Apple you do seem to inspire other manufacturers to fits of jealous device cloning, don't you? Here's news of two iPad clones, one of which actually pre-dates Apple's gizmo. We're pretty certain which direction the inspiration flowed though.
Over at Shanghaiist they've got the down-low on a tablet/slate PC manufactured by Shenzen Great Long Brother Industrial Co. which actually went on sale back in October 2009--the P88. That's it in the picture up there, and slap me if it doesn't look like the iPad's Irish twin.
The similarities don't stop at looks though: The device has a roughly 10-inch screen, fast processor (a 1.6 GHz Atom versus the iPad's A4 1GHz unit--the A4's actually more powerful), and similar weight (1.03kg compared to Apple's 0.73kg). It's actually cheaper than the iPad, though, at around $440 compared to the iPad's entry level $499. And for that $440 you seem to get more than Apple delivers--it's got a 160GB hard drive, 3 USB ports, VGA and RJ45 sockets, and a card reader.
Impressive. But here's two things you don't get with the P88: Battery life and genuine Apple design and UI. The P88 lasts a mere 1.5 hours unplugged from a wall-wart, compared to the iPad's promised 10 hour power. And since it sports Windows XP, the user experience differences to the iPad's slick interactivity will be obvious to everyone.
But if you're sniggering at this low-quality knock-off, then check this out:
It's MSI's planned slate PC, due for release in the second half of this year, and goodness me it doesn't half look like the iPad. It's got a 10-inch color touchscreen, wireless tech and a Tegra processor purring along inside. According to MSI's sales director Sambora Chen it'll also "be light-weight for mobility, while featuring all the functions of a regular notebook." Chen doesn't mention if that also includes abysmal battery performance, but though it'll out-perform the P88 we're guessing it's simply not going to live up to the iPad's battery life. Oh, and curiously it'll cost around $500. Sound familiar?
We already knew that the PC industry was working itself into a lather over tablet PCs, driven almost entirely by the rumor storm that preceded the iPad's arrival, but these two devices are so shamelessly Apple-tech clones that they stand clear of the rest of the crowd.