Tablets aplenty: where we are with the iPad and everything else

With the Apple iPad tablet soon to be released in Australia (less than a month to go!), you may be wondering where we are with tablet news.

A few months ago, there was news that big players Microsoft and HP were game to get in on the tablet computing action. Microsoft was receiving a lot of interest in a two-screen concept tablet called the “Courier”, while HP was already showing off its Slate product.

Both of these were killed-off last week.

The Microsoft Courier dual-screen tablet suffered a huge setback last week with Microsoft claiming that it “has no plans to build such a device at this time”.

The HP Slate.
The HP Slate.

HP’s Slate died for a different reason altogether. While the Slate had been shown by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it’s expected that the tablet computer will now go back to the drawing board. Sources have suggested that HP hasn’t been happy with the performance of Windows 7 on the tablet, and with the recent HP buy-out of Palm, we expect that the hardware will undergo a change too.

So does that leave only the Apple iPad?

The answer appears to be no, with computer companies Acer, Asus, and MSI all jumping in with product in the next few months.

The massive yearly gadget fair Computex in June will be the likely showcase for all of these companies, as well as a few smaller players keen to impress upon all that it’s not just Apple playing the game.

Asus look to push their Eee brand a little bit further with the EeePad tablet computer.
Asus look to push their Eee brand a little bit further with the EeePad tablet computer.

The slate devices produced by these companies are likely to be similar to the Apple iPad in design, but employ Intel Atom chips and Microsoft Windows or Google Android operating systems.

The Acer mobile internet device is reported to run Android, while Asus’ own EeePad is rumoured to be offered with either Windows 7 and Android available.

MSI also looks set to release a dual-touchscreen tablet late this year towards Christmas.