It appears that Toshiba will soon be joining the tablet party with a new Android tablet running Android 2.2, positioning themselves as one of the early competitors in the smartpad market.
Based on a post from Notebook Italia the specs are out on this Wi-Fi/3G tablet, and if the specs are accurate, it appears to be a promising piece of hardware for Android geeks — depending on the price point.
The specs of Toshiba’s new tablet reveal a Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, HDMI port, USB 2.0 standard and USB 2.0 mini, audio ports, and a multitouch 10.1” screen (widescreen WSVGA). It seems to be just a tad bigger than the iPad but with a few hours less battery life, approx 7 hours (web browsing and video playback).
The new tablet will reportedly have 16GB of internal memory just like the base iPad model however the Italian site Notebook Italia is claiming it has a card reader that will support an SD card up to 32GB.
This is one of the things that bothers me about the iPad. It’s obviously an ideal device to showcase media (video) but Apple didn’t include built in support for SD. Of course you could buy the $29 camera connection kit that includes an SD adapter but it’s useless unless you convert the video prior to loading on the iPad –not a fun time.
Right down to the device’s dock and cradle, the new device being called “Folio 100” has a striking resemblance to Apple’s iPad but it’s not missing a camera, users will be able to video conference through a 1.3 mp web cam.
Why would anyone buy an Android tablet over an iPad? The ability to consume more media and it embraces open source, for starters. In the midst of annoying Flash fails and h.264 licensing confusion, Android devices provide a much needed alternative to the walled garden experience users get on the iPad. Not to mention the fact that roughly 64% of Android apps are free whereas 70% of the apps found in Apple’s app store are paid.
It remains to be seen whether Toshiba’s software is capable of developing a solid, user-friendly experience on the Android OS but it’s said to ship with a suite of office applications, PDF reader, ebook reader and RSS aggregator. And, it looks as though Toshiba will be developing their own apps, possibly launching an entire app market place.
Toshiba will be giving the public a peek of the new tablet at IFA 2010 in September according to gadget sites Electronista & Notebook Italia. There’s no ETA on the dual-screen Windows 7-based tablet however Toshiba has already said it’s something they’re working on and it will “likely” be more expensive than the Android model.
It’s official, Samsung will be also be unveiling a mini Android tablet running 2.2 in Berlin Sept 2nd. It’s a 7” tablet capable of playing flash, video calling, HD movie playback and GPS navigation. They’re calling it the Samsung Galaxy Tab.