As Apple's launch date for its iPad multimedia tablet draws near, competitors are scurrying out of the woodwork. Whether its Archos, FusionGarage, or the e-reader flavor of the week, iPad rivals are quick to position themselves as the permissive, open-armed alternative to Apple's "walled garden" tech philosophy.
One of the latest contenders to step up to the iPad is the OpenTablet 7, a 7-inch touch-screen tablet that supports Flash-based applications and includes HDMI output and dual cameras.
At 9 inches by 5 inches, with a 0.59-inch thick body, the OpenTablet stays pretty close to the iPad form. You also get the same 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1 support offered by Apple, along with a built-in speaker, microphone, cellular connectivity, and a headphone jack. A microSD card slot is the only storage on the device.
The backbone of the system is Intel's Moorestown Atom processor, engineered specifically around the needs of smartphones and tablets. The 7-inch screen used by the OpenTablet 7 is an LED-backlit TFT LCD that advertises multitouch support, but stops short of declaring whether it uses capacitive technology (like the iPad and iPhone) or the more common (less responsive) resistive screen.
All-in-all, I have to admit this thing doesn't look too shabby. I mean, who could turn away an iPad lookalike that can take advantage of tons of Flash apps, run video chat with your friends, and hooks up to your TV? There's only one big problem: price (or lack thereof).
No one has a clue how much an OpenTablet will cost, or when it will go on sale. Considering that we're having a hard enough time figuring out who's going to buy a $500, the folks at OpenPeak better aim low if they want to make Apple sweat. Some impressive battery life estimates wouldn't hurt their cause, either.