backtop


Print 88 comment(s) - last by William Gaatje.. on Mar 12 at 1:03 PM


Microsoft's dual-screen Courier e-Book reader/journal device reportedly will wage war with Apple's iPad late this year.  (Source: Engadget)

The device is reportedly powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 2 and includes a camera.  (Source: Engadget)

The device will use the same OS code base used by the Zune HD and Windows Mobile 7 operating systems.  (Source: Engadget)
Details on the upcoming portable e-book reader/journal device leak

It may be a battle of the tablets when two of the electronics industry's biggest stars -- Microsoft and Apple -- go head to head with competing tablet designs later this year.  According to Engadget,whose sources were some of the first to leak details on Microsoft's upcoming Courier tablet, Microsoft will release the Courier in Q3 or Q4 of this year.

Apple's iPad certainly turned some heads when it was previewed in January, though not all of the attention it received was positive.  Despite curiously selecting a name that was once used in a Mad TV parody skit about feminine hygiene products, the device is sure to draw some early customers, if nothing else, when it launches to Wi-Fi and 3G forms in April (April 3 for the Wi-Fi version).

Long time Apple rival Microsoft has been working on its own tablet for nearly as long as the Cupertino corporation.  In September 2009, even as Apple's designs remained secret and unknown, pictures and details about Microsoft's Courier dual-screen tablet device first aired.

Since, Apple has taken the reins with its big January iPad announcement, and Microsoft has been curiously quiet.  However, 
Engadget's source has leaked a lot of new information about the upcoming tablet.

According to the source, the Courier will weigh just over a pound (similar to the iPad, which weighs 1.6 lb) and will function as a "digital journal"-cum-eBook reader.  It will be under and inch thick and have a closed size about as big as a 5x7 inch picture.  Its two screens will reportedly be powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 2, a ultra-low-voltage Cortex A9 ARM processor.

The tablet will run on the same base OS that Windows Mobile 7 and the Zune HD OS are built on, Windows CE 6.  The device will center around writing and drawing, with the ability to post everything you write to a personal website with flexible sharing levels.  Like the iPad, the Courier will have a 3.5 mm headphone jack, but it one-ups its fruity competitor, offering a built-in camera as well.

Engadget has new HD videos of the device in action, but the content is mostly the sames as the preview videos that aired in September.  The focus on journal activities is reiterated in them.

Ultimately, the iPad and the Courier are both very alike and very different.  Both share the same challenges -- a public that for years has been lukewarm to tablet devices and the challenge of selling an eye strain-inducing LCD device as an eBook reader.  At the same time, both devices may be able to carve out a niche for themselves by their different perks in addition to being an eBook reader.  In Apple's case it's the iPad's app library, which includes the ability to run higher resolution apps.  In Microsoft's case it's the journal functionality of the device, which seems well suited for the blog-loving busy current internet population.

It should be interesting to see who comes out on top when the pair go head to head sometime late this year or early next year.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Suntan on 3/8/2010 9:26:48 AM , Rating: 5
If you could turn it sideways and watch a video on the top screen while surfing the internet on the bottom (all fluidly and without hiccups) it would actually be a cool toy to have around the house.

The advantage that this has over the pad is that you can close it and the screen is protected so you can then set it off to the side on the counter (as with a netbook.) With the pad, the screen is always open and it is always taking up just as much counter space, even when not in use.

-Suntan




RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Pirks on 3/8/10, Rating: -1
RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By DanNeely on 3/8/10, Rating: 0
RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Pirks on 3/8/2010 10:30:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The iPad has a 12" screen
Actually it has 9.7" screen.


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By DanNeely on 3/9/2010 11:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
Oops. In that case unless the courier's screens are only 7" diagonal or use a lower power backlight they probably will draw more power than the iPad's screen. Since both devices appear to be targeting the same weight category that probably gives the battery edge to the iPad.

If the rumors about the iPad using an older arm core are correct the Tegra probably can do more computing at a given power level which will help, but on a device this small the screens will probably remain the dominant power consumer until someone figures out how to make larger OLED screens at an affordable price.


By DanNeely on 3/9/2010 11:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
I just saw the comment about the iPad using an IPS screen; MS could counter the power draw from theirs having more area with TN screens; but they'd get all the viewing angle issues that come with TN screens like are on normal laptops.


By ImSpartacus on 3/8/2010 10:30:53 AM , Rating: 2
The iPad has a 9.7" 4:3 screen, not a 12" 7:5 screen.


By Suntan on 3/8/2010 10:18:28 AM , Rating: 3
Its battery life will either help or hinder its sales. Whatever it is. I certainly don’t care if a gadget has an inefficient processor that kills battery life or 2 screens that is the culprit. I only care how long it runs, and that it doesn’t get overheated if used while sitting on a surface like a couch cushion or a blanket.

Also, the screen on the tablet is an IPS screen, which offers a nice view, but is not very efficient compared to a regular TN screen. If you want to bag on this thing for its power wasting screen, you need to bag on the pad for the having the same problem.

-Suntan


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By nafhan on 3/8/2010 10:22:21 AM , Rating: 2
I think the bezel/hinge in the middle is a much bigger problem, especially if you are trying to do something that spans both screens. Should be fine for reading, but games or videos are going to have a difficult time using all available screen real estate.
Anyway, I'm not certain that two small screens would have all that much worse of a power profile than one big screen. Isn't most of an LCD's power usage going to the backlighting? So, unless they are using two full strength backlights, it'd probably be more a single large screen, but a lot less than double.


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 10:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
Weren't organic LED screens suppose to be able to flex enough to make it so that a device like this could have 1 big screen that folded in 2?

