German company Neofonie has introduced a tablet device the company calls…wait for it…no, really, this is going to be so totally worth the wait…WePad! The company is pushing it as a device that is open, and one that doesn’t tie you to the whims and limitations of another unnamed company.
“Some people seem to think life is all about the I, and the Me, Me, Me,” Neofonie wrote on the WePad’s site. “We beg to differ. To us, the power of many beats the power of one. That’s why we came up with the WePad: It’s the smarter solution for enjoying the Internet your way. Why? Because when you’re locked in, you get the Internet their way. It’s the opposite of free. Being told what you can see, what you can buy, and all the things you can not do – somehow, that just seems so 1984.”
The last line seemingly being a reference to Apple’s own 1984 commercial where the company pitched the Mac as a device that freed users from the tyranny of computers controlled by Big Brother (in the form of IBM).
“All along the way,” the company continued, “we will gladly help connect the dots, so that the power of We can make magic happen. But we will never, ever box you in. Or anybody else, for that matter. Not even those who have a big I and prefer to pursue their own Me. Promise.”
The WePad is built on Android, and the company also launched WeMagazine ePublishing Open Platform, software that allows publishers to offer books, magazines, and newspapers on its new device. Existing Android apps and ebooks will also run on the WePad “out of the box,” though not in the device’s native resolution.
While the WePad’s site doesn’t mention iPad or Apple by name, the company released a “Fact Sheet” that offers a side by side comparison of the WePad and the iPad.
The WePad’s display is 11.6” (iPad: 9/7”), and offers a resolution of 1366 x 768 (iPad: 1024 x 768). It’s powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 Pineview-M processor (iPad: 1.0GHz Apple A4 processor), and comes with either 16GB or 32GB of storage (iPad: 16/32/64).
For those pining for a camera in their tablet, the WePad has one, along with two USB ports, a card reader, a SIM card slot, and a Multi-Pin Connector (iPad has a micro SIM card slot). Unlike the iPad, the WePad will run Java, Flash, and Adobe Air.
For those wanting to download apps, Neofonie has developed the WePad Meta-Store, an online application store that “integrates multiple [third party] stores.”
The WePad is priced at €449 (US$610.87 as of this writing) for the 16GB model, and €569 ($774.12) for a 32GB model with 3G. We’ve asked the company if those prices include VAT taxes (most prices in the European Union are quoted with VAT taxes included), and will update this story when we receive a reply.It will be available for pre-order on April 27th, 2010, and the company is doing a “soft launch” in July, with wide availability in August.
WePad Rear & Side View