Asus's Eee tablet plans revealed

Asus's Eee tablet plans revealed

Summary: Release details for the upcoming ASUS tablet range have been disclosed by the chief executive of the company following a recent investors' conference call in Taipei.Speaking to assembled reporters following a quarterly financial meeting in Taipei on Friday, the company's head, Jerry Shen, confirmed that Asus is planning to release several tablet devices in the coming months on both the Microsoft and Google platforms, according to PC World reports.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Mobility
5

Release details for the upcoming ASUS tablet range have been disclosed by the chief executive of the company following a recent investors' conference call in Taipei.

Speaking to assembled reporters following a quarterly financial meeting in Taipei on Friday, the company's head, Jerry Shen, confirmed that Asus is planning to release several tablet devices in the coming months on both the Microsoft and Google platforms, according to PC World reports.

Going on Shen's comments, the first fully-fledged Asus tablet, known as the Eee Pad, will house a 12-inch touchscreen and run the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. Officially going under the moniker of the EP121, it is also believed that the Eee Pad will sport an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and that it will cost around $1000 (£638) when it hits the market next January.

The Eee Pad is being introduced to rival Apple's iPad which is available in 3G-less form for between £429 and £599, depending on storage capacity.

"If you want to compete with the iPad, you have to do more than just be less expensive," Shen said. "You have to offer more features. We want to spend more time perfecting the [Eee Pad] device before we launch. We're looking more at Q1 to launch the devices."

Shen also said that the Eee Pad will include a keyboard dock that "transforms" it into a full home computer, according to the report.

Staying with Microsoft, the second device is the EP101TC, a 10-inch tablet that has also been conceived as an iPad alternative. However, instead of Windows 7 Home Premium, it will run on Microsoft's Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system, the successor to Windows CE.

No official announcements have been made since the devices' debuts at Computex in June but according to Shen the EP101TC is also set to go on sale in January 2011 priced somewhere around $399-$499.

Shen also confirmed that Asus is planning an Android tablet for release in March 2011 which he said would also have a 10-inch screen and will cost around $300, but failed to give more details.

Adding to that mix, Asus is also planning the confusingly-titled Eee Tablet, an e-reader device pitted as a competitor to Amazon's Kindle.

Instead of opting for an e-ink display the Asus Tablet will ship with a monochrome, standard LCD capable of showing 64 shades of grey. Other e-readers use special e-reader or digital ink displays as it allows a longer battery life than traditional LCD screens.

Asus's Eee Tablet, which Shen says may be renamed the Eee Note to avoid confusion with the company's other tablet devices, will reportedly not use a backlit display to avoid the eyestrain associated with looking into a standard LCD screen for long periods.

Under-the-bonnet, the Eee Tablet is said to be based on an AsusTek-developed Linux operating system rather than Microsoft Windows or Google Android.

The Eee Tablet, or Note, is said to be going on sale in October 2010 for around $300, though no UK-specific release dates have been confirmed for any of the devices.

Topic: Mobility

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I think Eee Book (or even Eee Reader) would be better name.
    timwakeham
  • I think you might be right Tim. At least Eee Book or Eee Reader have some sort of logical association with, well, an e-reader device but Eee Tablet sounds like it could end up quite confusing considering the rest of Asus's plans. Not to mention other tablet manufacturers....
    Ben Woods
  • Surely this is missing the point - the iPad is successful because it's NOT a full PC, and isn't intended to be "transformed" into a fully-fledged PC.
    As for a Kindle rival that uses an LCD screen - words (appropriately enough) fail me!
    47674
  • Hey guys, I think the Eee Pad which will be running windows 7 and which will cost $1,000, will be the IPad killer for sure. Of course the IPad seems to be the most successful tablet PC on the market for now, but make sure when ASUS will start shipping it's confirmed Eee pads, things will change. As for me, when the IPad was released, I wasn't in a hurry of getting one since I knew that it lacked some of the important features, such as a webcam, a USB port and a full function of media player which allows to play videos online, either on youtube.
    And I was thinking which company would release something better than an IPad, with more features...Fortunately the answer is coming with ASUS, let's wait. But I hope to grab the most expesive one, which will be running windows 7, to see what are special features in it lol!

    Enjoy your weekend and stop dreaming
    Papystar
  • "Hey guys, I think the Eee Pad which will be running windows 7 and which will cost $1,000, will be the IPad killer for sure. " How does this differ from last years offerings apart from replacing the word "tablet" with the word "pad"?
    "Of course the IPad seems to be the most successful tablet PC on the market for now,"
    precisely because it is not a tablet PC. Last year tablet PCs shipped 1.05 million units. Apple cleared that in the first weekend. I think you are being disingenuous using the word "seems" bu far and away it IS a popular product.
    "but make sure when ASUS will start shipping it's confirmed Eee pads, things will change."
    Well they've had to slow their netbook deliveries as people seem to be buying the iPad instead of netbooks.
    " As for me, when the IPad was released..."
    blah blah blah insert the usual list of reasons why people "don't buy iPads" must be really frustrating for you that people actually do buy them though. By the way? YouTube has always played fine on iOS devices of which the iPad is merely one. If you are saying that the iPad can't play other formats such as avis or mk4s then you are really not bothering to do your homework I can play any open video file on my iPad.
    "And I was thinking which company would release something better than an IPad, with more features..."
    And there you go making the usual geek-driven mistake that more features equals more functionality the point being is that what the iPad does it does well. Very well.
    "But I hope to grab the most expesive one, which will be running windows 7, to see what are special features in it lol!"
    Special features of Windows 7 based tablet: Very slow to start from cold. Not instant on. Will require virus protection. Will not have a 10 hour plus battery life. Responsiveness will be sluggish and a lot of the apps that will run on it will not be optimized for touch. So a great list of special features there.
    "Enjoy your weekend and stop dreaming"
    Am assuming that you are going to stand outside an Apple store and inform the "sheep" of the errors of their ways.
    jgpmolloy