Hands On: The Wikipad Tablet Does 3D, Runs Ice Cream Sandwich
Aimed at gamers, the Wikipad is an Android tablet that is capable of glasses-free 3D. The Wikipad has an 8-inch 1280-by-720 resolution parallax autostereoscopic display, and it'll ship running Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
The parallax display allows you to switch between a 2D and 3D at will, though I noticed that the screen wasn't as sharp with 3D enabled. If you don't have any 3D content, the Wikipad will automatically convert your 2D movies, apps, and pictures when you enable 3D. The 3D version of Angry Birds that I saw didn't seem to add much to the game, but I imagine it would work better with material that is meant to be viewed in 3D.
The tablet's outer shell is composed largely of plastic, save for the rubberized grips on the rear of the device. The Wikipad is aimed at gamers, so the grips are there to help maintain a good hold on the tablet while you swipe, slide and tap. It's about as thick as the original iPad, and it felt as heavy as the Toshiba Thrive. The rubber grips may help you hold the tablet, but they add a considerable amount of weight as well.
The maker of the Wikipad, aptly named Wikipad Inc., told me that it plans to ship the tablet with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. According to NVIDIA, the Tegra 3 is currently the only mobile processor that's capable of converting 2D content into 3D on the fly. The Wikipad has 8GB of internal storage, as well as a microSD card slot that can be used to add an additional 32GB of space. The tablet also has two 2-megapixel cameras, though I wasn't able to test them out in my time with the Wikipad.
The Wikipad will retail for $200, but for an additional $50 you also get a controller dock. The controller connects to the Wikipad via mini USB and will work with games that support joystick input. The cradle has a standard four button D-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, and dual-analog sticks. The controller cradle didn't add much weight to the already heavy tablet, but the buttons felt stiff and build quality left something to be desired.
Wikipad Inc. hopes to get the tablet to market in May, and we'll be sure to keep you posted as we learn more.
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