If the rumors are to be believed -- and let's face it, when DigiTimes is involved, as it is here, they frequently shouldn't be -- Google
Fools might remember ASUS for an ambitious Frankentech project called the PadFone. The device that's a phone and a tablet that becomes a notebook PC uses the Ice Cream Sandwich edition of Google's Android operating system, among other advanced features.
More importantly, the tablet that doubles as a notebook screen is 10.1 inches -- or roughly the size of the screen that made the iPad attractive. By contrast, DigiTimes reports that an in-development cheapskate tab would include just 7 inches of screen space. From the article:
Google, in order to compete with Amazon, will cooperate with Asustek Computer to launch a 7-inch inexpensive tablet PC in May-June 2012 and this is expected to bring pressure of price cuts upon other vendors, including Acer, Lenovo, and Samsung Electronics, and in turn diminish gross margins for Taiwan-based supply chain makers, according to industry sources.
Please say it isn't so, Google. Consumers haven't taken to 7-inch tablets in the same way as larger alternatives. Don't take my word for it. Ask Dell
By contrast, Apple
You're better than this, Google. If you really want a seat at the tab table, work with your new hardware team to create a 10-inch tablet that embeds the new "Play" digital store in a friendly and intuitive way. Anything less would make for wasted capital.
Think I'm wrong? Go ahead and tell me so using the comments box underneath. Or if you'd rather spend more time investigating the rise of mobile computing, download this new Motley Fool special report: "The Next Trillion Dollar Revolution." The research is free, but only for a limited time. Get your copy now.