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Android slate PC after web tablet space

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Japanese gadget-heads will be able to try one of the first Android computers

While the world waits (well, it sometimes seems that way) for Apple to release its OS X-powered tablet computer, a Japanese company has beaten it to the punch with an Android device that looks every inch the winner.

Telecoms provider NTT East says its Hikari iFrame will go on sale next spring for a maximum of just ¥30,000 (£200), and possibly less, albeit only in Japan.

Broad appeal

Still, judging from the YouTube video below, the device looks a sure-fire success, with the ability to act as a web-surfing touchscreen tablet computer and a wireless photo frame ensuring it'll appeal to several different markets.

Although it's clearly aimed at the less demanding user, the iFrame is being touted as easy to set up and use thanks to a choice of widgets for functions as diverse as recipes, weather forecasts and online games.

Android is cheaper

NTT East says using the open-source Android OS meant it could develop the iFrame for up to 30 per cent less than more costly operating systems would have been.

On the hardware front, the 7-inch device has one USB port, Wi-Fi, a speaker and an SD card slot, although there's no word yet on internal storage.