The whole iPad phenomenon has grabbed the world by the short and curlies in an amazing way. KitGuru got one of these amazing devices airlifted from the States WAY before the official launch date in the UK, simply because we could not keep our hands off it. The device is awesome – so can anything stand in its way? We slipped into MSI's private booth at Computex 2010 to see.
KitGuru remembers being briefed by Microsoft about the whole tablet PC market back in 2002. There was going to be desktop warriors and corridor warriors and they's all have lightweight, connected tablets. That's 8 years ago. And hardly any company managed to touch the ‘enormous demand' that Microsoft predicted, until Steve Jobs came along and said “Tablets mate? Simple. iPad innit”. Apple launched and queues formed. So are there any alternatives? Well, once you know what the answer might look like – you can really start to drive forward.
Sambora Chen is a very happy chappy. He has driven MSI's mainboard team from the edge of nowhere, to being the 10th biggest supplier in the world. Consider that list includes Acer, HP and Dell and you can see how big an achievement that is.
For Sam, MSI's success is all about innovation. And lots of it. Sam's team have been invigorated by the iPad. Specifically the Apple product's failings [Surely some mistake – Ed].
For a start, limited connectivity. Follow that up with ‘No Flash' and you can see that there are weaknesses to be attacked.
Enter MSI's brand new iPad killer.
For a start it is Android 2 based. Think ‘feature rich', ‘lightning fast' and ‘power conscious'.
That means it has full support for Flash and will support any connection port that MSI cares to implement.
Weight-wise, on the working prototype we saw, MSI has gone for a decent looking, ultra white plastic finish that will definitely weigh less than aluminium.
Has it got the same levels of ‘Want Want' as an iPad? Not now.
However, if the product is (as Sam expects) much cheaper than Apple's offer, as well as :-
– Good looking
– Faster than iPad
– More feature-rich then iPad
– More connectable than iPad
– Better battery life than an iPad
All served up with a dollops of Flash, then maybe it can become MSI's first mass-market appeal product.
KitGuru says: We like MSI's portable products. As a company, it has a good eye for ‘consumer plastic' and the final result will make an interesting competitor. Hardcore Apple fans won't be swayed by anything else, but for every iPod sold – the world buys thousands of MP3 players from the competition – so MSI's new pad has a great chance of success. We'll keep the pressure on Sam to send us an early review sample and show it head to head against the iPad. We know that's what you want to see!
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