T-Mobile has given us a sneaky peek at a 15-inch touchscreen family tablet running Android OS, which will be launching later this year. It’s done its research by talking to over 1,000 families around the UK to find out what they need from a home hub and hopes to deliver this in one sleek, easy to use and rather nice looking package.
The tablet is basically pitched as a family organiser, which aims to do away with scrappy wall calendars and scribbled notes. You’ll be able to create a Google-calendar-style family calendar which each member can access either from the slate itself, their mobile phones or a computer no matter where they are. It’ll also send text reminders so you’ve no excuse for missing that dentist appointment ever again.
We had a play with a prototype model running Android but, like the hardware, the software was definitely not as slick looking as we imagine the final product will be. It had the multiple home screens we’re accustomed to and media player, web browser, messaging and contacts all present and correct.
Coming with a T-Mobile SIM (probably complete with special tariffs), the tablet can also be used to make calls and a built-in webcam will allow family video conference calls around the dining room table, probably via Skype. Now there’s something to look forward to.
With a rather swish magnetic charging stand, the yet-to-be-named tablet is intended for the kitchen; whilst no details are available yet on cleanability or smudge-proofing of the touchscreen, we imagine this is something that T-Mobile and its manufacturering partner Innovative Converged Devices (ICD) will address in the final version. The full internet browser means you’ll also be able to access catch-up TV services like BBC iPlayer for while you’re chopping the veg or washing up.
Pricing has not been finalised either but T-Mobile is keen to stress that this is a mass-market product, so we’ll be anticipating a mass-market price tag. Available in black (unlike the prototype we’ve pictured), the tablet will be released later this year when we’ll also be able to bring you full specs. Until then, take a gander at the pics in the gallery.
The tablet itself is thin but feels pretty sturdy. It’ll have USB and Bluetooth connections.
A fully charged tablet can be used for up to four hours. The metallic stand can be mounted, while the charger wire can be plugged straight into the tablet so you can take it round the house with you if you run low on juice.
The prototype model screen was quite dark, but the brightness will be higher on the final product.
Here’s T-Mobile’s mock up of what the final product may look like.