Windows 7 Tablet Emerges from Down Under

Someone inform the grim reaper that he can officially stop ringing the death knell for Windows 7-based tablets. Admittedly, things weren't looking so hot when HP seemingly abandoned plans to release its Windows 7 "Slate," and even Microsoft gave us cause for concern when the Redmond outfit dumped its dual-screen Courier tablet into the Recycle Bin. But since then, Microsoft has talked up the future of Windows 7 tablets, HP appears to be back on track with its Slate (now dubbed the Slate 500), and an Australian firm called Pioneer Computers is getting in on the Windows 7 tablet action.

This company from down under just recently announced the upcoming availability of its Windows 7-ready DreamBook ePad L11 HD, an 11.6-inch slate with a capacitive touchscreen and up to 64GB of storage (16GB and 32GB versions will also be available), which is equal to the largest amount offered on Apple's iPad.

Essentially a spunky netbook in tablet form, the L11 will come built around an Intel Atom N450 processor and (optionally) Nvidia's second-gen Ion graphics chipset, providing a one-two combo for basic computing tasks and some light/casual gaming - or in other words, the exact things you'd want a tablet for in the first place.

Other features include a 3-axis G-sensor, ambient light sensor, 1.3MP camera, optional GPS by way of a mini PCI interface, SD/SDHC card slot, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, Bluetooth 2.1, optional 3G, and up to 2GB of DDR2 memory.

Battery life is said to check in at around six hours, which again is on par with a current-gen netbook, but probably a good chunk less than tablet enthusiasts would like. Look for the L11 to start shipping in September with a starting price of around $650.