The WePad is a Google Android tablet with 11.6 inch touch screen display, 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor, 16GB of flash storage, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1, and 1.3 megapixel camera starting at $611 and will have another model with a 3G-32GB version that will be available for $774 USD. The We-Pad launch date according to the company is August 2010.
Other notable features include memory card reader, two USB sockets, audio output, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, stereo speakers and Flash and Adobe AIR support. Additionally, the WePad will also come touting HDMI out as well as a Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator for 1080p video playback.
Despite the impressive list of specs, the company lists a battery life of “around” six hours. Meanwhile rival Apple boasts a 10-hour life for its iPad tablet. The WePad also weighs in at 800g with an 11.6-inch display, significantly heavier than the iPad’s 680g.
A list of partners were announced by the company during the press conference. Partners included were Adobe, Siemens, Intel, and various telecom and media partnerships. They have also partnered with Gruner + Jahr, one of Europe’s largest magazine publishers, offering the company’s flagship magazine, Stern, on the platform.
With many of the Telecom and Mobile partners announced leads us to believe that carriers will offer the WePad and more than likely give discounts on the unit with a contract with a data plan. Google was left out of the official partner list which leads us to believe that a true Android Market Place will not be in place. Neofonie is in the process of developing its own WePad Meta-Store, an online store that integrates many 3rd party stores.
Many people are wondering what sets the WePad apart from the industry standard Apple iPad? Well for one factor users who would want to bring in music on their WePad need not depend on any particular software as in the case of the iPad. On the contrary, the Apple device requires Apple software like iTunes to do so. It also has Flash Support which is one of the main factors that sets the WePad apart from their competition, for a full multi-media web browsing experience.
Many Companies such as Notion Ink Adam, MSI and others are currently having problems with the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and the implementation of Flash. This is setting back many Slates release date by months. Neofonie with their Intel partnership might be a boon to the small Berlin based company with only 180 employees.
Neofonie claims it already has some 20,000 people interested in signing up for a pre-order, even though orders won’t be formally accepted until April 27. Apple’s iPad has not yet gone on sale in Germany, and the WePad is expected to hit pre-orders at least before Apple’s latest gadget.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.