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The iPad’s Linux Competition

I get all the excitement about Apple’s iPad. Even if it is just an iPad Touch writ large, that would be enough to make me want one as well. But, the $499 price-tag give me pause, and I’m not crazy about Apple’s locked-door policy towards developers and their iPad applications. That’s why I’ve been looking forward to the other cheaper, more open, and Linux-based tablets.

Now that the iPad is being shipped, it’s becoming clearer who’s going to be shipping Linux-powered iPad competitors first. You can expect to see a flood of Google Android devices coming to the world from many of the Taiwanese computer vendors. These will include tablets from Acer, Asustek, BenQ, and MSI.

Yes, I know that earlier this year Acer said that they weren’t going to compete with the iPad. They fibbed. You can expect Acer, and many other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), to be showing off their Android Linux-powered tablets at the Computex show in Taipei Taiwan in early June. You’ll see these Linux iPad clones in stores by the 3rd quarter of 2010. You can expect these to be available in the $299 to $399 price-range.

Before those arrive you may see Marvell Technology’s iWonder available in online stores. Despite the embarrassment of having the first pre-production models show up displaying upside-down Android logos. With an expected price of about $100 though this Android-based tablet with its 10.1-inch screen and USB ports may well overcome its early stumble.

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