Toshiba 'SmartPad' slate pictured, detailed


— 6:00 AM on August 24, 2010

Add Toshiba to the list of challengers hoping to dethrone the iPad. Notebook Italia has posted pictures and details about an upcoming, Android-powered slate Toshiba reportedly unveiled at a press conference in Australia.

The site says "whispers" hint the device could be dubbed the SmartPad. It will have a 10" display—pretty much like the Apple contraption—with a next-generation Nvidia Tegra system-on-a-chip. The external design looks pretty iPad-like, with a large black border and metallic-looking trim, but Toshiba has traded some elegance for practicality: the front surface has a few buttons and what looks like a webcam, while one of the sides has a little door that conceals HDMI and USB ports. I believe there's a card reader next to those ports, as well.

Notebook Italia sadly doesn't talk of pricing or availability, but who knows? Perhaps the SmartPad will be part of Best Buy's holiday season push. Or maybe we'll have to wait until next year for it. In any case, I like where Toshiba is going with this. The iPad may have a great user interface, but it's a little short on the connectivity front—just hooking up a digital camera requires a $29 connection kit. (Thanks to CrunchGear for the tip.)

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