British iTablet Device To Rival Apple’s iPad

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UK-based firm X2 Computing has unveiled its iTablet device, designed to compete directly with Apple’s much-heralded iPad tablet

In the wake the much-hyped unveiling of Apple’s iPad tablet device, a British company called X2 Computing has launched its own iTablet range of portable computers running Windows 7, Windows XP Tablet or open sourced Linux-based operating systems.

The touchscreen devices are slim and light – just like the iPad – and the user interface is designed to seem intuitive to mobile phone users. The company claims that the high resolution screen (1024 x 768) provides an excellent e-reader experience, as well as high definition multimedia playback.

Running on Intel’s Atom processors up to 1.6GHz, the iTablet is able to run multiple applications simultaneously – a feature which gives it an edge over Apple’s iPad. The range includes some versions with a built-in 1.3 mega-pixel USB camera – which the iPad also lacks – although it has been discovered that future versions of Apple’s device could contain a built-in camera.

The iTablet range offers memory storage capacity of up to 250GB and, with up to three in-built USB 2.0 ports, users are also able to connect peripheral devices including external hard drives. This allows users to store pictures, films, music and applications on the device, with audio playback available through the built-in stereo speakers or headset.

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“iTablet will empower users with unlimited technology and advanced multimedia access across multiple platforms without being restricted to exclusive content providers,” said Jonathan Wharrad, R&D Director of X2 Computing (in the obviously Photoshopped image, left). “This new breed of Windows-based computer takes design, functionality and solution fit to new and higher levels.”

The iTablet is also equipped with Bluetooth as well as built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Flash animations can be played to maximise the web browsing experience and enable access to websites using a choice of browser software.

“The iTablet is extremely powerful with a vast array of features and data storage capacity and, what is more, it uses the well received Microsoft Windows 7 operating system making it a more compelling proposition for users wishing to share data with their existing Windows-based systems and networks,” said Robin Daunter, Technical Director of X2 Computing. “iTablets can be used in a wider range of business and home environments and will deliver a lower cost of ownership over the operational life of the equipment.”

Latest reports suggest that the iTablet have a removable battery with at least three hours of battery life. Other features will include a 10/100 Ethernet interface and a video output, allowing high quality playback of HD video through larger TV screens or computer monitors. All of X2’s tablet products are found to be manufactured by Taiwanese company AMtek.

The iTablet is due to start shipping in either 10.2”or 12.1” widescreen, from April 2010. Pricing details have not yet been announced.

Last week reports also emerged of a Google tablet, based on the Chrome operating system, giving rise to the speculation that this new device could rival the Apple iPad. A tablet has been expected from Google for some time, following its success in producing the Nexus One phone, and rumours have suggested it would be made by Taiwanese company HTC, which also makes the Nexus One.

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