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Laptops

MSI WindPad 100 and 110 offer Windows 7 or Android, SketchPad flips us out

MSI is hedging its tablet bets with the Windows-powered WindPad 100 and Android-friendly WindPad 110. Plus the barmy SketchPad

Not quite laptops, not quite phones: tablet PCs are somewhere in the middle, and there are different schools of thought on how they should work. Should they have the power of a laptop, with a full-size operating system like Windows, or should they aim for the portability and battery life of a phone with a lightweight mobile OS, like that of the Apple iPad? MSI is hedging its bets with the WindPad 100 and 110, running Windows 7 and Google Android respectively. 

The Windows 7 option is the WindPad 100, rocking Windows 7 Home Premium with MSI's own Wind Touch UI layer. It packs a 1.66GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor with 2GB of RAM. You get 32GB of solid-state memory, 720p HDMI output and two USB ports. On top of that, it'll have 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi. Engadget hears it'll cost around $500 (£340).

If Windows 7 is too cumbersome for you, you can go for the nimble Android mobile OS on the WindPad 110. It shares the 10-inch capacitive touchscreen, but further official details are thin on the ground. Tablet lovers, tell us your thoughts in the comments: Windows or Android?

sketchpad

Our favourite of MSI's Computex offerings is SketchPad: a laptop that transforms into a graphics tablet, pictured left by PCWorld. The keyboard flips over to reveal a graphics pad underneath, similar to those made by Wacom. Sadly, it's still a prototype -- the version at Computex won't even turn on -- but we admire the thinking: we're suckers for transforming gadgets like the Lenovo U1.

This would be great for artists and designers who're out and about. Handwriting-recognition software will be built in, so it'll suit anyone who prefers the flexibility of navigating by swiping and tapping, while text can still be added when needed.