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Redmond concept artists outdo themselves

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More delicious rumor scraps about Microsoft's not-yet-announced Courier tablet/e-book/Girl Tech Password Journal have been leaked to the web.

The folks at Engadget unveiled some new Courier info from a "trusted" source. At the very least, Courier is shaping to be a collection of fabulous concept art.

If the actual product can do what Microsoft is (not technically) saying, then it could be an iPad killer. But as impressive as the images and accompanying video may be, we'll believe it when it's running on non-CG-rendered hardware.

(The video comes by way of Engadget. Check out more rendered images of the supposed device at the source.)

According to Engadget, the device will feature a dual 7-inch multi-touch capable screen that can operate with both finger and stylus input. The Courier will weigh a little over one pound and measure under an inch thick, and it won't be much bigger than a 5x7-inch photograph when closed, the publication claims.

Contrary to rumors that the device would run a version of Windows 7, the report said Courier runs on the same operating system as the Zune and Windows Phone 7 Series, which presumably means it's based on Windows Embedded CE 6.0. It uses an Nvidia Tegra 2 chip, the report states.

The publication pins the expected launch date some time within Q3 and Q4 of 2010.

Engadget cited the information (as well as video, and image gallery of what looks to created for a Courier publicity drive) as coming from a "trusted source".

The news arrives — we dare not say completely by coincidence — on the same day Apple announced the release date for the Wi-Fi version of the iPad. ®

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