The big surprise during the Hyundai Equus reveal today at today's New York Auto Show was the automaker's announcement that it would supply each new Equus owner with a "multimedia tablet" to replace the owner's manual. While Hyundai USA president John Krafcik didn't explicitly say that the device in question will be an Apple iPad, the image presented above unquestionably the company's latest gadget. Of course, there's no guarantee that the Hyundai tablet will actually be an Apple product by the time the Equus hits dealers this fall.

The idea behind the tablet is to not only replace the traditional owner's manual – a costly book that's grown increasingly more difficult to navigate with the exponential increase in features, particularly in luxury vehicles – but to handle customer/dealer interactions like scheduling service appointments.

Although the iPad (hitting retailers and pre-orderers' mailboxes this Saturday) is the biggest player in the yet-to-be-tested tablet segment, there are several other manufacturers building slate-like devices for consumers. Dell, JooJoo and others have their own units in the works, but Apple is easily the stand-out... for now.

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