Neofonie WePad Is An 11.6", Android-Based iPad Killer

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News Posted: Sun, Mar 21 2010 5:23 PM
It's a tablet-eat-tablet world out there, and with Apple's iPad starting a trend that isn't likely to die throughout 2010, you can imagine that all sorts of lesser-known contenders will be popping up with tablets and slates of their own in order to strike while the iron is hot. Today, Neofonie is introducing the WePad, a German-made unit that promises "fast Internet connectivity, a complete world of ready-to-use applications and easy access to books and photos, as well as magazines and newspapers from various publishers via the WeMagazine ePublishing Eco System."

At its heart, this is a fairly robust machine with an 11.6" display (1366x768), a rather quick 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, a webcam (for video chats, we imagine), two USB sockets, a flash card reader, integrated WWAN modem, GMA3150 graphics (far better than on most e-readers) and a battery that is said to last six hours, though that claim doesn't come with a pre-qualification of under what sort of workloads you could expect that sort of performance.

The company makes no bones about the product they are targeting, saying that their tablet is far larger and more capable than the iPad. There's also a set of built-in speakers here, and since it's based around Google's open Android operating system, applications can be loaded on to it after purchase. Other specs include 16GB of NAND Flash (32GB optional), a 1.3MP webcam, SIM card slot, Flash/Adobe AIR support, access to the WePad AppStore and Google's own Android Marketplace, multi-tasking support, Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi, optional GPS, an ambient light & motion sensor and an internal microfan to keep things cool.



On paper, this certainly looks like a legitimate iPad contender. Android is a robust OS, and this expansive display will allow a lot more action to be shown on-screen. Unfortunately, there's no solid mention of a price or release date, so it's still stuck in vaporware status for now. We're guessing it'll be out in a few months, but who knows how many people will hold off from Apple's offering for that long.  Let the games begin...


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Inspector replied on Sun, Mar 21 2010 8:43 PM

Lets just hope it really does have all those pulse features against the ipad. the design looks very similar as do all these pads coming out. There will be more freedom with this then the ipad right? Smile

If the price is just right i can see more people buying this one then the ipad that limit things -.-

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vichealey replied on Sun, Mar 21 2010 8:56 PM

"and an internal microfan to keep things cool."

I literally fell out of my chair laughing when I read that word 'microfan'. No wonder some wit called this 'hot hardware". Who but a desparate idiot would accept a fan in any tablet meant for use in a family room, or a quite bedroom?

Talk about poor design! If that is the level of thinking that goes into an Android tablet, we are in trouble!

This would never be an iPad killer, hopefully it will never be found in the same classroom as a genuine iPad either.

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Inspector replied on Sun, Mar 21 2010 9:04 PM

So does this mean your getting a ipad vichealey?

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kulocka replied on Mon, Mar 22 2010 3:02 AM

looks cool, looks better then ipad....i wanna give it a try

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Dieses schaut! wirklich ehrfürchtig!

Dieses ist die Weise, die eine Tablette hergestellt werden sollte, mit deutscher Technik der Präzision! Wenn es wie Mercedes errichtet wird, dann sollte es haltbar sein und eine lange Lagerbeständigkeit haben,… Ja!?!

I just hope they include a scribe with it as well and give Em' great pressure levels!

They need to release a sketchbook series in the three standard sizes that are available from Canson?

This is what everyone needs, and artists would love something like this that could act like a sketchbook!

They are also going to prove an Ipad killer if they can keep the cost reasonable and use any OS.

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ttvinko replied on Mon, Mar 22 2010 12:15 PM

Wow, now that is nice! I like it!

Jess

www.mask-your-ip.se.tc

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RTestani replied on Mon, Mar 22 2010 1:05 PM

Are you kidding me? It looks like the the table setting at a local diner.

Theres no way these guys are releasing this with anything quality considering its based on Android.

Android is still having SDK issues and being able to release good apps.

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Vaporware until I can hold it.. And then what, it has 5 apps? ;/ I'll stick to what I can trust: Apple.

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EHerr replied on Mon, Mar 22 2010 1:40 PM

How is this an iPad killer? It's using an Atom processor and a GMA3150 (3150 is a die shrink of the 3100 with no HD capabilities). The battery life appears far worse and it has a fan? iPad may not be perfect but it will take a far better tablet than this to even be close to endangering it.

