WeTab Looks Like a Winner (video demos)

Earlier today I mentioned that the WeTab (formerly known as the WePad) is getting a lot of attention here at IDF 2010. I got a chance to catch up with 4tiitoo CTO Stephan Odoerfer, who gave me a full walkthrough of the device. To put it simply: I want one.

At first glance the WePad looks a whole lot like all the other slates that have been announced this year. There are a few key differences however. First, and most importantly, the WePad is not vaporware and will be on sale (in Germany) next Tuesday. The entire device is built around touch and the UI is amongst the best I’ve seen on any touchscreen device. The software developers behind the WePad actually took into consideration how users might hold the device, making it possible to navigate with your thumbs without having to let go of the bezel.

The WePad runs on MeeGo, which means you’ll be able to buy apps from the Intel AppUp store. There’s also an Android virtual machine hidden inside so you can run your favorite Android apps.

Battery life is expected to ring in at about five or six hours, which isn’t as much as I’d like, but the tradeoff for a big, high-resolution display may be worth it for some. Speaking of size, the thing does have a large footprint, but is pretty slim. It may make a better coffee table device than a mobile device for some, though both WiFi-only and 3G versions will be available.

The WePad resumes from sleep almost instantaneously (1 second) and goes from powered down to a usable web browser in just 16 seconds.

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Stephan mentioned that U.S. customers could buy WeTabs starting next week via the company’s German store, but they’d miss out on support. He said it’s very important for his company that WeTab customers understand they’re buying a package, which includes a warranty and support. He said that he’d like to find a U.S. partner that could sell and support the WeTab stateside.

  

Comments

  1. Lorie Ghamy says

    Hello Xavier,

    What are the great Plus with WeTab vs IPad ?

    Thanks a lot and best regards

    • Xavier Lanier says

      The WeTab isn’t necessarily better than the iPad, but it is a very nice device that may be right for some users. The biggest difference is that the WeTab is a stand alone device that runs on MeeGo, a flavor of Linux that is consumer friendly. This means it doesn’t need to sync with a Mac or PC. It also comes with dual cameras so you can use it for video chatting or snapping photos.
      The user interface has a nice free-flowing feel to it that just feels more flexible than the iPads. I own an iPad and am generally happy with it. Would I ditch it in favor of the WeTab? No. But if I didn’t already have an iPad and were in the market for a consumer tablet I’d take a close look.
      There are some things that the iPad does better than the WeTab, namely battery life. The WeTab will get 5-6 hours of battery life, while the iPad can last for more than 10 on a single charge. The iPad has iTunes apps, the WeTab has both AppUp and Android Apps.

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