NEC's LifeTouch has the Right Idea
Whoever designed NEC's new dual-screen tablet is way too in love with their Nintendo DS. This new slate, which will debut at CES 2011 bares a striking resemblance to the gaming handset. The displays are much larger (7") but the basic form-factor will be familiar to, well, everyone reading this article.
NEC's new tablet is the latest model in their LifeTouch line. It will have WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G networking. Their goal is to launch this new device bundled up with a carrier service agreement. They might want to try marketing it as a dual-screen netbook. The Iconia made big waves with its dual 14" displays, but the LifeTouch looks like it weighs a hell of a lot less.
When you think about it, 5-7" displays really make the most sense for dual-screen notebooks and tablets right now. The original Entourage Edge was gargantuan and unwieldy, but the 7" Pocket Edge is actually portable enough to be worth lugging from class to class.
Acer still thinks large screens can work when marketed as a full-on laptop. As cool as the Iconia is, it will also be enormous and a legendary battery hog. Two touchscreen displays are going to suck down juice like it's going out of style.
Don't expect the Iconia to be cheap either. This is a premium device, which is good, because it will only be practical for flashy rich folks.
MSI has been spotted tooling around with 7" and 10" dual-screen tablets. We'll see their offerings- and pretty much every other dual-screen slate, at CES 2011. Whether or not one will be able to rise above the crowd of tablets and make a solid case for its existence remains to be seen.