Tablet envy

In case you missed it, there's a whole lot going on with tablet development these days - and it's not in the Mac camp.

umpc.jpg
In case you missed it, there's a whole lot going on with tablet development these days - and it's not in the Mac camp.

The Wintel community is abuzz about Intel's Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) platform and a new product from Microsoft called Origami due to launch on March 9. The very stealthy Origami Project Web site only gives clues about what's to come but the conventional wisdom is that it's a miniature tablet PC that will play music and have full Media Center functionality, including playback of full motion videos.

Origami will most likely feature WiFi, Bluetooth and don't be surprised if it also contains high-speed EVDO or HSDPA connectivity. Sitting down? Origami is also rumored to have a GPS receiver and be powerful enough to play full screen 3D games. TG Daily reported that Samsung, Asus and Founder will deliver the first Intel's Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) with high-speed wireless and up to one week of standby time.

CNet's Ina Fried got a preview of several of Intel's Ultra Mobile PCs, including an example of the kind of hardware that will ship in the next few weeks as part of the Microsoft effort.

So where does this leave the Mac faithful? The Mac community (myself included) have been hoping for a "MacTablet" for quite a while now and the closest that we've come is Mac OS X for Intel running on Tablet PC and an iBook converted into a iTablet.

Is Apple just teasing us with all these "touch sensitive" patent filings of late? Are they doing Microsoft and Intel's R&D for them again? Maybe they're just reserving all the cool stuff for the iPod from now on.

What's stopping Apple from getting OS X to run on the UMPC platform? This could be a cheap way for Apple to get into the fray. Do you care if Apple ever releases a Tablet Mac? Would you buy one? I would...

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