Samsung Announces Plans for iPad Challenger

Samsung is the next consumer electronics manufacturer to come out swinging against Apple's iPad. A senior executive confirmed plans to release a "slate PC" during the second half of this year.

The key differentiating points for this tablet will address what Samsung feels are two major shortcomings of the iPad: lack of processing power and not enough connectivity options.

"I do feel that that slate-type platform has legs but I think the legs need to be far more powerful, for example an Atom-based product which has far greater flexibility, not to mention inputs and outputs," said Director of Samsung Australia's IT division Philip Newton at the Samsung Forum in Singapore. "This has more potential than an iPad."

The goal is to build a device powerful enough to become the primary computing machine for many people. The ARM chip that powers Apple's iPad was deemed not powerful enough to make the tablet form factor truly shine; hence Samsung reports that it is looking at two platforms from Intel to power the unnamed device: Atom or the Moorestown System on a Chip.

The slate will be a device "you could take to university and do a PowerPoint presentation on it, for example, or a device that could be taken home or to the office and docked," Samsung's Emmanuele Silanesu said .

Samsung is no stranger to the "in-between smartphone and laptop" zone, having released the Q1 ultra-mobile PC back in 2006. Silanesu assures us that the forthcoming new tablet will have a much stronger focus on the consumer market than the Q1, which "was a very niche product for a vertical market… It was limited (in functionality), the price was relatively high, and it wasn't an attractive device for consumers."

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