back to article Chip maker to take on iPad with $99 tablet

Chip maker Marvell - the company that acquired Intel's ARM-based processor portfolio back in 2006 - is to pitch a low-cost tablet to students. Dubbed the Moby, the device will provide 1080p video playback, always-on - Wi-Fi rather than 3G - internet connectivity, gaming-capable 3D graphics, e-book reader software and support for …

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Dead Vulture

I thought...

Moby was a banned word on El Reg?

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Could be a potential

I think there is potential in this, however, the main problem with school children is that they are rather rough and messy. The tablet ought to be really tough and manage more than just knocks. Also, children love to have their jam sarnies when using electronic equipment. Or they do at schools. I sure hope they have it in the UK.

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$99. Really.

I'll believe it when I see it.

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OLPC?

It is time someone realised that The District of Columbia education system is more in need of help than those in developing countries.

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Joke

Ha-ha, almost got me

This just has to be an early April Fool's joke, although EnGadget seem to think it's genuine. 10" screen and all that spec list for US$99 definitely sounds too good to be true - I can only think that it comes with a crap screen, tiny storage, and no battery life for that price.

If they can get a reasonable device - 7hr battery life, 10" colour screen, Android 2.x and say 8GB internal memory for less than US$200, then they can definitely put me down for one (maybe even two). And I guess that a lot of folks will be interested - certainly far, far more than would sign up for the iPad (Apple fanboi's and bonus-spending-bankers apart).

Seriously, if they can do something not crappy near that price, then there's a lot of other uses than merely filling a student's backpack - O2 "Joggler" clone, be ideal for carrying around all those manuals when deep in a rack of servers, etc.

But you know it'll either be vapourware, crap, or a lot more expensive than they're claiming. :(

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Coat

Call me when there's an actual product

I'm still waiting for that Nokia phone that you could bend around your wrist and wear like a watch. Two years so far.

This sounds very nice, especially at the price. But then again, anyone can make up a spec sheet and a price point for a product that's barely past the mock-up stage.

At current screen and memory prices this is going to have very old screen technology and sod all memory at that price point - or not be anywhere near that price point. I think there's a 1 or more likely a 2 missing from the front of the number.

Still, it would be nice to be wrong.

Can you pass my coat? Mines the hand-made leather one with mink lining and solid gold buttons that retails for $20, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

sounds good

And if some bod can get Linux running on the thing even better.

No doubt they'll sell the first batch of 10,000 or so with Android for $100 each then everyone who bought one will piss and moan that it's not Windows so they'll be forced to put the price up to $300 and sell them Windows only from that point on. Then everyone will piss and moan that Windows is a dog on limited hardware and they'll put the price up to $1000, fit it with a C2D chip and make it a few extra inches bigger in every dimension until it's not even recognisable as the original product anymore.

That seems to be the trend with small form factor computers.

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Linux

I don't see Linux would be a big ask

Android is just a fork from the Linux kernel anyway, and hey both are open, so feel free to do it yourself :-)

Penguin love

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Heard all of this before

This all sounds too good to be true. I expect they will release a product, some time down the line, that is at least 4 times as expensive and lower spec than advertised.

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I'll buy that for a (hundred) dollar

Sounds great, now where is it?

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Has it got

a user replaceable battery?

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Grenade

So time to buy shares in the 'eyesight industry' ...

... seems e-ink devices are just not cool enough and everybody is going to trash their eyes even more than the usual 8 hours a day in front of the computer as they now stare even longer at light sources to consume their traditionally printed matter ...

If I suffered from eye-strain at universtiy just from ploughing through reading lists and textbooks, imagine how much worse it is going to be once this is done staring at a TFT!

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Go

title...

Now thats a 'companion computing device'!

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Boffin

untitled

I'll believe it when I see it.

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Gold badge

Give it to me - quick

I simply want a thin, A4 or letter sized tablet which is thin, uses little battery (e-Ink is OK), is WiFi capable and which is touch sensitive. And which has a decent bluetooth stack so I can add a laser keyboard or a docking kit if I need it.

The whole single-sheet-of-glass idea is good as it's easy to keep clean, and we should technically be at a level where we can make this thin. There is NO need whatsoever to make this an Apple product - if it runs Linux or Android you're in business, maybe add 3G capability.

It must be possible to do this cheaply, so this development is a good step towards this. And for $99 I'd buy several.

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Unhappy

I want one...

...this seems like something I actually want!

However

a) I'm not based in US

b) I'm not a student

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WTF?

