There’s no I in pad. Only we, of course. Yeah, we’ve been wanting to make that joke for awhile — but in all seriousness, Neofonie, makers of the 11.6-inch WePad, held a press conference in Berlin to reveal a bit more about its Linux-based slate. Named WePad, the device runs Android OS and has a touch screen. The Tablet comes with WiFi, Bluetooth2.1, 1.3-megapixel camera, 11.6-inch touchscreen with 1366 x 768, GPS, memory card reader, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, stereo speakers, audio output and Full HD 1080p playback. And as it appears, there will be two versions of the Intel Atom N450-powered tablet, which has two USB ports and an onboard webcam — the 16GB / WiFi version will go for €450 ($611) and the 64GB / HD capable / 3G model for €569 ($774).
We’re a bit curious by the promised “full HD” support of the larger version, but Neofonie was quick to say that there is no NVIDIA inside. The battery life of WePad is up to 6 hours, for comparison the iPad battery life is up to 10 hours. I hope WePad will come with an expendable battery. While the price of the WePad is high as compared to the iPad, it’s worth it, because it comes with lot of things that iPad did not. Like comes with USB Ports, Camera, Stereo speakers and lot of other things. No doubt, this tablet is better then the Apple iPad.
How does it become an alternative to the iPad, is one obvious question. For instance, users who would want to bring in music on their WePad need not depend on any particular software as in the case of the iPad. On the contrary, the Apple device requires Apple software like iTunes to do so. It looks like WePad has more of such positives, but we will need to experience them for real to arrive at a concrete conclusion. But according to Newfonie, the device they are bringing out is not an iPad killer, but an alternative to the Apple device.
The WePad results from a collaboration between Neofonie and 4titoo. Siemens, Intel and Adobe have signed on as partners. You can expect to get an 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 touchscreen, a couple of USB 2.0 ports, Flash and AIR support, a six hour lithium-ion battery, memory card reader, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, stereo speakers, and optional GPS.
Neofonie WePad Interface Demo Video:
Preorders for the WePad in Germany will start from coming April 27th with limited availability in July. No words on international launch yet. But if you live in Germany then you are lucky. The iPad has made tablets relevant again and the WePad seems like it could easily be the iPad alternative to beat.
Neofonie is only one of the companies that are planning to introduce tablet computers in 2010. The HP Slate is another, and it will run some modified version of Windows 7. Then there is the Notion Ink Adam. And then the Dell Streak. This is going to be an interesting year for tablet based computers for sure!
Update! Many sites have started reporting that the WePad on display at the press conference was actually running Windows 7 underneath the Linux-looking UI. Apparently the company has more work to do than we originally thought.