While a lot of the tablets we’ve seen introduced in 2010 have been powered by ARM-based processors, Intel wants in on the action — and the company is showing off a ton of tablets at Computex. That includes machines from Hanvon, Malta, Wistron, FIC, and others.

What’s interesting is that we’re not just talking about Windows tablets anymore. There was a time when if your touchscreen tablet came with an ARM-based processor it probably ran Linux, Google Android, or Apple’s iPhone OS. Tablets with Intel chips ran Windows XP or Windows 7. But now Intel is starting to demonstrate tablets running the MeeGo Linux environment.

I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the prospect of tablets running MeeGo. While the mobile operating system works quite nicely on a netbook, the user interface really looks like it was designed to be touched. It has nice big icons and every app launches in full screen the way it would on a smartphone.

While several tech bloggers spotted a Wistron tablet running MeeGo tucked away behind glass at the Intel booth at Computex, the folks at Engadget got to spend some hands-on time with another MeeGo tablet. The Quanta Redvale tablet has an Intel Atom Moorestown processor and runs MeeGo Linux.

The tablet isn’t slated to hit the market until 2011, and the software is still in “pre-alpha,” but Engadget reports it’s very slick. And interestingly, judging by the Engadget photo gallery, the UI doesn’t actually look all that much like the netbook version of Moblin.

While Quanta and Wistron aren’t exactly household names, these are companies that manufacturer products which get sold under big brand names in the US and elsewhere. So if you can’t get excited about the prospect of a Quanta or Wistron tablet running MeeGo, how about an Acer tablet or netbook? Because Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci says his company plans to use MeeGo on upcoming tablets and netbooks.

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4 replies on “Intel shows off Atom powered tablets with MeeGo Linux”

  1. This is excellent news. Brad I agree fully with you. I think MeeGo (I still hate the name) really does have the second best chance of being the non-Apple touch interface of the future… Right behind Android. If Android ever branches for Tablets that is. If they don’t, MeeGo will fill that void nicely. If Android does finally announce that fork… It will come down to app support, which is my default argument as to who will ultimately ‘win’ the war for the touch mobile interface.

    That said, I think that MeeGo’s portability might hurt it somewhat at least until it gets onto touch devices. Touch based applications and Mouse/Keyboard applications don’t carry over to one another very well in my experience. You can see this very clearly with Windows. So I’m not sure how much a huge install base of netbook-centric applications will help it on tablets/smart phones, and vice versa, or whether it might actually become a hindrance.

    I guess we’ll see as events unfold. These are Interesting times.

  2. MeeGo sounds interesting but it really needs some fast pasted work done to catch up. The idea, however, to be able to run it on multiple form factors is key and if done right they might be able to produce a usable and wanted OS, especially if apps become more portable (cross-platform & hardware neutral).

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