Although it looked like vaporware back at the CES in January, when it was unveiled for the first time, it seems like the WikiPad Android gaming tablet, is in fact, as real as they come and is gearing up for an imminent release.
However, the 8-incher from back then has undergone a bunch of serious changes, both cosmetic and technical, some of them making it far more intriguing.
First off, the Wikipad tablet/gaming console is an 8-incher no more and will come with a more generous 10.1-inch IPS display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and 1280 x 800 pixels resolution. Even though we welcome the bump in the screen’s diagonal size, the new panel is set to come with a far less impressive resolution than the 8-incher from back January (announced as having an out of this world 1920 x 1080 pix res).
The manufacturers have also put the 3D capabilities of the tablet’s panel on hold for the time being, but it’s very likely that future Wikipad tablets (if there’ll be any) will in fact be 3D-enabled.
In terms of pure speed, the Wikipad won’t break any barriers, but it should do a decent enough job even for a hardcore gamer. The 10-incher will therefore be powered by a 1.4 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30 processor, a 520 MHz GPU, and 1 GB of DDR2 RAM. Sure, we would have preferred to see 2 gigs of RAM under this gadget’s hood (or at least 1 gig of DDR3), but hopefully the manufacturers made this compromise to keep the tablet’s price down.
A welcomed change made to Wikipad’s spec sheet from that announced in January is surely the on-board storage space bump. The tablet was initially planned to come with only 8 GB of internal memory, but now is set to have “at least” 16 GB. There’s a strong possibility for the 10-incher to even come with 32 GB of storage space, according to official statements.
The rest of the Wikipad’s specs and features are more than decent too, and include dual 8 MP/2 MP cameras, and a 23.46 Wh battery supposedly capable of running for six hours of continuous gaming. The tablet won’t disappoint in terms of software either, as it should ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on board.
In terms of design, things have slightly changed from what we saw six months ago, but the general idea is the same. The 10-incher weighs only 560 grams (by itself), measures a mere 8.6 mm in thickness, and will come with an included controller add-on. This connects to the actual slate with a proprietary connector, and looks pretty similar to the Xbox 360 controller. It features two triggers and analog sticks, four face buttons, two bumpers, a couple of start/select buttons, as well as a directional pad. These all seem pretty sleek, well placed and spaced, but, of course, there’s no way to tell how they’ll behave in reality.
Unfortunately, Wikipad (the company) hasn’t revealed anything about their product’s exact release or pricing details just yet. However, we do know that the 10-incher is coming before the end of 2012, which means it will probably undercut the launch of one of its most important future competitors, the Ouya Android-based console. Now if only the Wikipad were to be decently priced…