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Early Google Tablet mockups running Chrome OS
Google is cooking up an Android-powered tablet

With Apple's iPad and iPhone OS 4.0 soaking up the majority of tech headlines these days -- along with side stories detailing the ongoing battle between Apple and Adobe -- most people are ready for a break from Apple.

And if there's one company with enough clout to drown out the buzz surrounding an Apple product, it's Google. According to a report by the New York Times, Google will soon be selling its own tablet device. Although the NYT article isn't exactly clear on the matter, it appears that Google will be selling it own branded Tablet -- a la the Nexus One.

According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the new device will run Google's Android operating system. Naturally, the Tablet will have access to Google's growing Android Market and will double as an eBook reader.

This isn't the first time that we've heard of a Google Tablet. Before the iPad was even revealed in January, the company was already airing video demonstrations of a Tablet concept. However, those concepts were running Chrome OS instead of the more smartphone-oriented Android OS.

With Apple having sold 300,000 iPads on its opening day (today, the number sold appears to have surpassed 450,000), expect to see a number of new players enter the market. HP will soon be releasing its Slate which will feature a 1.63GHz Atom processor and will be priced from $549. Microsoft also refuses to shoot down reports that it will launch the dual-screen “Courier” later this year.

When the Google Tablet does eventually hit the market, one can only hope that it will address a few of the shortcomings of the iPad including the lack of cameras, USB ports, and an SD slot for digital camera media.

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By xler8r on 4/12/2010 10:42:48 AM , Rating: 5
We could just stop caring about any of these darned things all together...

RE: Or...
By Roffles on 4/12/2010 1:15:46 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. What I think I'm seeing here is a good amount of sheepish consumers buying into a campaign by Apple and other tablet manufacturers to sell a device that would otherwise have no market. I wonder if half the people who purchased the iPad really thought it thru. Probably not because the answer to the question, "Do I really need this expensive piece of redundancy in my life?" is "NO!".

RE: Or...
By paudoauldstock on 4/12/2010 5:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, everyone is wrong except you. Sheesh, there are a lot of people who use their laptops and desktops for little more than web browsing and certainly don't care that it isn't a real computer and doesn't run Windows 7 Ultimate. Apple didn't have to trick anyone, the market is there. Many people are waiting for someone to make computing simpler. View these tablets as appliances and forget that they're computers at all. Maybe then you can get over your unreasoning hatred of them and move on to something more constructive.

RE: Or...
By bodar on 4/12/2010 10:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
I don't need or even want an iPad, but I must agree with you here. It's not a netbook in the fullest sense, but it fulfills the main intention of a netbook -- portable web/email/pics/vids/games/books with good battery life. It's pretty much a giant iPod Touch. If that fits your needs then go for it, but like a netbook, it's a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I suppose every device has trade-offs though.

I did play with the iPad and that screen is gorgeous, but I'm happy with my laptop.

RE: Or...
By MadMan007 on 4/13/2010 4:54:44 AM , Rating: 3
He's right though. Tablets have been tried over, and over, and over, and never seem to catch on in a lasting manner. It's not just about hardware either, older hardware ran older OSes and programs well enough. Slicking things up a bit doesn't make them suddenly fantastic. They might gain a little traction with some hype and attention each reiteration but the rub will always be the unavoidable fact that they are tweener devices.

Such devices certainly have their niche set of uses but a decent laptop is a far better purchase than a tablet and people are far better served with a smartphone and a laptop and/or desktop (the latter if they need some heavy lifting.)

As for making computing simpler, we on tech sites have a warped perspective on that. Modern computing is perfectly simple for those who don't mess around with them - they just buy a computer every 5 years or so and that's about it. Hardware failure is probbly the main reason to buy a new PC and of course tablets are not immune to that.

Having said all that I can see myself *perhaps* buying a tablet-esque device in the future when there is one with a color eInk screen and if the associated eBook system isn't locked down too tight with DRM such that my content is not vendor-locked.

RE: Or...
By mcnabney on 4/13/2010 12:39:35 PM , Rating: 2
Tablets have always failed because they come out at ludicrous prices. If all those tablets with touchscreen had been priced at $500 I am sure they would have sold a ton of them.

RE: Or...
By Hardin on 4/12/2010 1:29:32 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with this as well. I already have a desktop pc, a laptop and now I have a Droid. So when would I be carrying around a big bulky tablet like this? I most certainly would be able to transport my laptop just as easily and well you know it's a real computer.

RE: Or...
By slunkius on 4/13/2010 1:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
one more time: for BOOK READING!

