In association with heise online

22 September 2010, 14:51

WeTab ships in Germany

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Zoom The WeTab tablet computer.
The WeTab is ready – at least to some degree. German retailer Media Markt is shipping the first pre-orders, while Amazon in Germany plans to begin shipping on Thursday. Plans for international distribution have yet to be announced. The vendor 4tiittoohas told The H's associates at heise online that the first major firmware update is already scheduled for the first week of October.

During a demonstration last week, some of the promised features, such as the execution of Android applications, or automatic display rotation weren't yet functional. Some applications such as the mail program hadn't been adapted for the WeTab user interface. Despite this, heise online's first impression was quite positive, the user interface is full of good ideas, and the WeTab's open concept is pleasing. Minor bugs or the occasional hiccup can be forgiven in a pre-production unit. While the WeTab's level of maturity is likely to have increased, buyers will probably have to accept that the iPad competitor will only reach its full potential once various future updates have been applied.

Neither vendor 4tiitoo nor its partners Neofonie and Intel wanted to reveal any details about digital content, leaving questions such as "Will there be an app for reading DRM-protected eBooks in Epub format, or are there any other German-language best seller sources?", "What about movies and TV series? Magazines and newspapers?" and "Which Android store can be used as Google's official store doesn't work?" unanswered. The only response given was that WeTab media partners will each present their own range of offerings themselves.

The WeTab is a keyboardless tablet with an 11.6-inch display (1,366 by 768 pixels). The user interface was created by 4tiitoo, and the operating system is a Meego-based version of Linux. Inside, there is an Intel Atom N450, 1 Gbyte of RAM and Flash memory instead of a hard disk. The tablet weighs 995 grams for the basic version and 1,050 grams for the UMTS version; its battery life is said to be six hours. Peripherals can be connected via USB, monitors via HDMI and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are standard. The basic version with 16 GB of Flash memory costs €450, and a version with 32 GB as well as a UMTS modem and a GPS receiver is available for €570.


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