The history of Windows 7 tablets has been spotty at best. Perhaps that’s because tablets like the Archos 9 and even thinner netvertibles like the Viliv S10 Blade and ASUS Eee PC T91 used slow-moving Atom Z5xx series CPUs. Though Intel just announced a new tablet chip named Oak Trail that will provide performance improvements and low power for tablets, that solution is month’s away. Meanwhile the current generation of Atom Z5xx series CPUs saddle every system we’ve seen with sub-par performance.
So what’s a vendor who wants to build a good Windows 7 tablet to do these days? How about using the much more powerful Atom N450 or N470 CPUs? Up until now, we hadn’t seen anyone try it. But today at Computex 2010, we stumbled upon a pair of new tablets running on Atom N series CPUs from Chinese original design manufacturer Malata.
Dubbed the PC-A1001 and PC-A1001H, this pair of enticing Windows 7 slates offers 10-inch, 1024 x 600 resolution displays, hard drives up to 500GB, USB, Ethernet, VGA-out (through a mini VGA port), an SD card reader, audio jacks, and front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcams. The only difference between the two is that the PC-A1001 uses a resistive touch screen and the PC-A1001H uses capacitive touch for a more responsive experience.
Because the Malata PC-A1001 and PC-A1001H use Atom N series processors and hard drives instead of the slow PATA SSDs found in Atom Z5xx systems, they may use more power and be just a little bulkier. A Malata rep told us to expect 5 hours of battery life and the stated weight is 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds. We were not able to lift up either of the Malata tablets, but 2.2 pounds is lighter than just about any notebook or netbook (the uber-expensive Sony VAIO P weighs just 1.4 pounds). If a little more heft and a little less endurance are the price for really strong performance on a Windows 7 tablet, we’ll take it.
There’s no word on pricing or availability of the Malata tablets, but it’s important to note that they won’t be sold under the Malata brand name. Because Malata is an ODM, it will sell its products to different vendors in different countries and those products will carry the brand name of the vendor. The specs could even change to accommodate a vendor’s specific needs so who knows, you might be using a Malata tablet in a few months and not even know it.
For now, check out our hands-on video with the Malata PC-A1001 and PC-A1001H tablets below.