RE: Or...
By safcman84 on 4/14/2010 7:22:34 AM , Rating: 3
one more time: for BOOK READING!

I would prefer to use a dedicated ebook reader (which have screens easier on the eyes for long reading sessions) to read books, and use my smartphone to browse the internet.

Why the hell would i need a 3rd device ?

RE: Or...
By cokbun on 4/13/2010 2:29:12 PM , Rating: 2
portable porn?

RE: Or...
By rs1 on 4/12/2010 1:56:04 PM , Rating: 5
Yep. I'm not tired of hearing about the iPad. I'm tired of hearing about tablets in general. And I have been ever since this exact same idea was tried a few years ago, and failed miserably.

Tablets are not interesting, and the fact that Apple made one doesn't change that.

RE: Or...
By bety on 4/12/2010 4:57:04 PM , Rating: 1
If you guys are tired of hearing about it, why not stop reading about it; and certainly, stop commenting about it.

It isn't productive to simply comment that you're not interested.

RE: Or...
By EnzoFX on 4/12/2010 5:13:10 PM , Rating: 1
I too am tired of hearing people complain about a product that's not intended for them...
When I see something I'm not interested in, I ignore it...

RE: Or...
By Souka on 4/12/2010 6:23:17 PM , Rating: 2
I really hate people who complain....

RE: Or...
By artemicion on 4/12/2010 6:54:57 PM , Rating: 3
I really hate people who complain about people who complain about hating people who complain about a product that isn't intended for them.

RE: Or...
By chrnochime on 4/12/2010 8:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
And we should care about whether you're tired of hearing this because...?

Another person who thinks his likes/dislikes is so effin' important to everyone else that he must post about it. Yay.

There's twitter or blog to satisfy that burning need of yours...

RE: Or...
By PrezWeezy on 4/12/2010 2:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
New product: The iDon't

RE: Or...
By OBLAMA2009 on 4/12/2010 5:45:58 PM , Rating: 1
yeah google will come out with a tablet and it will cost $700 and only be available from theri website. no thanks, i prefer ipad to g-pad or slate (which is just a netbook without a keyboard for $800). f u google and hp!!!

Something unique
By superPC on 4/12/2010 10:04:50 AM , Rating: 2
I'm glad that most of the companies competing in tablet device bring something unique. Microsoft with courier brings “inexhaustible journal” plus camera and online capabilities. HP with win 7 plus custom touch interface (that I’m hoping would be better than current HP Touchsmart interface). Google with its open and do as much as possible tablet. And Ipad with “more than just” a giant Ipod touch. I see that only Google and Ipad are overlapping with each other. I can imagine myself having a desktop (heavy duty compute intensive task and gaming), a laptop (in office writing, presentation preparation, show result of desktop computation), HP slate (small and mobile computer on the go), a courier (on the go note taking and journal) and either an Ipad or a Google tablet (entertainment). Well maybe I can skip a few thing mention above but it would be great to have all of them.

RE: Something unique
By superPC on 4/12/2010 10:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
Of course in an ideal world the courier would be a software running on win 7. That way the laptop, courier tablet, and slate can be on 1 device with dual LCD (with giant Nintendo DS look, like one of MSI concept notebook we've seen some times back).

RE: Something unique
By DanNeely on 4/12/2010 11:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
AFAIK the Courier is an ARM based device because the atom's power consumption levels still don't scale quite low enough to compete on ARMs home turf. Unless Win7 is ported to ARM (HA!), the idea is a non-starter.

RE: Something unique
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 12:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
I kind of think android or apple's iphone OS are better OS's for something like this anyways. A full blown OS like win7 is just too much complexity for what is basically a media player device.

RE: Something unique
By CSMR on 4/12/2010 3:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think so. Multiple systems are confusing, involve a lot of redundancy, and involve a lot of management.

Laptops are taking over from desktops gradually. As chips shrink and become more and more power efficient, this is natural. You don't need a desktop for HPC, either a decent laptop/desktop is appropriate or a supercomputer is appropriate. Typical dedicated gamers OTOH will require desktops with discrete graphics for many years.

There's no need for a multiple tablet-form factor systems; one can do everything. Tablets are currently underpowered, but maybe with the next generation they can take laptop functionality. Then tablet+smartphone will become a good solution.

Wow I must've been sleeping that day.
By Hieyeck on 4/12/2010 9:57:15 AM , Rating: 2
How did I miss the Courier? That actually looks practical by being its own protective cover and makes multi-tasking a reality.

