Reference Freescale tablet has sub-$200 target price


— 4:48 PM on January 4, 2010

Speaking of tablets, Apple isn't the only one with something in the works. We recently heard that Asus is developing an Eee tablet, and now, Freescale Semiconductor has announced a smartbook tablet reference design featuring a 7" 1024x600 touch-screen display, an ARM processor, an all-day battery, and a sub-$200 target price.

The Freescale tablet purportedly takes up one third the volume of a typical netbook, with dimensions of 7.9" x 5" x 0.6" and a weight of just over 13 ounces (376 g). Inside, there's an i.MX515 system-on-a-chip with an ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessor core, OpenGL ES-capable graphics cores, and HD video decoding logic—enough to browse the web and watch Flash videos, in other words, but not do anything too terribly resource-intensive. Anything too powerful would likely force users to relinquish that "all-day battery," though.

Other components include 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 4-64GB of internal storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a GPS, optional 3G connectivity, and a three-megapixel camera.

Freescale plans to showcase the tablet running Linux and Google Android at CES later this week, and the firm reckons commercial devices based on its design "could hit retail shelves as soon as the summer of 2010." That's certainly ambitious, although the sheer amount of hype surrounding the Apple tablet is no doubt pushing some hardware makers to have a competing product out the door quickly.

Check out the image gallery below for some shots of the reference design donning various paint jobs and a QWERTY keyboard add-on.

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