A round up of other Tablets/SlatesUpdated 1/28/2010 2:05pm To round out our Tablet coverage, thought i'd post a list of some of the other players that the IPad will be running up against this year. All will likely make good digital comics platforms, so worth keeping an eye on.
First up, it looks like an Ipad, and has the name a lot of people we're expecting, it's the HP Slate. First seen at CES 2010, HP posted this teaser just the other day no doubt to steal a little thunder from Jobs. Not sure about this factoid but given that it's a windows 7 device it might be able to support a pressure sensitive styluses [digitizer] as well as multi touch like some other penabled tablet pc's. So that may be of interest to a lot of creators like myself too, as a comics making platform, as well as reading.
We'll see about that, sadly the current line of HP's Touchsmart machines have lost some of their appeal with the latest round of models due to a switch from Wacom tech to N-Trig, the pressure sensitivity of which does not work with most major programs artists use.
Manga studio 4 might work from what i've read, and some consumer level & platform specific programs, but nothing by Adobe seems to. A lack of drivers appears to the problem. So far Modbooks, HP's older tx2500z's, an obscure list of other older tablet PC's and the mighty Cintiq have been the only devices to offer that kink using Wacom tech. The N-Trig problem is a know issue so it's a strange move for HP to switch to it. Perhaps more of a Wacom decision? In anycase we don't have a lot of details about the Slate yet so it's all speculation.
Previously called the Crunch pad, this device was conceived by Michael Arrington, but has been poched by a Singapore based design studio Fusion Garage he brought on board to build it, and renamed JooJoo. This device started a lot of the Tablet buzz for hard core geeks, and does look promising but has some negative karma to deal with and a bit of a yellow tint to the screen.
One of the first second gen E-Readers that was anounced over a year ago was the Plastic Logic's Que E-book Reader. It's a simple low power B&W reader with lots of functionality.
Lenovo's "Ideapad" is a hybrit Tablet/Net book with some sexy tricks, and will probably give the IPad and HP Slate a serious run at about $500 when it comes out.
And to cover the basses, they also have another hybrid model, The U1, in the works for later in the year with a detachable tablet screen...
There's the slightly redundant looking but maybe cool double screen Ereader/Netbook called the enTourage eDGe running android. At $490 it's a contender.
There are more, models from Dell and others are also in the works or being sneak peeked, but so far these are the ones with delivery dates. But this isn't really a tech blog after all so we'll leave it at that for the gear.
Suffice to say, with all this coming out it does seem that self publishing, digital comics, and the print world will have a lot of new ways to distribute thier wares.
In a day or so i'll post a round up of some of the secure and open digital comics distribution software platforms that have been brewing too. A few names to google are Longbox, ComicBookLover, Marvel Digital Comics, Graphic.ly, and the low rent favorite CDisplay.
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