MSI's dual screen tablet offers more colour than a Kindle and less rumours than an Apple iSlate.
MSI is pretty heavily into the netbook and notebook market. The company gained a lot of positive press from its thin X-slim line with attractive and reasonably priced machines like the X350
that debuted in December 2009.
At CES, MSI was showing off a very cool dual screen tablet
device that has more in common with a netbook that the glut of readers hitting the market.
The tablet has two 10-inch capacitive touchscreens with a resolution of 1024 x 600 each. It uses an Intel Atom Z530 1.6GHz processor and runs Windows 7 Home Premium. The device helps its battery life by using a SSD for storage. By default each of the screens is its own desktop allowing different programs to be used on each side.
A utility also lets you switch to other modes by using both screens as one large display. Multitouch is not supported, which is a big disappointment considering how ubiquitous the tech has become with touchscreen devices. MSI hopes to find a thin battery that will allow the device to run in the area of ten hours per charge. The version shown at CES was a beta product and MSI hopes to move to multitouch technology and 3G connectivity built-in before the device hits the market.
Text input is done on the device using an onscreen keyboard, as you would expect. However, unlike most onscreen keyboards which are small and cramped due to the need not to obscure too much screen space, the MSI keyboard fills one entire LCD panel when it is activated, providing an essentially full-size keyboard to type on. MSI has also implemented haptic touch technology which provides a tiny vibration when each onscreen key is touched, to give the user a sense of using a real keyboard.
This device does actually look like one of the more useable netpad/internet tablet concepts that we've seen so far -- hopefully it comes with a 3G modem integrated so that web browsing on the go is a straightforward affair. We can definitely imagine browsing the web on one screen while watching a video on the other on the bus.