I know, its not fair to knock down gadgets that you've never tried before. But when I heard that German company neofonie is developing the WePad, I had to smirk.
Without an actual demonstration, its unclear as to whether this new gadget will run comparably to the iPad, so I cannot be pessimistic yet. But WePad advertises using Android technology. Having first hand experience with Android on the G1 phone, I absolutely hate it. Its slow, not always responsive to your touch and not fluid at all. It freezes all the time. Having experienced such frustration with Android technology before makes me a little skeptical about it being used on other gadgets. But because the WePad is competiting with Apple's iPad, I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the two systems running on the WePad, (Android and Linux), will improve on past issues and be used in a smart way. After all, its not entirely fair to compare the Android's poor performance on a cell phone to a tablet.
At first glance, it seems like Neofonie isn't being very original with the WePad. It looks like they took the basic design of the iPad and put their version of the iPhone OS on it. It's like what Burger King did with McDonald's sausage egg McMuffin sandwich,"it's not that original, but it's only a buck."But the guys at WePad obviously didn't watch that commercial since the price of their base WePad, the 16GB, is 449 Euro, which is about $609 which makes it significantly more expensive than the $499 16 GB iPad.
So what are the differences?
First of all, WePad says they want you to enjoy the internet your way and says it won't tell you what you can buy and do because that, to WePad, is not freedom. They say using the Android software will give developers the freedom to create any app they dream of and any app that already exists for Android will also run on the WePad.
Physically, the first thing that will jump out at you is the size. The iPad has a 9.7-inch glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display. The WePad does the same thing at 11.6 inches. Here are some more comparisons from the WePad website.
So preordering starts in Germany on April 27, with mass ordering by August 2010. But who cares about that. If the WePad is limited to Germany, what is the point?