Sure, the Apple iPad is hogging the headlines this week month year. But if there’s one thing I think hope the the iPad will accomplish, it’s this: mainstream acceptance of tablet computers. PC makers have been putting out tablets for a decade, but they’ve never garnered this much attention. It’s possible that Apple’s successful launch of the iPad is only good news for Apple. But a lot of folks are hoping it means the successful launch of a completely new (or rather improved) product category: portable internet tablets.

A few years ago Asus introduced the first $400 netbook that weighed less than 3 pounds and sparked the netbook revolution. It’s quite possible that the iPad will spark a tablet revolution. What’s not clear yet is whether the Windows tablets of yore will be able to compete, or if part of that revolution is the realization that touchscreen tablets require completely new software that’s designed from the ground up for to be used with your fingertips — like the iPod OS used in the iPad and like the Google Android operating system many competitors are using.

One of the most hotly anticipated iPadcompetitor is the Notion Ink Adam tablet. Sure, it comes from a company that was virtually unknown up until a few months ago. But the Adam checks all the boxes on a geek’s wish list: NVIDIA Tegra 2 graphics for HD video playback? Check. Pixel Qi display for reading books in direct sunlight or watching full color movies? Check. Google Android operating system? Got that too.

But while Notion Ink has been showing off the Adam since January, it’s still not ready to ship yet. While the launch date had been set for June, Notion Ink says the tablet won’t be ready until it’s 100% compatible with Adobe Flash. The company is also still working on deals with telecoms to subsidize the tablet. All in all, it’s possible we might not see this thing until this Fall or later.

Another tablet that’s been getting some attention this week is the ICD Gemini. This tablet is a bit bigger than the Notion Ink or Apple tablets, with an 11.2 inch 1366 x 768 pixel touchscreen display. And while we only got to see some press shots yesterday, the folks at Stuff.tv managed to get some hands-on time with a pre-release version of the tablet.

The good news is that it’s definitely a real product with NVIDIA Tegra 2 graphics and a nice big (but rather glossy) display. The bad news is that it won’t be ready to ship until August and the pre-production unit is still pretty rough around the edges.

The ICD Gemini’s 16:9 display looks great for watching videos, but a bit awkward for web browsing — since most web sites aren’t really designed for widescreen displays. The Stuff.tv folks say the web browsing experience is excellent, and that pages render even faster than on the Google Nexus One, which is currently one of the fastest Google Android smartphones on themarket.

Finally, in case you had any doubt that today’s tablets are easier to use than those of yesterday, check out the video after the break. It shows Todd La 2.5 year old handling the iPad for the first time — and pretty much knowing exactly what to do with it. To be fair, the little girl is the daughter of Laughing Squid’s Todd Lappin and she’s spent a fair bit of time with an iPhone. But she also managed to figure out how to double the size of iPhone apps to make them full screen without much difficulty.

via Engadget and SlashGear

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2 replies on “Tablet news roundup: ICD Gemini handled, Notion Ink Adam adding Flash”

  1. Since I’m generally negative, why should I try to change?

    I know it’s a slow news day for netbooks. The next gen ION will be the next wave and that I understand. Having said that, I’m getting sick of tablets already. The way I see it?

    You are creating a huge buffet of incredible dishes and desserts. Enough to feed a thousand people. Only problem is, you don’t know that there are people showing up to eat it all. It looks great sure and I’m sure it all tastes great. It’s risky isn’t it to cook all that food before you have any reservations or before you make up your guest list?

    Brad you said yourself that tablets have been around for years. Yeah, and what’s changed now? Because Apple is here peoples tastes will all change? What about when eReaders come out for a quarter the price of a tablet? How about needing a tablet if you have a netbook? Makes no sense to me. It’s like hype without substance. It’s hyping up a movie when you don’t even know the audiences response/appetite. A snap of the finger and the customers will come running because a few people see an amazing market or a void in the market for a device that may or not be needed in mass numbers?

    Again, it’s pretty simple. A tablet may be useful for media, reading and surfing. However it’s not useful for social media, which last time I checked, requires communication which usually requires a keyboard. So isn’t the real issue about functionality here? Some people who have lots of disposable income might buy a smartpone, tablet, and netbook. Pretty small percentage I’d say. So if you have to choose only 2 devices could you guess which 2 or which 1 people would take? Geez which one offers the most usability???

    Will I read another table story here? Likely not. It’s just getting a bit much if I could say so as general feedback.

    1. The new generation of tablets are not meant to compete with traditional laptops nor netbooks. That boat has sailed a long time ago. You are still in the mind frame of old thinking which contributed to the failure of old tablets which are functional just like notebooks but without keyboard. They were slow and used Window OS which were really not optimized for tablets yet and wasted battery like crazy.

      These new tablets are more energy efficient and aiming at the niche market of e-book readers. They are competing against devices such as Sony Readers and Amazon Kindles… In this market, they excel greatly and clearly a better alternative than those slow and inflexible readers as the new tablets can expand their capabilities into movies and magazines online as well as games… If you are happy with that little underpowered netbook and it satisfies your need, then it’s all good for you. But others will want to replace their readers with a more interesting tablet that offers them more.

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