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Smaller, faster, lighter Linux webpad ships shortly

Aug 31, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

Hanbit Electronics and Pepper Computer will ship a third generation Linux-powered webpad “on or before September 30th,” Pepper confirmed Aug. 31. Compared to its predecessors, the Pepper Pad 3 boasts speedier web browsing, faster and more comprehensive multimedia support, smaller size, reduced weight, and numerous hardware… enhancements, according to the company.

(Click here for a larger photo of the Pepper Pad 3)

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In addition to moving to an x86-compatible AMD Geode processor, the Pepper Pad 3 has a smaller display (while retaining the same 800 x 480 WVGA resolution), “improved” (ACPI v3) power management, faster WiFi (802.11b/g), a pair of USB 2.0 ports (vs. one USB 1.1), among other hardware tweaks. In addition to these changes, it adds a built-in CMOS VGA-resolution camera, but drops the SD/MMC card slot of the prior model.

For a comprehensive description of the new Linux tablet, be sure to read our previously published Pepper Pad 3 device profile.

Comparing webpads

Nokia 770
(Click to enlarge)

Samsung Q1
(Click to enlarge)

We wondered how the Pepper Pad 3 would compare to the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet on the one hand, and to a typical ultra mobile PC (UMPC) like the Samsung Q1, on the other. Although the Q1 is a Windows XP Tablet Edition device, Linux could likely be ported to any PC-compatible UMPC due to the general level of PC compatibility that UMPCs offer, so they begged to be included in our comparison matrix.

To put these three webpads in perspective, we constructed the following table (with a bit of assistance from Pepper). It shows that each clearly occupies a unique niche within the overall compact web-tablet spectrum.

Comparison of compact Internet-enabled tablets

Nokia 770 Pepper Pad 3 Samsung Q1
Standard OS Linux Linux Windows XP Tablet Edition
Processor 220MHz dual-core TI OMAP1710 500MHz Geode [email protected] 900MHz Celeron M ULV
DRAM memory 64MB, with paging to Flash 256MB 512MB, upgradeable to 1MB
Storage 128MB internal Flash, expandable via RS-MMC 20GB HDD 40GB or 60GB HDD
Built-in applications Web, IM, email, Internet radio, world clock, notes, sketch, games, user-downloaded applications Web, IM, email, IR remote control, games, journal; digital libraries (music, videos, photos, eBooks) Web, email, music, videos, photos, notepad, games, numerous Windows XP applications
Video Out No Composite TV video CRT VGA
Navigation method Directional pad, touchscreen Scroll wheel, directional pad, touchscreen Joystick, touchscreen
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth (1.2), 1 x USB 2.0 WiFi, Bluetooth (2.0+EDR), UPnP, 2 x USB 2.0, Ethernet via USB (option), 2 x IR out, IR in WiFi, Bluetooth (2.0+EDR), UPnP, 2 x USB 2.0, Ethernet jack, CF slot
Text entry Onscreen keyboard Full QWERTY keypads Onscreen keyboard
Speakers 1 2 stereo speakers 2 stereo speakers
Camera No VGA camera No
Screen size 4-inch WVGA (800×480) 7-inch WVGA 7-inch WVGA
Dimensions 5.5 x 3.1 x 0.7 11.4 x 5.9 x 0.9 in. 9.0 x 5.5 x 1.0 in.
Weight 0.5 lbs 2.2 lbs 1.7 lbs
Approx. price $360 $700 $1100


The Pepper Pad 3 will be priced at around $700 retail, Pepper says. Additionally, existing Pepper Pad owners are currently being offered special pricing and the opportunity to pre-order the new Pepper Pad 3 for $500, according to the company.

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