What is it with the vaporware???

What is it with every man + their dog releasing information/press releases stating that they're gonna sell their version of the (iPad-killing) slate?? I would not mind this if the f*ckers actually gave concrete details like: when will it actually be on sale? How much will it cost? Who has actually reviewed it?

So far, many of these press releases give vague "available in later 2010"... and it seems to me like these companies are closing the barn door after the Apple horse has bolted, as by the time the competitors come out with their wares, Apple will have had some months' lead in selling their iPad... so that by the time of release, Apple has carved a sizable niche in the slate market, leaving the dregs to the 50+ Windoze/Android slates fighting over the rest of the pie...

How about some innovation *before* Apple gets its oar in? Otherwise, lots of these products are me-too-types... (But I guess part of the problem is that aside from maybe the Apple & Android folks, no one else has really invested lots of time & R&D to the OS, forcing manufacturers to cram the hippo that is Windows 7 into the small black dress that is the sexy hardware, resulting in crap like the first Zune...)

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Sold!

That device, at that price and I will buy 2 or three of them.

I think it would make an awesome carputer as well.

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Paris Hilton

Correction to my previous posting!

Correction to my own post: the first Zune is not a good example of a hippo shoved into a small black dress, a better example is any of the usual suspects that create any (non-Apple) sexy smartphone hardware, yet insist on f**ing it up by shoving in some crappy Windoze mobile version, forcing a user to use a stylus and a Windoze-type Task manager...

Zune's faults are not really the hardware and the GUI (the GUI is not innovative post-iPhone, but it is sexy); instead it's Microbarf's refusal to allow the use of anything but the Zune marketplace, and the dorky-ass language used ("Welcome to the social"?? What the f**k, did we just travel back to the 1950s??)...

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Storage

Put on a SD card slot or equivalent and I'm sold. Even a battery life of 2 hours would be worth it.

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FM radio?

That'd better be DAB by the time it makes it to market in the UK.

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vapor

Why are you publishing vaporware stories? Just more anti-Apple FUD?

Let us know when they have a product that's been designed and released to manufacturing. Anyone want to bet that they never hit the targeted price or, if they do, it's severely crippled with a 2" b/w screen or something?

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Crap... Again...

After that similarly-priced mobile Vi device, now I'm going to need to get one of these as well.

Looks like I'll need a bigger briefcase... Technically I could just leave the towel at home, but then were would I be?

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FAIL

$99?

For only $99? Then it has to be a plastic piece of crap, then.

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$99 Tablet

When this vaporware actually becomes a product, call me. Until then the iPad hits retail stores on April 3.

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Troll

Got to love that smell!

I love the smell of Vaporware in the morning!

And of course, when it comes out it has Duke Nukem Forever on every one too!

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WTF?

Quality Stinks?

If this is $99, what does it do for their Plug Computing offerings which are also $99 (and now $129 and higher with newer models).

These are devices with no monitor, screen, keyboard, or input, just a simple CPU in a wall plug.

If you visit the plug computer forums you can read all the lovely issues with quality, supply and all sorts with this latest toy of theirs.

I would hate to see what quality comes out of something from them with all these other chips and hardware features slapped on.

:-/

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Silver badge

If it's real, I'll be in the queue

Frankly a netbook flattened out to a basic tablet, yeah why not? Losing the keyb and hinges will reduce cost, touchscreen will increase it, etc - there'll be a sweet-spot. I doubt it's at $99, unless that's factoring in a subsidy for educational use, but I could see a simple mono touch-sensitive slate being pretty cheap to make in any kind of volume. You could certainly make them for $99 and have money over for shipping, a mars bar, and a cup of tea.

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Linux

$99

I'm guessing this price is subsidized by the wireless companies? 'Cause if this price is JUST the device I can't fathom how one could produce anything that size that isn't held together with twine and rubber bands.

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Jobs Horns

$99?

It sounds way too good to be true. Even if there is a real device coming, that's just too cheap.

There are just some things worth spending extra money on. I'd rather spend $200 on it and get a much better product; it would still kill the iPad for value.

Cheap crap is still crap.

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Pro: Resolution :) Con: Flash :(

I really like the sound of a Full HD (1920x1080) tablet. The iPad just doesn't have enough resolution. (However, I suspect that the Full HD comments in their release are just buzz-words and nothing to do with the tablet)

As for Flash, god knows what the Marvel processor can do, but IE froze for 20 seconds to render the Flash content on the Marvel front page, and this is on a year-old dual-core desktop!

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