LG Electronics has gone an unusual route in making its latest tablet PC, announced in Asia today.

Like most internet appliances, the Digital iPad is designed for basic applications such as email, internet access and word processing. It also functions as a multimedia terminal, for which video and MP3 player software is installed.

But it's Linux-based, not Windows as is Sharp's machine announced yesterday. Two other things - it's based on an ARM chip, and it's got a built-in wireless LAN adapter. This could easily become a Bluetooth adapter here in Europe by its release date.

The machine is operated through a touch-panel 8.4-inch LCD (liquid crystal display), and the wireless LAN adapter provides up to 10Mbps (bits per second) at a range of up to 100 meters. Other features include CompactFlash and USB sockets.

The machine is based on an Intel StrongARM 200MHz microprocessor. LG said it plans to later adopt a new 400MHz embedded processor from Intel Corp. in the computer. Other future plans for the machine include a voice recognition and videophone function.

LG said it plans to begin selling the product both in South Korea and in international markets from late 2001. No pricing information was announced.

The announcement came a day after Sharp in Japan announced a new tablet PC based on Windows. Sharp's Copernicus (it'll be called something else in Europe) features an LCD similar in size to the iPad, and is targeted at the business and industrial sectors rather than for use around the home.