Wikipad is back, this time with a 7-inch Android gamer-focused tablet that we’ll see later this spring.
We’ve heard this before, of course. The Los Angeles hardware startup rolled into CES in 2012 with a 10-inch tablet that featured a glasses-free 3-D display and removable console-style game controller case. And then … nothing. Wikipad never shipped anything, and skipped CES entirely this year. But Wikipad says it’s for real this time.
Although the eponymous 7-inch tablet is smaller that what we were promised, Wikipad says the slate will pack the punch its 10-inch prototype aimed for. The move to a smaller size will allow the company to give its first device a more consumer-friendly price of $249. Shrinking the Wikipad is probably a good idea for the startup. Until last year, small tablets stunk. That changed with the release of Google’s Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire HD, Apple’s iPad Mini and tablets from Barnes & Noble, Samsung and others that mixed affordable price with powerful specs. But while small slates have caught on, the market for larger tablets is still largely defined by Apple’s iPad and little else.
The new, smaller Wikipad retains the detachable gaming controls and mighty Nvidia Tegra 3 processor seen in its larger prototype predecessor. When the Wikipad does arrive, it will run on Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. Inside, the tablet will make use of 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The device’s 7-inch IPS display will be HD, with a 1280×800 resolution. On paper, the Wikipad looks capable, but questions remain as to whether or not Wikipad — a company that’s pretty much unknown to consumers — can match Google and Amazon in delivering blockbuster sales for its small tablet. We should find out before summer arrives.