Toshiba Smart Pad tablet prototype shown; due before October 2010

Back when we got our first glimpse of the Toshiba Libretto W100 and the Android-based AC100, what we didn't get to see was a prototype of the company's new touchscreen slate.  That's been wheeled out over in Australia, with the company's Managing Director for the country, Mark Whittard, whipping out the iPad-like tablet and suggesting it would hit the market before October 2010.

Hardware specifications are in short supply, but Whittard said that on the prototype at least there was both HDMI and USB connectivity, a digitizer that could support multitouch, and either Android or Windows 7 as the OS.  The so-called "smart pad" is still a work in progress, and Toshiba is yet to decide which of the OSes will make the cut – or, indeed, if both versions will launch.

"This prototype as a HDMI slot; does that make sense? I think so. If you're using it as a browsing tool for content sometimes you will want to connect it to your telly. Do you put in USB? I think so" Mark Whittard, Toshiba Australia

Beyond that we're still in the dark, but we're hoping that Toshiba keep prices down and finger-friendliness up.  When we played with the AC100 MID – which also uses Android – we found ourselves constantly reaching out to the non-touch display in the hope of tapping icons, which certainly suggests the company's custom UI has what it takes for finger input.