Fast Company

Which Tablet (PC) Will You Swallow—Apple's or Android's?

As speculation increases on the InterWebs about Apple's mythical tablet Mac, spurred by some leaked video, another cool-looking tablet MID has surfaced, and this one's powered by Google's Android. It's the year of the tablet PC!

Tablet

Check out the unidentified slate/tablet form-factor device--it's an extremely sexy-looking beast, even if its design cues are unashamedly ripped from the iPhone.

Not much detail is known about it, but it's supposedly got a touchscreen in the 5-inch range, is powered by a Rockchip CPU, will feature apps like MSN Messenger and GTalk, will have Wi-Fi and maybe 3G-connectivity. That all makes it sound pretty intriguing--and leveraging off the Android OS is a smart move because it will allow access to Android apps, adding significantly to the power of the thing. The inclusion of 3G, and its diminutive size may make this gizmo sound a little more like a smartbook than a MID though--unless the 3G option is purely for data connectivity.

And that feature has also been mentioned for the hotly-rumored Apple tablet Mac. If speculation is right, it may end up looking a lot like this unnamed MID, since Apple may indeed take design ideas from its own devices, just a lot bigger. Those persistent rumors have been given another stir today as some leaked video footage of a developer platform for the tablet Mac has been published. Two videos popped up at ZDNet, Gizmodo and a third at TechCrunch. They seem to demonstrate how the tablet's UI is based on the iPhone OS, but they don't show the "real" hardware--just a cobbled-together product design system. The most interesting one is shown here.

Are these real or rampant fakes? The jury is tending toward the latter option, but it's actually still undecided--prototype equipment often doesn't look or work exactly like the final gizmo, so some of the doubt-raising details in these clips are excusable.

Whatever--it looks like 2009 really is the year of the tablet...but it turns out that you're not limited to choosing between Apple's and an Android-powered one. Over at the Crave blog, a neat little piece tells us that there's a goodly clutch of tablet PCs already in existence, and they run full PC operating systems, not expanded smartphone OS's like those shown here. One of them is even an Apple machine--albeit radically modded by a third-party vendor, and it's hugely expensive. Let's hope Apple's machine, and even the Android MID, when it surfaces as a real product, doesn't suffer that issue.

[via Pocketables, Gizmodo, TechCrunch]

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