Marvell pitches $99 Moby Tablet as textbook alternative

When chipmaker Marvell told us its technology would power $99 smartphones, we took the company at its word. We weren't expecting a sub-$100, 10-inch tablet PC, however -- and we definitely weren't expecting Marvell itself to build it. Marketed at students looking to lighten their textbook load, the Marvell Moby will be an "always-on, high performance multimedia tablet" capable of full Flash support and 1080p HD playback -- thanks to those nifty Armada 600 series processors -- and supporting WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS and both Android and Windows Mobile platforms for maximum flexibility. No release date has yet been announced; like the OLPC, Marvell will introduce the Moby in pilot programs at participating at-risk schools. While it's far too early to say if the Moby will be the universal educational e-reader Marvell hopes (that depends on software), it's certainly an intriguing device for the price, and we'll admit we're a touch jealous of those kids who'll first get to try one.