Five or six years ago when the web started to become popular, hardware manufacturers promised lightweight slates for browsing the web far more cheaply than laptops.

In those days 'far more cheaply' meant £6-700, lightweight meant chunky and browsing the web wasn't that exciting.

Now the web is indispensible - and a lot more powerful; cheap means netbook or smartphone prices and hardware is more powerful and much smaller. The 7-inch JournE Tablet is thin and light, it costs €249 (£220) – but is it more than a web pad?

Although Toshiba believes it will appeal to a very different market from the abortive Crunchpad (and the Joo Joo replacement), the interest in the Crunchpad and the endless speculation about an Apple tablet is a mixed blessing for the JournE.

toshiba journe

The Crunchpad was supposed to be a cheap and simple web tablet, but many users want iPhone-style apps on a larger screen as well as web browsing. Slim down the OS and lose the keyboard and you get a smaller, lighter machine like this – but will it do enough for you to want it?

We take a look at the first version – on sale any day now.