PC? Really? Can the world even stand to see another one?
We sure hope so, because yet another company is trying their luck in the
already-saturated market. But this company is a bit different than the
rest. How so? Well, for starters, 1&1 isn't a hardware company. They
aren't even a software company. They're a German Internet provider,
which makes it all the stranger.
But we have to confess that the renders so far are extremely enticing,
and if it's executed properly, the device (called the SmartPad) may have a decent chance at
catching on. Not because we expect 1&1 to spend more marketing
dollars than Apple
or LG or any other major company will, but because it
sounds as if it will be offered for nothing. Free. Nada. Nil.
That's a pretty seductive price tag, although it will only be offered
gratis if you purchase a monthly Internet/data plan. But as with many
netbooks that are offered on similar plans, there's definitely a market
for subsidized gear. While it's a looker, the internal specifications
aren't nearly as powerful as many of the other tablets being produced
today. There's just a 500MHz ARM11 CPU, a USB port, 256MB of RAM, a SD
card slot and Android 1.6. The company says that Android 2.2 will
eventually be supported, but users won't have access to the full App
Market; instead, they'll only have access to a proprietary app store.
But if you can get over that limitation, and you're okay with the data
rate of around 20 Euros per month, it may be next on your list when it
ships later in the month. But only in Germany, for now.