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

Courier will fail.
By reader1 on 3/8/2010 9:47:08 AM , Rating: -1
Courier's features overlap too much with smartphones and PMPs. The iPad's bigger screen allows it to do things smartphones and PMPs can't.

RE: Courier will fail.
By Pirks on 3/8/2010 9:52:42 AM , Rating: 5
Courier's two screens allow it to do things one-screen iPad can't.

RE: Courier will fail.
By aegisofrime on 3/8/2010 10:20:51 AM , Rating: 2
Courier's two screens allow it to do things one-screen iPad can't.

Have I gone mad or is Pirks actually saying that a Microsoft product is better than an Apple one?

RE: Courier will fail.
By Abrahmm on 3/8/2010 10:28:59 AM , Rating: 2
I must have gone mad too... I just rated Pirks UP!!! What's the world coming to?

RE: Courier will fail.
By Camikazi on 3/8/2010 12:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
Who are you and what have you done with Pirks?

RE: Courier will fail.
By Pirks on 3/8/2010 12:45:13 PM , Rating: 3
This information is classified.

RE: Courier will fail.
By Boze on 3/8/2010 8:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
There's a little tear in my eye... and after a decade and a half of jaded Internet usage... Pirks, of all people, is restoring my faith in sense and rationality on the net.

Welcome back to the camp of rationality Pirks! We're all so proud.

RE: Courier will fail.
By Pirks on 3/8/2010 8:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
Rationality? Is this how you hypocrites call Apple bashing these days? ;)

RE: Courier will fail.
By crystal clear on 3/8/2010 5:52:31 PM , Rating: 1
....but ! will cost you more....

You pay for the luxury of 2 screens...nothing comes free.

Not like those deals at the supermarket-

Buy one get the second free !

Hey Pirks doesnt the whole article appear/sound like spam !!!!!

RE: Courier will fail.
By afkrotch on 3/8/2010 8:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
Why would it cost more? Just cause you get 2, doesn't mean it has to cost more.

I can buy two 25" LCDs for less than I can buy a single 50" LCD.

RE: Courier will fail.
By adiposity on 3/8/2010 6:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
Not really, if you really wanted two "screens" you could do it in software. Unless this thing lets you face the two screens opposite directions, which could be cool...

RE: Courier will fail.
By luseferous on 3/8/2010 9:58:18 AM , Rating: 3
Can I have some of your drugs please.

The I pad is an over sized pmp/smartphone though missing the phone features a web cam and so much else....

The iPad's bigger screen allows it to do things smartphones and PMPs can't.

Name something.

RE: Courier will fail.
By kkwst2 on 3/8/2010 10:20:22 AM , Rating: 2
That's simple, the iPad allows you to view content from 2-3 times farther away than the iPhone. This will accommodate the vastly under-served population of people who can't bend their elbows adequately to properly use an iPhone.

RE: Courier will fail.
By StevoLincolnite on 3/8/2010 11:34:20 AM , Rating: 2
The iPad would be better suited as a coffee coaster to! Might even keep that particular beverage warm!
Just a shame it's not round...

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki