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MSI's new single and dual-screen tablets pictured

MSI's new single and dual-screen tablets pictured

MSI's upcoming dual-screen tablet certainly looks interesting, but will it be based on Intel's Atom and a full-fat Windows 7?

MSI's latest tablets have been spotted at the DCC event in Fujairah, UAE, and surprisingly not one but two were on show. Firstly is MSI's (we'd hate to say it, but, yes it is, iPad-esque) 9.7in tablet, powered by Intel's Atom CPU and running Windows 7. TBreak claims that it features a capacitive screen and a "minimalist design", but there's still room for a webcam and several buttons on the front, as well as a MicroSD slot and USB port on the side.

Going by previous reports, this model is aimed at the sub-$500 market and will feature an Intel Menlow Zxx class Atom (requiring ~2W of power if you also factor in thechipset). It will likely have 3G and WiFi options.

The innovative dual-screen tablet previously seen at CES is no longer just a concept. It's reported to use Windows 7 and the same Intel Atom backbone, rather than ARM and Android. That's worrying then, given that previous user-reports said the Atom powered dual-screen product ran cripplingly slow, so we hope MSI has taken time the time since CES to tweak it.

That's all the details we have to date unfortunately, and despite our best efforts to woo MSI marketing and obtain a preview, you'll have to wait until Computex for the rest.

Are you in the market for a tablet? Has the dual-screen design tempted you? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

18 Comments

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Aracos 20th May 2010, 08:43 Quote
And I bet even the dual screen version will be cheaper than an iPad >.<
proxess 20th May 2010, 08:59 Quote
I think using a full fat win7 is just wrong. It's not even designed for touch screens. IMHO android would be better (if modified for multi-touch).
xaser04 20th May 2010, 09:01 Quote
Hmmm looks interesting.
crazyceo 20th May 2010, 09:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
I think using a full fat win7 is just wrong. It's not even designed for touch screens. IMHO android would be better (if modified for multi-touch).

Why waste such a device on smartphone OS? Win7 has been design all the way with touchscreen in mind and should work fine. Although, I would use the Netbook version.
Stotherd-001 20th May 2010, 09:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
I think using a full fat win7 is just wrong. It's not even designed for touch screens. IMHO android would be better (if modified for multi-touch).

Most Android devices have multitouch, it doesn't need modified.

And I'm gradually getting convinced Chrome OS might be the best tablet OS. Mostly because it hasn't been given another proper purpose, and is still in development.
Stelph 20th May 2010, 10:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stotherd-001

Most Android devices have multitouch, it doesn't need modified.

And I'm gradually getting convinced Chrome OS might be the best tablet OS. Mostly because it hasn't been given another proper purpose, and is still in development.

I agree, Windows and atom just doesnt work very well together.... I have an ION netbook and although its a good combination for a standard PC or netbook (where I dont mind waiting for it to catch up), its just too sluggish for a tablet device in a world where we are spoiled by iPods and iPads. Ideally a good tablet should have something like the Tegra 2 that can support HD and is energy efficient.

Maybe Google could implement some of the ideas demonstrated in the Courier Project (R.I.P) in Chrome OS, that would be awesome
GiantStickMan 20th May 2010, 10:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Win7 has been design all the way with touchscreen in mind and should work fine. Although, I would use the Netbook version.

I use 7 in my CarPC, the touchscreen support is definately an improvement over the support in Vista, but it still has its issues.
EvilMerc 20th May 2010, 11:01 Quote
Tbh, to stand any chance of beating an iPad these tablets need an OS which has been designed with a touch UI from the start, and doesn't make any pretense of trying to be a PC OS too. It also needs to be a far more lightweight OS than Windows because Atom and Windows are a match made in hell.
RichLumb @ CCL 20th May 2010, 11:35 Quote
They had one of the dual screen units on display at the MSI Stand down at the Gadget Show Live event at the NEC a month or so back, unfortunately it was behind a plexiglass cover so i wasn't able to have a hands on go with it, but it looked really cool.

I will be very interested in one provided the price is reasonable of course, however I have a feeling they might be massively overpriced.
Darkedge 20th May 2010, 12:44 Quote
I have a win 7 full laptop (HP touchsmart TM2) which is also multitouch. It's excellent and I have no problems.
Win 7 has been developed to be a touch OS or mouse/keyboard.
I hope for the dual screen version with a bit of power behind it and it will be excellent.
The_Beast 20th May 2010, 13:23 Quote
Looks promising so don't mess it up MSI
somewhereoveryonda 20th May 2010, 16:04 Quote
It looks odd.. mayb its just because theres usually a keyboard in there. Will be even more odd to use.. wonder if you could open it flat on a table and have both screens running the same window.. like eyefinity.
HourBeforeDawn 20th May 2010, 19:34 Quote
Cool, I think I will hold tight in buying a new netbook until these dual screen models hit the scene. :) Oh and I second that it will be most likely cheaper and more functional then the iPad lol.
Sloth 20th May 2010, 20:33 Quote
Hhhhrrrrrmmmm.

I love the idea of a folding dualscreen tablet, and this is certainly one, but there are some facts that I'd really love to have. Physical dimensions mainly, if it's still huge even while folded then that's going to be a bit of a drawback. Maybe, maybe I'd still buy one if it had the power/size to warrant a carrying bag. How well typing works on the touchscreen will be interesting as well, I just assume it will function as a keyboard when laid out like a netbook. Certainly something I'll be watching.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilMerc
Tbh, to stand any chance of beating an iPad these tablets need an OS which has been designed with a touch UI from the start, and doesn't make any pretense of trying to be a PC OS too. It also needs to be a far more lightweight OS than Windows because Atom and Windows are a match made in hell.
This, at least for the single screen version. It'll obviously be a very similar device and people will be quick to compared the two directly. Usability is one area where the iPad will always be a very strong contender.
crazyceo 21st May 2010, 08:28 Quote
Don't understand why ppl here are saying Windows7 and Atom are a "match made in hell"? I've had a Samsung netbook with Windows7 working perfectly for months. So much so that I've left my laptop sitting there gathering dust. I use MS Office on it and remote into the network at work along with control the network here at home. Does everything I did on the laptop with ease.

As Darkedge said about HP have had the tablet touchscreen working perfectly as well so MSI are on to a true winning combination here without a stupid smartphone OS to restrict it.
The_Jonas 21st May 2010, 09:15 Quote
So something finally happens in the country where I live and I didn't even know such an event was taking place, great... -.-
eddtox 21st May 2010, 13:32 Quote
Interesting... I would love to see MeeGo on these devices, and seeing as intel is a major contributor to both projects, it may well happen. This is a new class of device and it needs an OS that it completely tailored to make the most of its capabilities while minimizing its shortcomings. Win 7 is not that OS and neither is Android, IMO
EvilMerc 22nd May 2010, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Don't understand why ppl here are saying Windows7 and Atom are a "match made in hell"?

There are far more lightweight, appropriate OSs available. Windows is designed for more powerful machines, I can only vouch for XP + Atom performance though. Maybe 7 + Atom is far better. AFAIK, Apple's OS doesn't suffer from something similar to 'Windows Rot' either, after a few months my netbook struggled to play CS 1.6 smoothly.
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