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Just days after learning
that Microsoft is working on a tablet PC to counter the much-rumoured Apple tablet, Gizmodo has got the first few images of a prototype (see image gallery below) as well as a video explaining how it works. And going by the reaction of sites across the Web, there’s no one who hasn’t been left impressed.
The dual-screen tablet looks a bit like the Asus EEE e-reader that was reported a while back. But Courier – Microsoft’s secret project, being headed by Chief Experience Officer J Allerd – has a lot more in store.
For starters, the ‘booklet’ has dual 7-inch multi-touch screens designed for flicking, writing and drawing with a stylus, as well as supporting finger-based input. The hinge at the middle holds an iPhone-like home button that allows you to set the homepage, perform various tasks, etc.
The concept video shows a woman using Courier as her journal. She first has to go to a meeting with X, so simply drags X’s contact entry from her address book (left pane) to the map (right pane) to zoom in on his location.
Next, she scribbles notes and saves them, creates a new project dashboard and shares it with X, and shows how she can cut-copy-paste any part of a page by circling that part and dragging it across.
A cool feature was how the ‘spine’ of the tablet acts as a clipboard, where copied items can be temporarily stored till you drag them across to their desired destination.
Gizmodo reports that on the back, the Courier sports a camera. One of the photos shows a 3-megapixel camera with VGA video recording, 4x optical zoom and flash. What the camera would be used for is something that completely evades us.
All in all, it’s a cool concept and looks quite nice. But in the end, it seems almost as pointless as the Apple Tablet itself. Really, what are we going to use these (obviously expensive) devices for? Anyway, here's the video: