Google Tablet, HP 6-inch mini slate & Nokia ereader tipped to take on Apple iPad

Whether iPad-inspired or just coincidental, it sounds like Google aren't content to leave the tablet market to Apple.  While devices like the Notion Ink Adam and ICD Gemini will both run Android, according to the NYT Google are planning an own-brand tablet; CEO Eric Schmidt has apparently been boasting about the Android-based Google tablet at a recent party, and sources with "direct knowledge of the project" reckon the search giant has been quietly working on media content deals including magazines and newspapers.  Meanwhile, there's also talk of a second HP tablet, with a six-inch touchscreen.

The new HP slate – which would be a second device to the existing tablet the company say will launch later this year – has supposedly been nicknamed "the half-pint" because of its 6-inch display, and is also believed to run Android.  As for Microsoft, their Courier dual-display tablet is still being tested – despite there having been no final decision whether it will even launch – as the company attempt to balance two screens with battery longevity.  There are also concerns about the target market; initially Microsoft looked to designers and architects, but now they are considering a broader, consumer market.  However that would require consumer-focused content be negotiated.

The recent talk of a Nokia tablet, meanwhile, continues to be met with silence from the Finnish company, but they are apparently working on an ereader.  No mention of what sort of display – LCD, E Ink, OLED, mirasol or something else – the Nokia ereader might use, nor when it could hit the market, but it's expected to be 3G-connected.