Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/08/regpad/

Vulture Central unleashes RegPad™

Redefining the web-surf Linux tablet paradigm

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 8th July 2009 14:58 GMT

We at Vulture Central were a mite surprised to learn recently of the TechCrunch "CrunchPad", which has got the technosphere into a bit of a tizz with its promise of couch computing delivered via an 18mm aluminium chassis, Linux and "Webkit based browser".

Actually, surprised isn't the half of it, because Vulture Central's Taiwanese labs have been working on something uncannily similar for the last year - a tablet designed specifically for Reg readers. Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you the RegPad™...

The RegPad

What we have here is a 12mm NASA-grade titanium shell packing an octocore Vulturium™ processor, Shark-o-raptorific V graphics card, 7.2W sealed cold fusion power supply, interplanetary internet node module with wireless connection rates of up to 8 petabytes per millisecond, headphone socket and slimline biscuit dispenser.

The RegPad™ runs custom Umbongo Linux "Vituperous Vulture" which boots straight into a stripped-down Firestorm browser. Regular readers will note from the pic that the screen resolution allows you to retain the inexplicable vertical grey bars at the sides of El Reg which provoke a nagging feeling of slight unease after a few hours.

Of course, what you really want to know is what exactly are those sexy touch-sensitive controls running down the side of the screen. Well, after subjecting one million reader comments to an adaptive learning algorithm designed to identify your key survival requirements, we were able to pinpoint the following essentials, listed as seen from top to bottom:

And if all that isn't enough to satisfy even the most demanding surfer, we can also offer the RegPad™ in a wafer-thin carbon nanotube casing, allowing the RegPad Flex™ to be rolled up like a newspaper or used on uneven surfaces such as corrugated iron roofs:

The RegPad Flex

(Please note that the RegPad Flex™ is not supplied with a biscuit-dispenser, for obvious technical reasons.)

Finally, let's have a look at some possible paradigm-busting practical applications of the RegPad™:

Our montage of possible RegPad applications

First up (top left) we see RegPad™ as the the ultimate solution to the corporate power brunch brainstorm coffee catastrophe scenario. Mercifully, at the touch of a button, a quick-thinking adsales girl has commanded the RegPad™ to requisition caffeine, and plenty of it.

On the International Space Station, meanwhile, the RegPad's Delay Tolerant Networking capability allows bored astronauts to acquire quality smut vids from a bittorrent server hidden on Martian moon Phobos. Whereas a lo-res jpeg of a Natalie Portman nipslip previously required around a week of downloading, space surfers can now enjoy HD-quality grumble flicks streamed in pretty well real time.

At bottom left, we see the advantages of the virtually-indestructible RegPad Flex™ during recent field testing by Phillipe of Vulture Central's Strategy Boutique in our local boozer.

The Flex proved immune to beer and vigorous waving in the air, as demonstrated here. Its scratch-resistant screen also provided a handy surface for the preparation of Bolivian marching powder, which eager volunteers hoovered up their nostrils while being served pop-up ads for related online pharmaceutical offers, courtesy of The Register's behavioural-tracking software, acquired from Phorm.

And finally, the RegPad Flex™ looks set to become the weapon of choice for battling supermodels, the better to beat their terrified lackeys without the kind of fear of terminal damage which always makes BlackBerry-based assault a less fulfilling experience.

The RegPad™ and RegPad Flex™ are set for launch later this year, prices TBC. Biscuits are not included. Using a RegPad™ to thrash your personal assistant may void the warranty. If in doubt, consult your legal advisor. ®