Google's device on the other hand... look kinda boring, like it's selling itself on being the NOTiPad.

RE: Wow I must've been sleeping that day.
By redbone75 on 4/12/2010 10:01:49 AM , Rating: 2
Google's device on the other hand... look kinda boring, like it's selling itself on being the NOTiPad.

Read the photo captions. Those are mock-ups.

RE: Wow I must've been sleeping that day.
By Hieyeck on 4/12/2010 11:28:55 AM , Rating: 2
And everyone SHOULD know mock-ups USUALLY look better than the final product - and that makes it even MORE depressing that it's Google releasing something this disappointing.

And whoever rated me down is a new niche of failures - Google fanbois. Yes, I use Google everyday for just about everything, but I'm not going to look at it without the same scrutiny as an Apple product or anything else out there.

By rocky12345 on 4/12/2010 12:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
Even though these are mock ups how would you have it look? Most tablets are going to look the same or close there is only so much you can do to a flat slab. I actually hope it is a notipad device as the ipad is pretty boring product in my books but that is just my opinion. Apple new there was only so much you can do to a flat slab look so they rushed their feature lacking device to market before everyone else so now everyone will say oh such & such copied Apple yet again.

Again I stress all tablets will look fairly close to each other they are a flat pad with a screen nothing exciting but hopefully other companies will add needed features & stop using phone hardware to run these things until then they are just big toys with little to actually offer a hard core user.

No I am n ot a Google fanboy far from it I use google & Bing to do my searches but I will not have Chrome on my computers as it looks to me like a unfinished piece of software. To me it looks like it was made by a bunch of students for a class project & they got a F for the assignment.

By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 12:34:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think apple is really going to learn to hate google.

RE: apple
By rocky12345 on 4/12/2010 1:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if Google will call it the GPad lol. That would upset Apple maybe they might sue Google for copying the name format they must have a patent on that lol.

RE: apple
By hiscross on 4/12/2010 1:16:34 PM , Rating: 2
Hey iPad nice to meet you. Same here GPad. I really wish we could cover up this red stuff. It scarces Win7 and RIM people. Why? Don't those others sux?

By Abrahmm on 4/12/2010 10:22:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be really interested in a Google branded Android Tablet, but I definitely won't buy one if they are only going to be available online. I have enough common sense to have to see try an item like that before I will buy it.

RE: Interesting
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/12/2010 12:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
By ksherman on 4/12/2010 10:32:28 AM , Rating: 2
Now, I know that not a ton is known about Chrome OS, but I wonder why Google wouldn't go for it instead of a blown-up Android OS. That was one of the things I disliked the most about the iPad was that it was just an up-scaled UI.

I think that would make a device like this more useful, if it used a more-capable operating system.

RE: ChromeOS
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 12:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
Na, I think the point of these tablets is to keep it simple. When people are going to do some real computer stuff they will go to their laptop or desktop. For me the only reason I would get a tablet is to read ebooks in be, where a laptop is just too awkward.

There is a market
By FastEddieLB on 4/12/2010 11:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
And that market is COMIC BOOK FANS. I kid you not. Tablet PCs are ideal for comic book fans. I wish I had one to read my digital comic books on but the iPad is too expensive, too limited and has a heavily flawed design overall. This new thing from Google could be the alternative I'm looking for. If not, there's one from Sony that would work almost as well.

RE: There is a market
By HrilL on 4/12/2010 11:54:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking the courier would be great for reading them. If you're label to use it upright like a book with 2 pages. That would also give it more of the same feel.

By EasyC on 4/12/2010 12:08:00 PM , Rating: 1
Will it do flash? LOL

RE: But....
By Praxix on 4/12/2010 6:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
And is it magical?

Not impressed with Slate
By JustKidding on 4/12/2010 11:04:22 AM , Rating: 2
Take netbook,
loose the keyboard,
add touch screen,
double the price.

Must fold in half
By Shadowmaster625 on 4/12/2010 2:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't even really care if it has a bar down the middle of the screen, but it has to fold in half. Otherwise its just a useless gimmick. Use prismatic effect to bend light around the seam to make it appear seamless.

iPad Competition
By garbowza on 4/12/2010 2:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm really hoping the competitors can put together a device to rival the iPad. If Apple locks down this market, I don't think we'll be seeing much innovation any longer. But with some competition, I think we'll see the technology grow in leaps and bounds, much like the smart phone market has been one-upping each other. I've put together a "route" of the most promising competitors.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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