Previously coming to the forefront with its minimalist N6 7-inch Android tablet, new Chinese-based manufacturer Window is back with a slightly improved product to add to its burgeoning MID line-up. Called the N9 but sporting the same 7-inch WVGA screen size and basic dimensions of the N6, the new device also has identical technical specifications with the same Rockchip RK2818 processor + DSP clocked at 600MHz, Android 2.1 OS with a planned upgrade to 2.2, 256MB RAM, and WiFi and 3G connectivity.
Where the N9 differs from the N6 is the new premium design and the implementation of a capacitive touch screen supporting 5-point multi-touch input to replace the N6's resistive touch display. While I previously applauded and am still a fan of the N6's very simple minimalist design, the N9's glossier styling is perhaps more aligned with the current tablet trends. Using premium materials such as glass and magnesium alloy, the N9 is also positioned as a more upmarket proposition to the N6.
One of the main reasons for the persistent use of resistive touch screens in Chinese tablets is the requirement from Chinese consumers of handwriting recognition using a stylus. Both the N6 and N9 implement a newly developed handwriting recognition software called "SMART Hardwriting" that is said to be equally effective for both screen technologies and input methods.
Both the N6 and N9 are set to launch into the Chinese market very soon. They are temptingly priced at 799 and 1299 Yuan, respectively, which works out to around US$120.30 and US$195.60.iMP3]