Newsmy Newpad NP711 Android tablet packs QWERTY keyboard into an e-reader-esque design

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Coming under the category of interesting and unconventional designs out of China is the latest MID from Beijing-based Newsmy, the Newpad NP711. The tablet instantly stands out with its full QWERTY keyboard located under its 7-inch resistive touch screen, making it look like an Amazon Kindle e-reader. This impression is further reinforced by the simple, attractive white design and the screen's 4:3 aspect ratio and SVGA (800×600) resolution. Under the hood things are admittedly slightly less interesting but fairly respectable nonetheless with the NP711 running Android 2.1 powered by Rockchip's increasingly popular 1GHz RK2818 platform. Other specifications include WiFi and 3G connectivity, 720p HD video playback, very comprehensive video/audio codec support, storage via microSD cards up to 32GB, the standard USB 2.0 connectivity, accelerometer, and a 1600mAh li-on battery good for 6 hours of battery life while using WiFi.

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The device is set to be launched in China in the near future, with pricing yet to be revealed. The NP711 is unlikely to see an official release in markets outside China, although it may be available from specialist online retailers like some other Chinese MIDs.

With most tablets relying solely on touch screen based soft keyboards and the NP711 being a rare exception, what are your thoughts on the addition of a full QWERTY keyboard on Newsmy's latest product? Would you like to see more manufactures include hardware keyboards on future tablet designs? Or are soft keyboards good enough on the larger tablets?

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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.