We wonder if MSI had decided to shelve its pair of tablet devices following their initial showing at Computex back in May but with all the hype surrounding tablets at the moment the execs over there said “What the hell, dust them off and we’ll bring them to CES in January.”
The up-coming "second coming" of the MSI WindPads sounds to us like a case of jumping on the tablet bandwagon but should the tweaked devices prove to have the goods then who cares. Whatever the reasoning behind the move, MSI has said it will bring the 10.1in Android and Windows devices to Las Vegas, and of course we will get our hands on them there to see if they are worth considering. The Windows-running device will be one of the first tablets to have the Intel Atom Oak Trail processor inside it. According to MSI's Director of North American Sales, Andy Tung, while Intel's tablet solution does show both battery life and performance improvements over the current Atom chips, it's "not extremely significant." Not what potential customer want to hear we suspect.
Elsewhere the 10.1in device will be less than an inch thick, will have a 1024 x 600-resolution, multitouch display, mini-HDMI and mini-USB ports, an SD card slot, and an accelerometer. No price point for this, or the Android tablet, have been released yet but MSI are hoping for an early 2011 release date. As regards the Android device, it too will have a 10.1in screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 and will be powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor. It will have the same ports as the Windows tab but will be slightly thinner.
The big question of course regarding the Android tablet will be surrounding the flavour of the OS it will be running. With the recent sighting of Honeycomb in the wild on a Motorola tablet, it could be conceivable that Android 3.0 would be available in early 2011. Failing that, the MSI device is likely to be running Gingerbread (2.3) if the company is pushing for an early 2011 release to grab some of the market share, which by then will be very crowded indeed.