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nebo99 replied on Mon, Mar 22 2010 2:39 PM

This looks awesome. Probably more powerful than the ipad by the sounds of it. Cant wait to get my hands on this. Being Android its probably far more versatile than the ipad.

Gotta admit that it does have a better name than what apple has given their product - sounds like a sanitary item for women - sad.

Android rocks as an OS. Far better than what Apple has on offer at the moment.

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bbdl replied on Mon, Mar 22 2010 4:48 PM

Is this freeipad person a spammer? Well as for the iPad goes I don't think it's going to have much impact. Everything I have heard about it is that it is a crippled device. Why would I want to spend my money on a crippled device? This one looks very nice though, and with everything seemingly at least getting a mobile option from each manufacturer it looks like the next big thing. That of course is what they said about the netbook. They were so slow though when you were doing things I never saw a point in getting one. As the saying goes many times you get what you pay for, and that seems to apply to netbooks to me.

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Cleverboy replied on Mon, Mar 22 2010 5:18 PM

What's amazing to me, is that when Apple does something truly fascinating and impressive (and gratuitously pats themselves on the back with terms like "magic" and "revolutionary"), people with an aversion to Apple products begin frantically searching for alternatives. I'm happy we're past quoting listings from Alibaba.com (I think), but quoting vague press releases from companies that do not seem to boast any other product accomplishments isn't that much better.

Here, we have the WePad. Wow. Nice specs. Does it have a capacitive screen? Multitouch capability? Any custom apps? What's the price? "We're guessing it'll be out in a few months". Why would ANYONE guess this? I'm anxious to see when HP's slate will ship. While its still in development, they're at the very least a fully qualified corporation with an excellent track record.

The photos shown above are of a 3-dimensional render of a product concept. They are not even photographs of a prototype. While I'm all for supporting nascent companies and all... I'm struck by the irrational tendency for us tech geeks to profess that we'll happily wait and purchase vaporware products.

I think the situation developing around the JooJoo is highly unfortunate. Not only is the product over-priced, but it has become a "vessel" for the hopes and dreams of people who don't want to purchase an Apple product. At the very least, its hit the FCC, so that's something.

Remember the Meizu miniOne announced days after the iPhone announcement in 2007, and embraced with dozens of renders and press coverage? It finally shipped in February 2009 to lackluster applause. I also remember the initial buzz around the Neonode N2... a fascinating new direction for mobile computing. It finally shipped its quirky obtusely unintuitive product later that fall (2007) and continued to have all sorts of internal company issues before filing for bankruptcy the following year.

Neofonie's name is not only unfortunate, but its marketing seems singularly premature. PMPToday announces it in an article titled "The Real iPad competitor". On their WePad Facebook page, one potential customer gushes that they appear to be leapfrogging Apple by a "couple of iterations".

The truth? Any irresponsible company can make a product announcement... announce predictable delays and attempt to crest off of the genuine launch announcements of established companies. It just seems to be a noise-heavy trend in our increasingly globally aware marketplace. I just wish more news sites found a way to distinguish rumors and vaporware etiquette when discussing companies approaching customers in a more legitimate fashion.

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RyuGTX replied on Mon, Mar 22 2010 5:30 PM

And who is going to design apps for this new app store they are setting up? This product will be a bust if it doesn't get enough quality apps.

If you think you can’t do something, you’ll never be able to do it. No matter how easy it is.
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Marko replied on Tue, Mar 23 2010 9:04 PM

@Cleverboy

Nice there article, but it suffers from one fatal flaw. Little and fairly unknown companies are no match for the Apple MONSTER, in terms of cheating you into buying their product, even though 50% of the price is a complete waste of money. So, little companies tend to go the only way they can, making a better product that doesn't suffer the flaws that Apple products have. Webcam sounds awesome, USB slots too, card reader, flash support, multitasking? And a minifan is very welcomed, and far better than heating itself to the point where you can't or are too scared to hold it anymore, like the iphone, the ipod, and i presume the ipad will inherit this "cool" feature aswell. These are all awesome features for the WePad, everything sounds better, so why not? Apple's Iphone (2g and 3g) are, and by me, still are a complete waste of money (sucky bluetooth, no videorecording, no multitasking, no flash, expensive and (good) apps that you gotta pay for). BUT, the sales went through the roof, and people began to buy the iphone just because everybody else had it. I have 10 friends who have Iphone's and don't use them for nothing else than texting and calling, a task that any cellphone can do. All i'm saying is, Apple have built their name in producing something that is trendy, good looking, but, that's much about it. When it comes to functionality and prices... well, they suck. Sure, you can buy an iMac or a Macbook for the looks, but when you look around, there are FAR MORE POWERFUL devices for the same price. The point is, you can't compete with Apple, because they have fairly washed their customers minds. Advertising is everything.

