The Pepper Pad 2 is the first commercial release of Pepper Computer's simplified wireless computer. The company says the Pepper Pad is the first product to provide, in a single, portable package, all the essentials of the digital home: e-mail, IM, and Web browsing; collecting, organizing and sharing photos, videos, and music; writing and editing; and games.
The Pepper Pad is a lightweight, Wi-Fi-enabled device, with a large, high-resolution screen, hard disk, and built-in QWERTY keypad, providing a powerful platform for a much wider range of online and off-line activities than other portable devices. It can store hours of music and videos, plus thousands of photos, and it also offers fully functional e-mail and IM and its 8.4-inch touchscreen can display a true Web page or movie.
The Pepper Keeper supports plug-in collaborative applications called "Pepper Packages," which enable self-organizing collections for digital photos, music, videos, e-mail, Web clippings and addresses. Other Packages are for more creative and collaborative collections such as photo albums, scrapbooks, MP3 mixtapes, journals, notebooks and greeting cards. Written in Java, the Pepper Keeper runs on the Pad's Linux operating system, but it is also available in versions for Windows and Macintosh PCs at the Pepper Store. The Pepper Keeper Sampler, which includes a variety of sample size Packages can be downloaded for free.
"The Pepper Pad was designed for the world consumers live in today, for use in the Digital Home or on-the-go. As music, photos and videos become as much a part of daily life as e-mail, IM and the Web, consumers - in the U.S. and worldwide - want them all accessible in a convenient way," said Len Kawell, CEO of Pepper. "By putting all this in one integrated, easy-to-use package, we're taking the complexity out of computing so it's fun, not frustrating."
The two-pound (1kg) Pepper Pad features instant-on capability and offers a SVGA TFT LCD screen with an 800 X 600 resolution. The system features an Intel XScale PXA270 (624 MHz), 256 MB of SDRAM and 32 MB of flash memory. It has a rechargeable lithium polymer battery with power management providing support for a day's worth of activities, plus an AC power supply. The 802.11b+g Wi-Fi is complemented by Bluetooth, IR and a USB 1.1 port. It also features built-in stereo speakers and microphone, jacks for headphones, external mike and external video display, plus a D-pad for navigation and gaming. A 20GB hard disk is part of the package, as well as a SD/MMC card slot.
The Pad offers two options for text entry, a lighted thumb QWERTY keypad (plus scroll wheel) built into the device or a separate (optional) keyboard connected wirelessly by Bluetooth. The entire package is ruggedized and splash-resistant for the rigors of daily use.
While a limited number of Pepper Pads will be available this year from Pepper.com and more widely available from retailers in 2005, the company's principal distribution channel initially will be broadband providers offering the Pepper Pad to their customers bundled with broadband service and other commercial partners. Several international broadband providers who are looking for such a device have expressed serious interest in the Pepper Pad, and are planning detailed reviews of the product this fall.