While Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the Windows 7 tablets are coming… a lot of folks are starting to notice that some are already here. Heck, some Windows tablets have been around for 10 years, but those tend to be machines with built-in keyboards and high price tags. But a number of PC vendors in Asia have been pumping out Windows 7 tablets with an iPad-like look and feel for months. We just haven’t seen very many in the US yet.
Digitimes reports that Taiwanese PC vendors are focusing their efforts on tablets with ARM-based processors running Google Android. But we should see some machines with Windows 7 and Intel Atom processors coming from device makers “in small volumes to maintain their relationships with Intel and Microsoft , and also to gauge market demand.”
Basically, ARM chips cost less, use less energy, and generate less heat. But they don’t run Windows.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese PC builder Pegatron is showing off a new 11.6 inch tablet running Windows 7. It’s just a prototype at the moment, but the MasterPad features a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, a 1366 x 768 pixel display, 2 USB ports, a 1.3MP webcam, a mini-HDMI port, 3G and WiFI connectivity, and a solid state disk. It weighs just under 2.2 pounds and should be able to run 5 hours on a charge.
Engadget reports that the tablet has an IPS display — which is the same type of screen used on the Apple iPad, known for allowing wide viewing angles.
As far as Windows tablets go, the Pegatron MasterPad looks pretty nice — although I suspect that if it’s sold in the US it will likely be rebadged and sold under a bigger brand name. Oh yeah… and the thing isn’t limited to running Windows 7. The company is also working on an Android version.