Android and iOS may get the lion's share of tablet attention, but French slate specialists eviGroup is sticking with Windows for its new SmartPaddle model. The 10.2-inch 1024 x 600 tablet has a capacitive touchscreen and runs Windows 7 - with eviGroup's own Seline AI voice control system - on a 1.66GHz Atom N455 processor, paired with 2GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD.
Connectivity includes micro HDMI, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, three USB 2.0 ports, audio in/out, and a SIM slot for optional 3G. There's a scroll wheel for quickly navigating long documents or webpages, a microphone, stereo speakers, an accelerometer, 1.3-megapixel webcam and a battery good, eviGroup reckons, for up to 5hrs of use. The whole thing is 14.6mm thick.
That may pale in comparison to what Honeycomb slates or the iPad 2 can deliver, but the upside is that with the SmartPaddle you're getting a full Windows PC that can run all your regular Office and enterprise apps. Not so much of a draw for every home user, perhaps, but businesses - and those expecting their slate to do both work and play - could certainly be interested.
The eviGroup SmartPaddle will go on sale from €551 ($752). Its existing, bigger sibling, with a 12-inch touchscreen, will remain on sale as the SmartPaddle Pro. No word on what happens when Windows 8 arrives, but we're guessing the SmartPaddle will play nicely with Microsoft's tablet-tailored update too.