About the iPad, it's basically an oversized ipod touch, it doesn't bring anything new, no flash, no multitasking, so everything that an ipod does, but 4 times the screen. So? How is this time Steve Jobs "magical" and "revolutionary"? By brainwashing you, the faithful Apple fan into thinking just the opposite.

To conclude, Apple are like bottled water. You don't really need it, it's not even close to the price of tap water, nor it is safer or tastier or more nutritive, but, you are convinced into thinking so.

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erixun replied on Tue, Mar 30 2010 4:58 AM

Ahhhh... the classic battle between Apple disciples and the rest of the world. Why does the line have to be drawn in the sand that you must either love everything Apple or vehemently hate it.

iPad is best!!!!... NO... it can't do Flash.... YES open source is better.... NO... the unit will be slimmer..... You don't know what you're getting until its too late..... YES WE DO!!!........ Android is not secure...... YES IT IS!!!!....... Roses are blue......  yada yada yada

And on it goes. I guess those people will only buy one piece of tech? One tablet per person. Sounds a lot like China (whoops don't censor my post please.... too many uh-oh keywords). I for one love Apple, but I love Android and most MS products too. I love technology and innovation. I already ordered the iPad and as soon as the WePad is out Ill order one too. I think I will prob pick up a JooJoo tablet as well.

The cool thing about technology is there is always someone willing to buy second-hand tech. So buy it all, keep the stuff I like, eBay for the rest.

I did a rant myself on this war over Slate vs. iPad on my blog. Macheads need to stop thinking everything Apple is miraculous and ahead of its time and non-Apple users need to just chill and stop defending their side whilst attacking Apple users. Being a 'dual-national' (carry both Apple and non) its just comical to see the war rage on and on with the slurs intensifying.

Enraged folks need to see they are playing right into the hands of the developers. The BEST advertising Apple can get for its iPad is this war. So blog on and give Mr. Jobs his advertising for free.

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havik207 replied on Sat, Apr 3 2010 10:49 PM

"To conclude, Apple are like bottled water. You don't really need it, it's not even close to the price of tap water, nor it is safer or tastier or more nutritive, but, you are convinced into thinking so."

-first off im not a fan of apple products, E-readers, or even laptops to an extent... but this thing actually seems to have the dominant features hands down. Intel N450 from Wiki;

N450

The new Atom N450 became available on January 11, 2010.[39] It is used in netbook/nettop systems, and features a system-on-chip (SOC) with an integrated single-channel DDR2 memory controller and an integrated graphics core. It features hyper-threading and is still manufactured on a 45 nm[40] process. The new system-on-a-chip design uses half the power of the older "Menlow" platform. This reduced overall power consumption and size makes the platform more desirable for use in smartphones and other mobile internet devices....apples chip also from Wiki;

The Apple A4 is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed by Apple, manufactured by Samsung[citation needed] and first used in the iPad tablet computer.[1] It is based on the ARM processor architecture.[2] The first version released runs at 1 GHz and it is currently thought, according to some insider sources, to contain a Cortex-A8 CPU core [3] paired with a PowerVR SGX[1][4][5] graphics processor (GPU). It was announced on January 27, 2010, during Apple's "Latest Creation" event.[1] The Apple A4 also contains 512MB of DDR-S DRAM

i think that id rather have the extra processing power of the Atom, the bigger HD 11.6" (1366x768), display. and you know what HEAT IS THE ENEMY!!!! i would much rather have a micro fan in my system then no cooling at all... JAVA anyone!!!!!! pretty much every website in the entirety of the web befits from java... oh wait java is supported in the Wepad.... iam done rambling for now but i leave you with one thought.... overpriced technology because it bears a Apple logo... or go with the new guy with better specs, bigger screen, higher resolution, and the android backed O.S.

havik207 out

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Marko replied on Sun, Apr 4 2010 12:06 AM

