announcement less than a week to go, it might not be able to keep the 'world's thinnest and lightest' tag for a very long time.

With a screen size of 10.1 inches, the Excite X10 LE features a resolution of 1280x800 with an aspect ratio of 16:10. It is powered by a dual core 1.2GHz OMAP processor. It includes a RAM of 1GB. There is a 5 MP camera at the back which can record 1080p HD videos and a 2 MP camera in the front. The thin tablet doesn't compromise on ports. It includes essential ports such as micro-USB, micro-HDMI and a microSDHC port. Connectivity options include WiFi and Bluetooth. Lack of 3G or 4G connectivity is going to be a major letdown.

The WiFi version of the Excite 10 LE would cost $530 for the 16GB model and $600 for the 32GB model in the US. The price seems to be at a slight premium than the other competing tablets in its category. It appears that Toshiba is betting heavy on keeping the tablet in a luxury segment.

Seems like a host of 'super thin' devices are headed to the market. Huawei announced it's ultra thin smartphones, the Ascend P1 and the Ascend P1S at CES this year. Huawei claims the P1 S is the thinnest smartphone in the world. The Motorola Droid RAZR, which earlier held that crown, is beaten by the P1 S which is just 0.26 inches thick.

That's not all! Even ultrabooks have joined the 'super thin' party. Acer unveiled its Aspire S5 which is the world's thinnest ultrabook. It measures just 15 mm (0.59 inches) thick. If you compare it with Apple's MacBook Air, which started off the thin movement, it beats the Macbook Air with 0.09 inches. That's how cutthroat the competition is going to get.

As for Toshiba, their tablet may be the thinnest in the world but it certainly won't grab too many eyeballs with that price tag. Also, with Apple announcing it's next iPad on March 7 (expected), Toshiba's tablet might just lose the super thin tag very soon.

Other gadgets in the slim and light segment:

Panasonic Eluga

Panasonic's Eluga smartphone was announced at Mobile World Congress this year. Not only is this sleek smartphone slim and light, it's also waterproof. Yes, you can drop this phone into water and it will still come out smiling. Unlike Motorola's Defy waterproof smartphones, the Eluga is one of the thinnest smartphones out there. It runs on a 1GHz dual core processor along with a RAM of 1GB. The only downside here is that it runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). One would expect a sleek phone like this to come with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) by default. The 4.0 upgrade promise just won't excite customers anymore.

Motorola Droid RAZR

The Motorola Droid RAZR, announced last year, is still one of the thinnest smartphones in the market. It launched as the world's thinnest smartphone, a title that has now been taken away from it. The Droid RAZR is just 7.1mm thick and features a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED screen. There's an 8 MP camera at the back along with a 1.3 MP camera in the front for video calls and conferences.

Samsung Series 9

The original Samsung Series 9 laptops were launched in the market with the title of the world's slimmest laptops. The brand new Series 9 ultrabooks are even lighter and slimmer. The 13-inch laptop is only 12.9 mm wide and includes an Intel 1.7GHz Core i7 processor including 8GB of RAM and an SSD drive. The ultrabooks are very well designed and may please a lot of enthusiasts.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Ultrabooks are the new age laptops. They're thinner, lighter and more powerful than the usual bulky laptops. Dell's XPS 13 is a beautifully designed ultrabook. One look at the ultrabook and you understand how much time Dell spent on designing it. The thin ultrabook is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor which clocks at 1.6GHz along with 4GB of RAM. It comes with a 128GB SSD which is decent enough considering the price tag of $999.

Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3

Apart from having the longest title for an ultrabook, the Acer Ultra M3 is a 15 inch ultrabook which they've just announced. It will include a full on graphics card along with an optical drive. Not sure why Acer feels optical drives should be added to ultrabooks. As per Acer, the Timeline series of ultrabooks will be lighter and slimmer than their predecessors.