After suffering a number of delays, the firm behind the Wikipad gaming tablet has announced it is set to launch the device later this spring.
Originally launched at CES in 2010, a number of delays pushed its release date back into the following year. Then scheduled to launch last October, the Wikipad suffered a further setback after the company stated it required “minor refinement”.
Initially a ten-inch tablet device, the Wikipad has undergone a number of changes since its postponed release. Most notably, the new device now packs a smaller seven-inch screen and is to be available for $249 – seeing its original price tag of $500 halved.
Discussing the decision to scale down the device, the firm’s president of sales, Fraser Townley emphasised the desire to maintain a competitive price point.
“We wanted to get Wikipad into our community’s hands and what we found was that the smaller seven-inch form factor just seemed right,” said Townley. “The smaller frame delivers an aggressive price while keeping the same specs.” On the inside the Wikipad remains entirely unchanged. The device is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and runs on Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, whilst offering 1GB of RAM, up to 32GB of on-board storage and a battery life of roughly eight hours.
The Wikipad is designed as a cloud gaming device and is compatible with services such as OnLive, PlayStation Mobile and Google Play.
What makes the device different from rival seven-inch tablets is its inclusion of a detachable gaming controller capable of housing the device, one that closely resembles the controller offered by rival Razer’s gaming tablet, the Edge.
The Wikipad lacks the specs of rival gaming devices such as the Edge or perhaps even Windows’ Surface Pro device – but also lacks the high price tag, costing half of both rival devices.
Scheduled for a spring US launch, Townley assured European consumers the device’s launch won’t be far off: “We’ve had great feedback on the seven-inch version and everyone who’s been hands-on with it can’t wait. As soon as we have street dates and prices we’ll be the first to let everyone know.”