Opera Software has announced a new touch-based web browser designed especially for tablets. The company plans to demo the new web browser at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas. For now, you’ll have to get by with this (very short) video preview:

The focus is, obviously, on the touch screen interface and the demo looks and behaves much like Mobile Safari for the iPad, except that in this case the browser is running on an Android tablet.

Although Opera is calling the browser Opera for Tablets, it seems safe to assume that it won’t be making its way onto the iPad any time soon. Apple’s app guidelines prevent software from executing its own code. That means JavaScript interpreters and other low-level tools that you’d need to build a web browser are off limits. Opera did manage to get Opera Mini in the Apple App Store, but Opera Mini isn’t a full-fledged browser and doesn’t render HTML or JavaScript (that’s done through Opera’s proxy web servers).

So far Opera hasn’t released much in the way of details about the new browser, but judging by the video above — which features smooth scrolling and zooming, two things you won’t find in Opera Mini for the iPhone — it appears to be a real web browser.

While that means it’s unlikely to make it onto Apple devices, that’s good news for the slew of Android tablets that will reportedly be appearing later this year.

Opera has promised more details, as well as a demo unit for testing at CES, which begins January 6.