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ARM: More than 50 slates in the works

ARM: More than 50 slates in the works

The HP Slate is one of an expected fifty slate-style PCs that ARM's Roy Chen predicts hitting the market by year's end.

While the Apple iPad might be among the first 'slate' style PCs to hit the mainstream, it's certainly not going to be the last - with processor manufacturer ARM predicting at least fifty other slates this year.

The comments by ARM's worldwide mobile computing ODM manager Roy Chen - as quoted over on ComputerWorld - suggest that the third quarter of the year will see "a lot more" slate-style touch-screen devices being launched by a variety of manufacturers, starting in China and going global.

According to Chen, the rush of iPad-style devices will begin "in the second quarter by [mobile] carriers," before hitting the mainstream as the PC retail sector gets in on the act.

With at least one iPad rival confirmed by a major manufacturer - the HP Slate, which runs Windows 7 and features the ability to play Flash content and run Air applications which is missing from Apple's latest and greatest - and a smaller 5" device expected from Dell under the name Mini 5, it certainly appears as though Chen might be right about 2010 being the year of the slate.

Interestingly, Nidia's Jen-Hsun Huang was recently interviewed by CNN and commented that his company's Tegra platform - while not making an appearance in the Apple iPad - will be the graphics processor of choice in "devices from everyone else," suggesting that the increased interest in slate-format devices could spell a profitable year for the company.

Are you getting excited by the slate form factor, or is it something that has been done better by traditional tablet PCs - which at least come with a physical keyboard for when you need to do a lot of text entry? Could the iPad's lack of Flash support spell its downfall? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

15 Comments

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Stelph 11th March 2010, 10:26 Quote
Aside from the form factor (which I don't like, it's just too big) the major falling point of the HP slate and all the copies is software. You really can't just bung windows 7 onto these things, they're not desktop PC's or laptops so shouldn't have a desktop operaing systemas they just don't work that well with touchscreen only interfaces (as seen with the tablet pcs)

Apple have got it right by not putting the full desktop OSX onto the ipad, rather using an OS that had been made from scratch to work beat with a touched based interface, however they then massevly ballsed it up by leaving out essential hardware like USB, camera ect.

Currently the only "slate" that has me excited is the Microsoft courier, mostly because the folding factor is just better IMO, the hardware looks right and the there has obviously been a lot of thought put into the operating system.
PyrO_PrOfessOr 11th March 2010, 10:30 Quote
Personally, I have been a fan of slate style computers from the age of about 7 when I started to watch The Next Generation. While there is a lot of hype around slates and tablets at the minute, I think that they will make portable computing, organisation and communications easier and more accessible to everyone....Assuming they don't get dropped...
PyrO_PrOfessOr 11th March 2010, 10:31 Quote
@Stelph - Yeah the courier would be my tablet of choice if it ever comes to light.
wuyanxu 11th March 2010, 10:40 Quote
the idea of folding is fantastic, but it destroys the screen size if you want to watch videos. therefore i think we'd have to wait for OLED to be ready and give us bendable displays.

the iPad OS isn't from scratch, it's just iphone OS scaled up, the CPU and GPU are the exact same components from iphone 3GS. there is zero innovation or anything special about it. the slate/pad/courier formfactor need a new OS, not a scaled up phone OS or a scaled down desktop OS.
Bursar 11th March 2010, 10:51 Quote
Quote:
Interestingly, Nidia's Jen-Hsun Huang
He works where? ;)

I'm really interested in the Dell Mini 5, but the rumoured price has my wallet a little scared!
l3v1ck 11th March 2010, 11:45 Quote
It's like Lemmings jumping off a cliff. Apple have made a useless product, but because it was Apple other manufacture will follow suit and make copies anyway.
DreamCatcher 11th March 2010, 11:46 Quote
I just love the intuitive handling of my ipod touch, it is great at what it does. Blowing it up to 10" though, I'd start demanding it to do a lot more than adding reading-comfort. I'd expect it to be able to run full blown programs instead of just apps. Apps are great and I'm convinced we'll see some great stuff for the iPad, but at times they "just don't cut the mustard"!
Ever since I got my ipod touch I have been longing for this type of interface on a notebook or tablet, which is why I still don't own either. I am waiting until they add a comparable precision and provide optimized program versions. I am even prepared to splash quite some money while at the same time settling for average performance in favor for mobility and handling. But I'd rather have it slow than not being able to run full blown applications at all.
That said it's obvious I am rather in favor of the slates: Let there be some 12 to 15" models - to provide a decent on-screen keyboard - and include the connectivity to hook-up the usual peripherals when in home base - (almost) no one would be buying notebooks anymore...
Bursar 11th March 2010, 11:59 Quote
I think one of the killer things they could add to these devices is the ability to hook them up to a PC and use them as a secondary screen. Even if the electronics for it were housed in a seperate docking station that the device had to be plugged into, I reckon it'd be a differentiator.
Fizzban 11th March 2010, 13:45 Quote
Until these things are small and thin like we see in Sci-Fi programs (Star Trek,Andromeda ect) I think I will give them a miss. We already have PDA's and I'm no overly impressed with those yet either.
mclean007 11th March 2010, 14:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamCatcher
That said it's obvious I am rather in favor of the slates: Let there be some 12 to 15" models - to provide a decent on-screen keyboard - and include the connectivity to hook-up the usual peripherals when in home base - (almost) no one would be buying notebooks anymore...
Of course they would. No on screen keyboard has been created that can genuinely stand up against a proper laptop keyboard for actual typing. Slates have their place as casual web browsing devices etc., and I'm sure they will grow in popularity and functionality (I for one would rather have a proper desktop OS on a slate, maybe with some kind of touch friendly skin, but with the option to run full fat desktop software when required), but they will never replace proper laptops.

Also the laptop format is brilliant for resting on your lap, whereas you pretty much have to hold a slate the entire time. Great if you're standing up, a pain when you're sitting down.
Stelph 11th March 2010, 14:42 Quote
Quote:
the idea of folding is fantastic, but it destroys the screen size if you want to watch videos.

each to their own, personally im currently happy to watch videos ect on my iPod touch so the 5-7" screens in a courier would be a massive improvement! Plus with two screens, you could use the "bend" to make it stand up properly on your lap/table while viewing (rather than having to sit scruched up like they all seem happy to do in the iPad adverts) or even search the web while watching a film. Multitasking - its the future ;-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
It's like Lemmings jumping off a cliff. Apple have made a useless product, but because it was Apple other manufacture will follow suit and make copies anyway.

My new favorite description of the "slate" phenomenon
Bursar 11th March 2010, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelph
Multitasking - its the future ;-)
Not if you buy Apple products... ;)
TSR2 11th March 2010, 17:01 Quote
I'm still waiting for full computer integration into my brain...
eddtox 11th March 2010, 22:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bursar
Not if you buy Apple products... ;)

Aaand... +1 rep for that, sir.:D
Stelph 12th March 2010, 09:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bursar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelph
Multitasking - its the future ;-)
Not if you buy Apple products... ;)


Exactly, so buy a microsoft courier :-) assuming its not vapourware!
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