Remember when the iPhone dropped a couple years back and innovated the touchscreen smartphone revolution that kicked off this mass movement of “iPhone killers”? Well, Apple took that same concept to take out janky netbooks and properly introduce the world to the tablet era with the iPad.
With Apple’s tablet device dropping on April 6th the iPad’s contenders have finally shown face but instead of ripping off the similar design aspects as they did with the iPhone one of the presumed “iPad killers” have come out with a totally original design. Unlike the HP Slate, which looks like an under-performing iPad, Microsoft’s Courier actually has me rethinking my decision on scooping the pad.
Engadget posted videos and photos of the upcoming device recently.
Here’s what they said about the stylus-focused Courier, which is more geared toward creative types:
We’re told Courier will function as a “digital journal,” and it’s designed to be seriously portable: it’s under an inch thick, weighs a little over a pound, and isn’t much bigger than a 5×7 photo when closed. That’s a lot smaller than we expected — this new picture really puts it into perspective — and the internals apparently reflect that emphasis on mobility: rather than Windows 7, we’re told the Courier is built on Tegra 2 and runs on the same OS as the Zune HD, Pink, and Windows Mobile 7 Series, which we’re taking to mean Windows CE 6.
As we’ve heard, the interface appears to be pen-based and centered around drawing and writing, with built-in handwriting recognition and a corresponding web site that allows access to everything entered into the device in a blog-like format complete with comments. We’re also hearing that there will be a built-in camera, and there’s a headphone jack for media playback. Most interestingly, it looks like the Courier will also serve as Microsoft’s e-book device, with a dedicated ecosystem centered around reading. It all sounds spectacular, but all we have for a launch date is “Q3 / Q4”, and we have no idea how much it’s going to cost, so we’re trying to maintain a healthy skepticism until any of this gets official
I’m always weary of Windows/ Microsoft products when Apple offers an alternative but for the first time in a long time I think the folks in Seattle have something worth investing in. Like the iPad, I’ll have to wait until I get one in my hands to see if it’s worth whatever they are going to charge for it but rest assured if it’s not as buggy as its big brother PC I might be convinced to take the plunge over Apple’s offering.
Check out the video below to see why I’m so geeked over the MS Courier.