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Toshiba to iPad: You're flashy, but you're lame

Warming customers up to its new Honeycomb-equipped tablet, Toshiba decides to attack the iPad on its Web site.

There are ways of telling a rival that you don't respect them. You can shun them. You can rise above them. You can even steal their lover.

Toshiba, however, has decided on a slightly different strategy when it comes to Apple. In a move redolent of the New Zealand haka war dance, Toshiba has decided to stick out its tongue, widen its eyes, and tell Apple that the iPad is, as they say in certain English quarters, pants.

I am grateful to the sensitive eyes at AllThingsD who first spotted that Toshiba has created a Website for its new tablet computer.

When you go to this sturdy site and happen to employ a device that isn't Flash-friendly--say an iPad or iPhone--Toshiba welcomes you with the words: "Such a shame."

Has the company somehow been tracking you with that new gorgeous Honeycomb software? Does it know that you have endured a terrible haircut at the local nails, hair, and reflexology salon?

The new Toshiba Flashiba has FaceTime. Or something like it. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Not quite. For the site continues: "Add this to the list of interesting places on the Internet you can't see on your device. Of course, if you had a Toshiba Tablet, you would enjoy the entire Internet. Yep, Flash sites too."

Naturally, there will be those who will be delighted that someone is assaulting the iPad's soft spots with a pickled pitchfork.

However, perhaps others might sense a couple of drawbacks. One is that you can't actually buy one of these confident Toshiba tablets. At least until sometime in springtime, when there just might be a lot more iPad-o-likes to compete with.

The even more pedantic might also be concerned that it doesn't even have a name yet, though the Toshiba Taunter is surely high up on the list, as is the Toshiba Flashiba.

And then what happens if new tablets come out that have even better features than the Toshiba Taunter/Flashiba? What if one of them is the iPad?

That's often the problem with calling someone names. You have to know them very, very well. You have to know how they might react. And you have to be sure you have back-up, rather than just the ability to get people's backs up.

It's like the playoffs. Taunting, gesticulating, trash-talking, even flash-talking, is all very well. But then you have to go out and play. Which is a little harder.