MSI to release three 10.1-inch touchscreen tablets in June

One will use the Android Honeycomb OS and the other two come with Windows 7

Taiwanese PC maker Micro-Star International (MSI) said on Thursday it would target business users with the release of three new 10.1-inch touchscreen tablet PCs on June 1, two with Windows 7 and one with Google's Android Honeycomb OS.

The WindPad tablet running on Android Honeycomb uses an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. The second tablet has AMD's Brazos processor plus a display-enhancing chipset, and the third is equipped with an Intel Atom processor for handhelds.

The Android device will go on sale for US$399, while the Windows 7 WindPad with the Intel processor will start at $549, said MSI marketing manager Luc Liao. A price has not yet been set for the Windows 7 model with the AMD processor, but he said it will likely be between the prices of the other two WindPads.

The Android WindPad is among the first Honeycomb tablets to cost less than an iPad, which starts at $499. Motorola's Xoom, by contrast, carries an $800 price tag.

MSI, a 25-year-old manufacturer that also makes notebook computers, announced basic designs for the 10.1-inch WindPads at the Computex electronics show in Taipei last year.

MSI claims battery life of six hours on the Windows tablets and eight on the Android system. All models come with accelerometers to detect the orientation of the device and rotate images on the screen depending on how it's being held, as well as an auto light sensor to adjust screen brightness to better match the user's lighting situation, and Wi-Fi, according to MSI.

The Android tablet weighs 800 grams and is just 13 millimeters at its thinnest point.

When all three tablets are released, MSI expects to attract business users who prefer Windows over Apple operating systems, said Liao.

"If you like the Mac OS, you'd choose the iPad, but if you prefer Windows 7 or Android, you'd choose ours," Liao said. "Business people who use Windows already will find that these tablets work with what they've done before."

Helen Chiang, research manager at IDC in Taipei said the prices of MSI's new WindPads were in line with other non-Apple tablets. And MSI will meet resistance if it markets the tablets as a replacement for laptops, because the three models are too small for easy use of software such as spreadsheets, she said.

"Consumers would see it more as a secondary device," Chiang said.

Other firms, such as Sony, Acer and Asustek Computers, are gearing up this year to take on the iPad, which was the dominant tablet PC maker last year with about 90 percent of the 17 million unit global market, according to IDC.

Market research firm DisplaySearch estimates that 56 million tablets will be produced in 2011, up more than 200 percent over 2010 shipments.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windowshardware systemsWindows 7processorsoperating systemsAppleIDCGoogleMicrosofttablet PCsComponentssoftwareMicro-Star Internationallaptops

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?