2010: Year of the Internet Tablet?
The attempt to produce a mobile Internet device was tested a number of years ago but didn’t take off, but the rise of the widget and the application store is set to change all that with the launch of a number of complementary lifestyle devices and traveling companions.
These are devices that are not necessarily aimed at replacing a mobile phone or PDA but instead to provide for the middle ground, to offer at home and mobile functionality with widgets and applications on a device that has a larger screen.
Start out with a digital photo frame, add wireless support through WiFi or 3G, internal memory and online image services, then add audio and movie support. Give the device an internal battery, a touch screen and build an online application store to extend its functionality and you have a pretty tempting device.
A number of big name vendors are set to launch mobile internet devices (or multimedia tablets) in 2010 – the first looks set to be Toshiba with the Journ.e multimedia tablet.
The Toshiba Journ.e Touch, Image Credit: Toshiba
The Journ.e consists of a 7” touch screen running on the Windows CE platform supported by a virtual store of applications ready for download.
The O2 Joggler, Image Credit: O2
Archos has the Archos 7 traveling companion with multimedia firmly in mind and Pure has its Sensia with its 5.7” touch screen display. Samsung is readying its SPF-800P Swan Picture Frame which can apparently view Yahoo and Google Gadget widgets.
The Archos 7 Tablet, Image Credit: Archos
Of course, there is also the much-rumored Apple tablet, which looks set to be utilise a touch screen interface, around 10.1” inch, and will have operations similar to the iPod Touch, at this size the ability to read electronic books will allow it to challenge devices such as the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. An Apple iPad perhaps?