I seem to recall Samsung or someone showing off a phone aaaages ago which did that. Not sure what the long term affects are of such a thing, probably not great, but it would make something like the Courier even better.


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By nafhan on 3/8/2010 11:50:34 AM , Rating: 2
It was either them or Sony (maybe both). They made a flexible screen, but it wasn't even close to folding in half. I'm sure they're working on it, and it'll happen eventually, though.


By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 12:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
I found the video that I was thinking of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2SCZvU8sGU

Seems to fold pretty well, but it's hardly the greatest quality video in the world.


By afkrotch on 3/8/2010 7:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
OLED would also up the price by like $2000.


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By DanNeely on 3/9/2010 11:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
Depends on the software. 2 small screens has worked for the Nintendo DS. It does argue towards different uses than a single bigger screen.


By Aloonatic on 3/10/2010 7:02:29 AM , Rating: 2
I guess we call all be grateful that Nintendo haven't slapped a patent on an electronic device with 2 screens and such, as a certain other company might have done.


By uibo on 3/8/2010 11:32:19 AM , Rating: 3
I'm pretty sure they will have some power saving features- maybe a way to shut down the other screen manually.


By FoundationII on 3/8/2010 2:20:41 PM , Rating: 1
Which is why an iPad is useless, just get an iPod touch.


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By ImSpartacus on 3/8/2010 10:02:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, if the Courier can multitask, it will just stomp the iPad completely.


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By reader1 on 3/8/10, Rating: -1
RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By uibo on 3/8/2010 11:37:26 AM , Rating: 2
Then don't use it. The decreased battery life might not come into play at all if your gonna hook it up to a charger well before it gets empty.


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By reader1 on 3/8/10, Rating: -1
RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By retrospooty on 3/8/2010 2:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Apps running on mobile processors would take a significant performance hit when multitasking. People would try it once, realize it was too slow, and never do it again.

Once again, Apple is ahead of the curve. "

BEST SPIN EVAR!!!

Back to reality, other phones do it without a battery life problem... Why does the iphone have a problem?

It reminds me of Job's excuse for why the first iPhone didnt have 3G - Jobs said it was becasue it sucks the battery life. OF course dozens of other phones from other makers had been using it fro well over a year without battery problems. then, 1 year later the iPhone 3G comes out and it doesnt have battery life issues...

My Point- Jobs is full of sheeeeeiit!


By retrospooty on 3/8/2010 2:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
edit / battery life and perfomance. Other phoness do it all without issue.


By adiposity on 3/8/2010 6:18:53 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Apps running on mobile processors would take a significant performance hit when multitasking. People would try it once, realize it was too slow, and never do it again. Once again, Apple is ahead of the curve.


I'm starting to think you are just making fun of apple lovers. Not implementing something=ahead of the curve? I can understand justifying the decision, but how is this an advantage?

By your own statement, multi-processing devices can just as easily be used as single-processing ones! So where is the advantage in only allowing one option?


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By reader1 on 3/8/10, Rating: -1
By Ard on 3/8/2010 10:12:24 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah, gonna have to disagree with that one. The iPad is absolutely redundant. It's a giant iPhone without the phone capabilities. It has the same OS, the same apps & store, the same interface, and the same limitations. I'm sorry, throwing in iWork does not make the device any less redundant.


By ImSpartacus on 3/8/2010 10:28:36 AM , Rating: 5
Call me crazy, but I believe the Courier is actually the one that is not redundant.

Everything I've seen the iPad do, an iPhone or PC can do just as well.

However, what MS has advertised with the Courier, I honestly have not seen in any other machine. Such fluid note-taking and project management, it's astounding.

I think it goes without saying that the Courier will be able to play videos and access the web, but that's all redundant. MS isn't really pushing on those features.

MS is advertising the features that count.


By Cru on 3/8/2010 12:54:56 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously... Reader1 is the most hated guy on the internet. Everytime I see his name, it's next to a comment you have to expand to read.

I guess the redundancy he's talking about has nothing to do with it being a very large iPhone without an antenna or camera. :\


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Spoelie on 3/8/2010 10:10:39 AM , Rating: 3
Another possible advantage is that, only when typing is needed, one of the two screens could turn entirely into a keyboard, simulating laptop behavior.

Whether this is going to be any more useful than an iPad is still up for debate, but the concept shows potential.


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Aloonatic on 3/8/2010 10:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
When the iPad was announced, there was a video of this thing floating around youtube and it looks pretty clever. I guess a lot of it is going to come down to how good WinMo 7 is.

All good news for the buying public though. iPad v Courier v Android based tablets = happy consumers, assuming anyoen wants one at all that is.


By afkrotch on 3/8/2010 7:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
Windows based tablet > iPad/Courier/Android


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By superPC on 3/8/2010 11:21:13 AM , Rating: 2
the strange thing is that from the video http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/05/microsofts-cour... it seems to look like the courier supports flash while it has been confirmed that windows mobile 7 won't support it because of performance issue http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/02/no-flash-on... if both are based on the same zune HD OS, both should support flash (or not support)


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Pirks on 3/8/10, Rating: 0
RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Cru on 3/8/2010 1:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
Awesome, flash developers will be out of work with the other masses of unemployed.. Can't wait!! /s


RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Pirks on 3/8/10, Rating: 0
RE: Slightly more useful than a pad imo
By Cru on 3/8/2010 2:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
After IE6. Never.


By webdev511 on 3/8/2010 12:45:11 PM , Rating: 4
Silverlight can do virtually all the same things as Flash, but without the existing security nightmare.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki