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.

[

via

NetbookNews.de]