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Summary:

MeeGo may have been neglected at Nokia World this week, but a German company is readying a MeeGo tablet for launch next week. MeeGo is a joint venture of Intel and Nokia, and the WeTab is an iPad competitor that is running the open platform.

WeTab Interface

MeeGo may have been neglected at Nokia World this week, but a German company is readying a MeeGo tablet for launch next week. MeeGo is a joint venture of Intel and Nokia, and the WeTab is an iPad competitor that’s running the open platform. Apps have become the new currency in mobile computing, and the WeTab folks claim it will support native MeeGo apps, Java, Linux, Adobe Air and Android Apps.

The WeTab is a large slate with hardware specs more reminiscent of a PC than a mobile tablet. The 11.6-inch screen (1366×768), Intel Atom processor, 16 or 32 GB of memory, USB ports, 3G, GPS and SDHC card reader are commonly found in netbooks running Windows. The reported 6-hour battery life is a result of that hardware mix, and may be considered insufficient for road warriors and those used to the iPad’s 11-hour battery life.

The WeTab folks are supporting apps through the WeTab “Meta-Store,” which integrates multiple stores for the supported app platforms. It hasn’t provided details concerning how this works exactly, but if it truly handles apps from the Android Market, that would be a big plus for WeTab owners.

The MeeGo user interface shown on the WeTab looks to make good use of the large screen, with multi-touch support thrown in the mix. The MeeGo desktop is a long, scrollable home screen, instead of the multiple small home screens used by Android. It looks quite efficient in the promotional videos on the WeTab site. The tablet handles multitasking, and supports common web standards like Flash and Adobe Air. It’s available in two models: 16GB (Wi-Fi only) for €449 ($587 USD) and a 32GB model (3G, GPS, 1080p HDMI) for €569. The WeTab is a joint venture between Neofonie GmbH and the 4tiitoo AG.

Intel was showing the WeTab at the IDF conference this week, and this video shows the interface in detail.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): The App Developer’s Guide to Choosing a Mobile Platform

  1. Meego being full linux and Android being a VM that runs on linux seems this was bound to happen. I know that VMware is working on a virtual machine for mobile OS. I can imagine something like XP mode in windows 7 where Android Apps can run inside MeeGo or other mobile OS. Then it is just a matter of performance but since Android is a virtual machine already it shouldn’t see too much slow down.

  2. how many computers have 32gb of memory? my pc runs great with 4 gb of memory. It does have 380 GB of disk space though. :) I’m just being nit picky, but I’m starting to see it more and more.

  3. The WeTab (earlier know as WePad) has been announced in Germany for some time now. There have even been press events where the “functionality” was shown off. It was found out after the event that it was only a video playing. The company lost a lot of goodwill and credibility through that.
    Also what I heard was that Android ran in some kind of virtual machine on the WePad, so not really native support for Android Apps.

    1. > Also what I heard was that Android ran in some kind of
      > virtual machine on the WePad, so not really native support
      > for Android Apps.

      It’s so surprising, but Android Apps (as all other java apps) always run in some kind of VM ;) For android it’s dalvik VM – google’s remake for Java VM.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalvik_%28software%29

  4. WeTab is a nice try but unfortunately a very bad realization. Maybe because the company, which produced the device was quite inexperienced as a hardware vendor. Moreover, despite the fact that the WeTab is based on MeeGo, it has its own layer (WeTab OS) and own UI. So the MeeGo platform was used more like a kernel to run own custom layer. Hopefully the next MeeGo tablet will be produced by Nokia or some other more experienced manufacturer. Let’s stay tuned.

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