Will Apple's tablet usher in a new era of computing, or simply dominate it?
Chipmaker Nvidia is helping invent a slew of cool technologies that hold the potential to change the way we work and play. The company, which makes processors that enhance images and boost the brawn of computers and phones, is pushing 3-D entertainment into homes and high-def video onto handsets. But the gadget Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is most excited about? Touchscreen tablets such as Apple's forthcoming iPad.
"We have found our most personal computer," declares Huang, who notes that Nvidia (NVDA) is working on 50 different tablets. "This is big, and it's going to change the computer industry."
Not all of Huang's peers share his unbridled enthusiasm for tablets in general, and for Apple's (AAPL) version in particular. If the iPad, which will retail for as little as $499, is a success, it could indeed change the computing industry, but not necessarily to the liking of some of its biggest players.
A few years ago rivals mocked Jonney Shih, chairman of Asustek, and his purse-size laptop computers. Millions of netbooks later, Shih is having the last laugh.
On a hillside above the Hsing Tian Kong temple in the northern reaches of Taipei, Jonney Shih sits on a wobbly stool next to an ornate low wooden table. Dressed in a taupe suit, white shirt, and silver tie emblazoned with jaguars, Shih, 57, cheerfully MOREMichael V. Copeland, Senior Writer - Nov 20, 2009 6:00 AM ET
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