Toshiba Not Shy to Announce JournE Tablet PC Coming in Q4

Apple may be mum about its reported plans for a tablet PC, but at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Toshiba proudly passed around its JournE Tablet, a 7-incher with an HD-ready touch-screen that's expected to arrive in the fall.

Amidst rumors of an Apple tablet PC, complete with supposed sightings and analyst remarks, the Cupertino computer maker has remained mum on the subject. Toshiba, however, has raced ahead to plant a flag in the ground, and on Sept. 3 introduced the JournE Touch, a 7-inch multimedia touch-screen tablet, or Mobile Internet Device (MID), that it will release in the fourth quarter.
Toshiba is showing off an early model of the device at IFA, a consumer electronics show taking place in Berlin, Sept. 4-9.
The JournE Touch, essentially intended as a third device for sofa surfers, features a large, crisp screen for viewing and sharing photos, watching high-definition videos and television, interacting with social networks and listening to music.
There is integrated Wi-Fi, of course, with 802.11 b/g connectivity supporting WEP, WPA and WPA2. Via an external USB dongle, the JournE Touch can also enjoy 3.5G mobile Web browsing. It's said to feature an ARM processor, though the speed is still unknown, and it reportedly weighs 14 ounces - or 0.88 pounds - and measures 0.55 inches thin.
The TFT display has a resolution of 800 by 480 pixels, and an LED backlight makes for a 16:9 light ratio and a 300:1 contrast ratio. The operating system is Windows CE 6.0 Pro, and Internet Explorer 6 is included, along with the Windows Multimedia Player 9.0 software client. There are two stereo speakers, and MP3 and MPEG 4/H.264 formats are supported.
The JournE also comes with a cradle, or docking station, which charges the device and acts as an HDMI TV out. There are USB and mini-USB ports, and a memory card slot for adding up to 32GB of additional memory to the 1GB of NAND Flash memory on board.
Putting a fine point on the tablet's intended uses, straight from the box, the JournE Touch offers one-touch access to social networking platforms including YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and the on-demand movie service Acetrax.
Toshiba has yet to confirm pricing for the device, though some Websites are reporting a price tag of 249 euros, or approximately $357, which would make the JournE Touch competitive with netbooks and priced well below the expected $500 to $700 range that analysis firm Piper Jaffray has estimated that an Apple tablet could debut at.
Gene Munster, an analyst with the firm, wrote in an Aug. 7 research note, "We estimate that Apple could sell about 2 [million] tablets in 2010, which at $600 per unit would add up to around $1.2 billion in revenue for the year."
Munster said that while tablets may appear to be a niche market, "we believe the addressable market is larger than that of the Apple TV, of which Apple sold about [1.2 million of] in its first year."
Researcher iSuppli has predicted that the MID category will grow by a factor of eight from 2007 numbers, with global shipments rising from 2007's 53.8 million units to 416 million units in 1012.