While there’s a lot of buzz around the upcoming iPad and dozens of other internet slates, tablet PCs have been around for nearly a decade. The difference is that most Windows-based tablets available today feature full sized keyboards and swivels that let you fold the touchscreen down over the keyboard for use in tablet mode. The iPad is a touchscreen-only device with a low power processor. As a result, the iPad will be lighter, get better battery life, and be altogether more portable than most existing tablet PCs.

But what happens when you take Microsoft’s original vision for a tablet PC and shrink it down to netbook size? I’ve reviewed a couple of convertible tablet style netbooks and to be honest, I haven’t been that impressed with the results. But there are a number of new models slated to come out in the next few month, and Sascha at Netbook News got a chance recently to sit down with three of them and give us a good look at the similarities and differences.

The Gigabyte T1000, Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t, and Viliv S10 Blade all have 10 inch touchscreen displays. But the Lenovo has a 1024 x 600 pixel display while the Gigabyte and Viliv models has a 1366 x 768 pixel HD display. The Gigabyte laptop dis a bit larger, and overall more solid looking. But the Lenovo is significantly cheaper.

The Viliv S10, which shows up about 9 and a half minutes into the video below is much slimmer than the other models. But it also uses a different chipset. While the Lenovo and Gigabyte laptops have Intel Atom N450 or N470 processors, the S10 has a lower power Atom Z530 or Z550 processor.

Overall, it looks to me like the Viliv has the best case design of the bunch, but as we learned yesterday, the touchscreen isn’t particularly responsive.

You can check out Sascha’s hands-on video with all three tablets below for a closer look.

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2 replies on “A tale of three tablets: Lenovo, Gigabyte, and Viliv’s convertible netbooks”

  1. The accelerometer on the Lenovo S10-3t is enabled under the Lenovo application menu and will auto-rotate the screen.

  2. If you believe that a netbook truly is different than a laptop because of the advantages of the form factor and the battery life, then you have to agree that ‘slate’ style tablets aren’t in the same class as these devices… Namely because their form factor and lack of keyboard truly force a new use model and get us out of the traditional keyboard mouse input model we’re so used to.

    If that’s true I’d call these devices hybrids, and they have the advantage of being able to go back and forth. Sadly they suffer from the fact that they’re not great as nebtooks since they’re generally heavier and bulkier with less battery time, and they’re not true slate style tablets which are also much lighter and fit in the hand more comfortably…

    Maybe I’m wrong and we are so married to keyboards that true slate style devices will have to wait until even more powerful and efficient hardware comes out. But it really seems like we’re rapidly approaching that sweet spot where things like this are clunky work arounds and we’ll see laptops and slate style tablets diverge completely…

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