A year ago netbooks were the one must-have mobile device. This year it is the tablet PC that is an essential accessory.
Apple’s iPad wasn’t the first tablet PC available but it is the best-known of these devices. But it will face stiff competition in the coming months as most hardware makers switch on to Android-based tablet devices.
Chief among the Android tablet makers is Asus. The company which kick started the netbook market with its Linux-powered EEE PC, is now getting ready to launch an Android-based tablet. The device will be known as the EEE Pad and will begin shipping in March 2011. The tablet is expected to sell for under $400 (under R3000) and will have a 10-inch screen. Under the casing the EEE Pad will run an ARM processor.
A 12-inch version of the EEE Pad is also planned for the end of 2011 but that will run Windows 7 on an Intel Core 2 Duo, and is likely to cost a lot more than the Android-based one.
Samsung, Dell and Toshiba
Also hitting the Android tablet market shortly will be Samsung. The company already has an Android phone called the Galaxy S, and is expected to extend this range to tablet PCs early in September. The tablet will be called the P1000 Galaxy Tab and will include a 7-inch touchscreen and live, video chat capabilities. Under the hood the Galaxy tablet will have a 1GHz or better processor and run Android 2.2.
Another maker offering an Android tablet is Dell which released its Dell Streak earlier this month. The Streak is even smaller than the Samsung Galaxy with a 5-inch screen. The Streak also runs an earlier version of Android, version 1.6.
Toshiba also has an Android tablet in the work. A tablet with a 10-inch screen is expected to be released by Toshiba before the end of this year. The Toshiba tablet will be based on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor and will likely run Android 2.2 or better.
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