While reports suggest that Google is planning an Android or Chrome driven slate computer to rival the iPad, fuelled by some loose party talk by CEO Eric E. Schmidt, others have a date and price for their iPad-alike machine already. Take the Linux-powered WePad for example.
The folk at Neofonie, a German company which is behind the WePad, say that they beg to differ that life is all about "the I, and the Me, Me, Me" and the "power of the many beats the power of one". Mind you, they also say "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".
Reading between the highly confusing lines of the official description of the WePad, I gather that it is an 11.6" slate device with an Intel Atom N450 inside alongside either 16GB or 64GB RAM and a custom Linux GUI based upon the Android OS. Both versions of the WePad have a couple of USB ports for connectivity as well as WiFi, and the more expensive of the two models also apparently comes with a promise of being HD capable. Oh, and both support Flash if the demo videos shown at the press conference are anything to go by.
Mind you, that said, journos who were at the Berlin press conference report that "the only demo device in the room was running Windows 7 and a fullscreen video to give an impression of the WePad UI" which is bizarre to say the least. A Linux competitor to the iPad which is running Windows? How confusing can you get?
Neofonie simply say that for the production model it has "built a platform based on two established, well-known technologies, Android and Linux, meaning that software developers can dream up apps for anything you may want to do with your WePad (and even some things you might never have dreamed possible yourself). It’s quick and simple – and needless to say, any app that already exists for Android also runs on the WePad. Right out of the box".
It's all a little early days yet for full specs and hands-on detail, although Neofonie reckon that it will cost €450 for the smaller device and €569 for the bigger version.
You can see the DaniWeb review of the iPad here but you will have to wait until at least August for the WePad to make an appearance.