Korean company debuts Linux tablet PC

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. has announced development of a Linux-based tablet PC that boasts wireless LAN connectivity.

The Digital iPad is designed for applications such as basic e-mail and Internet access and word processing, and as a multimedia terminal, for which video and MP3 player software is installed, according to a company statement. The machine is operated through a touch-panel 8.4-inch LCD (liquid crystal display), and a wireless LAN adapter provides the data connection for the device at a speed of up to 10M bps (bits per second) at a range of up to 100 meters. Other features include a Compact Flash card socket and USB interface.

The machine is based on an Intel StrongARM microprocessor running at 200MHz. LG said it plans to later adopt a new 400MHz embedded processor from Intel Corp. in the computer. Other future plans for the machine include a voice recognition and videophone function.

LG said it plans to begin selling the product both in South Korea and in international markets from late 2001. No pricing information was announced.

The announcement came a day after Japan’s Sharp Corp. announced a new tablet PC based on the Windows operating system. Sharp’s Copernicus features a similar size LCD and is targeted at the business and industrial sectors rather than for use around the home.

LG Electronics, in Seoul, can be contacted at http://www.lge.co.kr/.