@erixun

I don't hate everything that apple does. I myself own an Ipod touch, and yes i think it's cool and i use it all the time, so down goes your argument. I just hate it when big companies try to smear the buyer's eyes that they actually came up with something innovative and revolutionary, like the iphone was. I have the same opinion over any company that does it, like Nvidia shipping a 'new' graphic card, when the only difference is the name, or a more fictional example, imagine Google shipping a device that's named Nexus 2, Nexus II, or Nexus Duo, where the only difference is that the new Nexus has a better camera by 1 megapixel! And please, but correct me if i am wrong, 500 bucks for a 16gigs iPad? that comes with just a power charger and usb cable? Consider the value of money here and my bottled water comparison. Bottled water costs like what, 0.50 for a liter, whilst for the same amount of money you get 500 liters.

500 bucks is enough for a decent laptop, with a dual core processor, at least 2 gigs of ram, and 500GB HDD, and it has a card reader, and a usb slot, and a dvd drive. So if Neophonie gets this product loose soon, and it's considerably cheaper, or even close to the price of the iPad, my bets go to the Wepad! As for the users, i must say, Apple's devices are powerful and great, to the extent that they come with something new. For instance, i use my iTouch to listen to music, play videos, surf, chat, control my pc, send files to any phone or BT device, i use the great Oxford, Duden etc dictionary apps. BUT, i must say, there are people that buy these sort of devices just for the look of it, or because it is a social status marker (i am rich if i have iphone), or just because half the neighborhood has one. This is the point that i would like to stress.

It is most easy to sit back and buy everything, kudos to you if you have that money, but i gotta consider carefully, and as a conscientious buyer, i gotta make every dollar worth it. The iPad, when compared to such devices like the Wepad, looks inferior, This doesnt mean that the Wepad will sell better, not a chance, it just means that it is a better product.

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erixun replied on Sun, Apr 4 2010 12:42 AM

@Marko

Agreed! Got the Samsung netbook for 220 bucks in SG last week ( review ) I am quite happy with it so far.

As for advantages the iPad has:

 

  • compatibility with the hundreds of dollars of Apps I have already bought with seamless migration
  • mobileMe integration (yes, I do use it unfortunately.... it needs some serious work to get a glowing review Sad ). Other devices can integrate with MM, but iphone (and now ipad) has it more natively compatible
  • thousands of worldwide stores and service outlets. When traveling, u can always pick up a lost charger/cable or get help with something or turn it in for repair
  • the shiny Apple logo.. there is something addictive about it (I jest)

 

I do despise the fact that a lot of Apple products are purchased by folks who don't use them for what they were designed for or who can't really afford them and hence over-saturate the exposure of these products (EVERYBODY has an iphone). I remember when Apple products where used by a small crowd of people who really used the hardware/software to its greatest potential (graphics/3D/music/development) but now it semas like Apple has changed to cater more towards the herd-mentality. 

I agree with you on choosing the correct device if you plan on only having 1 tablet or large PDA. It seams you are really checking specs against your needs before deciding which is the intelligent thing to do. Following the ads alone will spell disappointment for many people I predict. The iPad will not sit well with some people and there are some very interesting contenders both out and upcoming to choose from.

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Bob Dole replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 4:43 PM

Agree. Apple has gone too far on restricting what users can or cannot do with the gadget.

WePad would be a worthy competitor, now that the whole world has basically been psyched up on tablets. I like the fact that it runs on Android and has USB access.

If somehow the German company could team up with Sony Ericsson or Nokia for marketing and a Chinese or Indian company for manufacturing (ok, that is a very big IF), it could potentially be a success.

Would i buy it? IF it could do all that it claims to do while having a >7hr battery life per recharge, hell yeah.

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Bob Dole replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 4:54 PM

iPad competitors should focus on introducing and perfecting a handful of worthy contenders, rather than shooting each other to pieces, IMO.

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I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom that runs 24/7. So tell me again how a micro fan makes this a terrible piece of hardware not worthy of sitting beside an iPad?

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This looks cool. I'd buy it, but I've lost my patience after seeing things like the Streak and Archos garbage. I bit the bullet and bought an ipad. Of course if this thing comes out and it's cool, there's always eBay for the ipad lol...

(I'm also losing patience in android distributions among different phones, including my own. I am still nailed to 1.6 and it sucks).

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