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Tablets

iTablet arrives and it runs Windows: British company X2 steals Apple's thunder

The iTablet is here -- except it's not Apple's fabled wondergizmo, it's a new line of tablets from British company X2. We have to salute the chutzpah

The cheeky scampsters at British company X2 are at it again, looking to steal Apple's thunder with a new line of tablet PCs. In a heroic display of marketing chutzpah, they will be called none other than iTablet.

iTablet was one of the rumoured names for the device revealed as the Apple iPad. By choosing the name, X2 is taking advantage of the renewed interest in tablet PCs -- and of the general air of dissatisfaction among gadget fans with the iPad's capabilities.

The iTablet will sport either a 10.2-inch widescreen TFT or 12.1-inch widescreen XGA screen. It displays 1,024x768-pixel resolution for watching high-definition video. Bluetooth is built-in, with optional 3G, GSM and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. It runs Windows 7, Windows XP Tablet or Linux and packs Intel microprocessors up to 1.6GHz with 2GB of RAM.

The folks at X2 are the wags who announced the X2390 on the same day as the iPad. It seems they don't miss a trick, and are not so much riding the iPad's coattails as moving into the iPad's house, putting all the iPad's coats on, and putting their feet up in front of Match of the Day. It's a distinct possibility Apple might even now be drafting a polite legal note to X2, most likely to be delivered wrapped around a brick.

X2 reckons the iTablet range will do everything the iPad doesn't. It multitasks, running two or more applications at the same time, and plays Flash video. On the hardware side, the iTablets will offer a camera, an HDMI connection and up to three USB 2.0 ports. It also has built-in stereo speakers as well as the standard headphone jack.

The iTablet will offer up to 250GB of storage and comes in assorted colours including blue, black, grey, pink, red, white and yellow. It'll hit the market in April, before the 3G iPad and other big-name tablets arrive.

Update: We thought there was something familiar about this, so we asked X2, which told us "X2 Computing is in partnership with the Taiwanese company that originally put out a product under the moniker iTablet in 2007. As their largest EU distributor, X2 Computing is working on a range of products that will take advantage of the name association and be part of an iTablet family of products". That makes the X2 iTablet a new product based on an old product, based on an imaginary product. You couldn't make it up.