One might think that if you wanted a tablet in your car, you would bring the tablet you already had and... bring it into your car. Not so, Audi, which today announced its Smart Display tablet, giving you control over your car's infotainment from the back seat but also able to join you in a hot tub sesh.
The large-bezeled slate runs Android, has full access to the Google Play store, is fueled by an Nvidia Tegra 4, and has a 10.1-inch, 1080p display. It connects to the car via WLAN and has an indeterminate amount of storage (but does not, it seems, have expandable storage). It has a camera, though, which means you can Skype from your car, which you could more easily already with your phone probably, but hey, this is a tablet, and it's in a car, so that's got to count for something?
Other details for now are scarce, although one would imagine you can use it to control the stereo without actually having to touch the stereo? Or to give unprecedented temperature control to a back-seat driver?
Here's another view at what it looks like being held by an Audi executive:
Do cars need tablets? Nah, people barely need tablets, much less vehicles. And one can't help but be a smidge skeptical, based on the responsiveness of most in-car sat-nav displays, and the difficulty even seasoned tablet manufacturers have making computing devices that don't make you want to saw off your fingers in sacrifice to the gods of UX, over how usable this here Audi tablet might be.
Let it be said that Audi has shown off some very impressive automotive technology at this year's CES. But let's remember, too, that adding technology doesn't improve an experience by default, and that calling something Smart doesn't necessarily make it so.