Wireless Web Tablets Due This Year

The WebPad design model is based on a version of Cyrix's integrated MediaGX processor and has a 10.4-inch LCD touch screen. The prototype has 16MB of RAM, 8MB of ROM, built-in speakers and microphone, and dual Universal Serial Bus ports to connect a keyboard or mouse.

The design supports multiple operating systems, connection formats, and browsers, giving manufacturers plenty of room to customize their models, Norrod says.

For example, the base unit can be built to support a dial-up connection, a cable modem, or both. The design accommodates several operating systems, including Windows CE, an embedded version of Windows NT, and the low-memory QNX.

As for pricing, Norrod expects to see initial models sell in the $400-to-$500 range. Some companies may subsidize the cost by selling packaged ISP deals, just as wireless phone services offer cheap cell phones."I would expect to see sub-$400 models by the end of the year," Norrod adds.


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