Serious-looking eReneBen T2 tablet means business

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Since the tablet revolution kicked into high gear, virtually all of the devices we have seen have been clearly targeted at the main consumer market with the emphasis on entertainment, media integration, and flexibility. Very few devices have been aimed at more specific markets such as business users. The most notable recent tablet with business aspirations is probably the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, and now there's the eReneBen T2 Android tablet.

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On the outside, the T2 features a very serious, sober, professional design in a matte black finish slightly reminiscent of Thinkpad notebook computers. Some other external elements, such as the fingerprint reader, also exhibit its business credentials.

But perhaps the most significant and interesting feature of the T2 is its 7-inch WVGA screen (non-reflective matte finish). The inclusion of a pen peripheral will probably lead you to think that the tablet simply uses a resistive touch screen, but it actually doesn't feature a traditional touch screen at all, instead using a electromagnetic panel that interacts with the magnetic pen. This is the same technology used in many graphic design tablets such as those from Wacom, allowing very accurate and precise inputs, handwriting, and drawing. On the other hand, the downside is that not being a traditional capacitive/resistive touch panel means it won't respond to finger input, requiring the pen at all times.

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Moving onto the internal hardware, the eReneBen T2 doesn't disappoint starting with an 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 Freescale MX51 processor running Android 2.1, 256MB RAM, 2GB internal storage expandable via microSD, WiFi and (optional) 3G connectivity, and the standard array of USB 2.0 and 3.5mm headphone ports. The device also includes an optional business card scanner and a unique leather folio case for the tablet and pen. It measures a very svelte 0.43-inches thick, weighs 15.52 ounces, and has a battery life of around 10 hours with 30 days of standby. Some early benchmarks show the device possessing impressive performance, in the company of some of the top Android smartphones.

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Although the lack of a conventional touch screen may be a deal breaker for some, I think the choice of the electromagnetic panel does have some major advantages for those who don't mind using and relying on the pen. With its excellent handwriting and drawing input, the T2 is aimed at business/professional users who would prefer or require those specialist features. This combined with its very good general hardware specs forms a very unique entry in the business tablet market.

No word on exact details regarding availability, but one report says the T2 is set to be priced around US$577 when it launches in China. What are your opinions of the eReneBen T2? Would you be interested in such a device or does the lack of a conventional touch screen make it unsuitable for you?

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[Engadget China via Chinitech]
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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.

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