We have seen an amazing slew of dirt-cheap Android-OS tablets come out this year, but the Windows tablet market has been a bit slower in hitting the mainstream. It looks like many manufacturers are banking on holiday shopping to get their products out. What we are seeing this generation of tablets is more capacitive screens, built-in accelerometers and bigger solid state drives. With AAC software programs like Simple Speech, one can create a very cool communication device on the cheap. Check out the following Windows tablet PC's that would make fantastic AAC devices.
ExoPC Slate - This Windows 7 touchscreen only device was just recently released in Canada and Portugal, and hopefully the US soon. The ExoPC has got an 11.6" capacitive screen, wifi, mic and headphone jacks, SD card slot, stereo speakers. One cool feature of this touchscreen device is that it has an accelerometer, so you can rotate the device to your heart's content. The ExoPC has a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 2GB RAM with a 32GB or 64GB solid state drive.
CTL 2goPad SL10 - This little Windows 7 tablet sports a 10" screen, a 1.66Ghz Intel Atom processor, a 250GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM, speakers, built-in mic, etc... Being that this little tablet is only a 10", we can expect a reduction in weight (weighing in around 2.5lbs). Battery life is around 5 hours, as reported by the manufacturer. Again, we have a the nice feature of having an on-board accelerometer. I like this trend.
Nav 9 - The Nav 9 is slate PC with some interesting features. With an 8.9" resistive touchscreen, this is the smallest tablet featured here. The Nav 9 features an Intel Atom 1.66Ghz processor, and a 1-2GB of RAM. The storage comes in three flavors, 16, 32, and 64GB. This tablet weighs in around 2lbs.
TegaV2 - The TegaV2 is a very interesting tablet PC that I have been anticipating for quite awhile now. This tablet has a 10" capacitive touch screen. It has recently been released for around $799, and poses itself as a direct competitor to the iPad (check out this comparison chart on the Tega website). While the Tega V2 sports pretty much the same specs as the other tablets, Tega has modified the software a bit in order to make the Windows 7 touch experience a bit more user friendly.
This is not a comprehensive list, and I expect quite a few more Windows 7 Tablet offerings in the coming months and years. One of the reasons that I like having Windows on my tablets, as opposed to a simpler OS, is that I like having the ability to use my tablet as a creative tool and not just a media consumption tool. The lack of physical keyboards may deter some users, but having a well-integrated on-screen keyboard is a huge plus. And as far as AAC goes, we have been surviving without physical keyboards for a long time, so many of use are already used to it.