While everyone seems to be talking about the iPad and the new Android-powered models, few know that there are also 'pads' or 'tablets' that actually run Microsoft's Windows operating systems. Featuring a 10.1-inch multi-touch display, the MSI WindPad brings the touch-enabled Windows 7 platform to a tablet form factor.
Despite its Pad-like looks, the WindPad is built like a typical netbook, with an Intel Atom Z530 chip running at 1.6GHz, and 2GB of DDR RAM with 32GB of storage from a separate SSD drive.
This means the WindPad will work much more like a PC than a tablet - so it will take longer to boot up or launch applications. Yet being more like a PC does have its benefits, such as full multi-tasking and multi-window support - most tablets will let you open only a single window at a time. It also gives you a much better filing system instead of having files tied only to each application.
However, in positioning the WindPad against other 'pads', MSI forgot to put in the option for 3G connectivity, so it is Wi-Fi only. But it makes up for it by including a SD Card reader and a USB slot for outputting and transferring files, as well as a mini HDMI port for connecting to an external monitor.
If you have caught the 'Pad' bug, but still want all the comforts of a PC, the WindPad might be the perfect answer. The MSI WindPad is expected to sell for around US$500.
Pros: full PC functionality in a tablet form
Cons: no 3G, no Ethernet port for plugging in a broadband connection