Here come the iPad "killers": Asus, MSI show off new tablet PCs at Computex

Here come the iPad "killers": Asus, MSI show off new tablet PCs at Computex

Summary: This year's installment of Computex is getting off to fast start when it comes to tablet PCs that hope to compete with the iPad. While most top-tier computer companies haven't provided details on devices that can go head-to-head with Apple's tablet, two of the major Asian brands have unveiled their challengers at the Taiwanese expo.

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This year's installment of Computex is getting off to fast start when it comes to tablet PCs that hope to compete with the iPad. While most top-tier computer companies haven't provided details on devices that can go head-to-head with Apple's tablet, two of the major Asian brands have unveiled their challengers at the Taiwanese expo.

Hoping to make the biggest splash, Asus is introducing two flavors of Eee Pad—a 10-inch model (EP101TC) that will run Windows Embedded Compact 7 and a 12-inch unit (Eee Pad EP121; pictured) that uses Intel Core 2 Duo CULV processors and Windows 7 Home Premium. Windows Embedded Compact 7 is the latest version of Windows CE and is purportedly the basis for the Windows Phone 7 OS, but most buyers would presumably be more interested in the full Windows 7 experience. Asus promises the EP121 will offer 10 hours of battery life, but the company provides little other info about the EP101TC, other than to say that Windows Embedded Compact 7 provides "engaging user experience and delivers instant connectivity to the Windows world".

The good news is that Asus has told Engadget that the Eee Pads will be priced from $399 to $499. The bad news is that the devices won't be available until the first quarter of 2011, giving Apple even more time to increase its market share.

MSI also announced a new tablet running Windows 7 Home Premium, but it's going with an Intel Atom Z530 processor instead of CULV CPUs. The WindPad 100 comes with a 10-inch display, 2GB of RAM, and a 32GB SSD drive. It is supposed to arrive sometime in 2010 for around $499, but Engadget's hands-on impressions aren't super-encouraging: The tech blog noticed that the prototype it was handling suffered from slow load times for applications. That's a definite no-no running up against the iPad, which everyone can agree is quite responsive whether or not you're a fan of the device.

If MSI can't produce better performance from the final version of the WindPad 100, it has an alternative up its sleeve in the form of the WindPad 110, which is based on Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor and will run Android instead of Windows 7. It could come even cheaper at $399, though there's nothing official in terms of pricing or release date.

Can any one of these tablets give the iPad a run for its money? If so, which one will it be? Give us your predictions in the Comments section.

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Software, Processors, Operating Systems, Mobility, Microsoft, Laptops, iPad, Windows

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119 comments
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  • AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

    ASUS will give Apple a run for its money BIG TIME. ASUS, you have just sold your first EP121 :)
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Yeah. Right!

      just like the windows HP Slate.

      Oh, I almost forgot what happened last week. A few heads had to roll in Redmond because the chief didn't like what happened with the windows HP Slate.
      OS Reload
      • Spam much?

        @OS Reload

        Get your facts straight, it was the home entertainment division.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Look who's talking

        @NStalnecker<br><br>The Microsoft division positioned against Apple was the entertainment and hardware division.<br><br>Last week heads started rolling there. <b>Big Time</b>!!!<br><br>You aren't buying that crap they are selling you about Bach and Allard stepping down to allow more time with family and friends are you?<br><br>Well, maybe you are, you look so gullible.

        <b>P.S.</b> FYI it's not home entertainment division, it's entertainment and hardware division.
        OS Reload
      • RE: Here come the iPad

        @OS Reload HP slashed because they acquired palm and its WebOS,so they were better off running what is developed in-house.
        ssj6akshat
      • RE: Here come the iPad

        @OS Reload Thanks for sharing. i really appreciate it that you shared with us such a informative post..
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        imlivesky
      • RE: Here come the iPad

        @OS Reload The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter ??? it's the difference between a lightning bug and the lightning.
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    • I agree

      @NStalnecker
      ASUS makes really high quality motherboards, it will be nice to see what they can bring to a tablet market that is running the risk of being dumbed down so far that all future tablets end up being as useless as the iPad.
      NonZealot
      • useless

        @NonZealot
        and yet more than two million people already use it happily probably every day.

        "Some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is."
        banned from zdnet
      • 2 million are happy with WWE

        Like I said, lowest common denominator!! Hey, I congratulate Apple! Like the WWE, they found a dumb audience, took an existing concept, dumbed it down <b>a lot</b>, and marketed it. I actually think it is a good thing. For too long, companies like MS have created useful products for smart people. You dumb people have been ignored too long. It is nice that Apple is taking care of you. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">

        "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."
        NonZealot
      • Thank you

        @NonZealot : I agree. ASUS makes very nice things. I've never had anything from them that gave me any hassle. Let's see what they can do with the tablet market. If those specs are true, they just one upped both Apple and HP!
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Here are the options.....

        @NonZealot
        Either NonZ is right and people who purchase Apple products over others are dumb.

        Or

        Alternatively Apple has given people what they are looking for. People for the most part are aware that there are alternatives to Apple products. I know for a fact that all iPod owners don't own a Macintosh or an iPhone nor an iPad. All iPhone owners don't own Mac's either. Nor do all iPad owners own iPhones. Heck I'll even BET that there is at least some iPad owners who don't even own a computer for the iPad does all they need/want. I think this is the more reasonable less emotional explanation.

        Of course if you want to throw insults and make baseless claims with no actual information to back it up go ahead it says little about Apple or Apple fans and a whole lot about the one's making such claims:P

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • The Windows 7 tablets will likely flop. The problem is a bloated OS that

      only runs on x86 will result in poor battery life, more heat, and more weight, and a UI not appropriate for a tablet. Windows 7 embedded will likely be a dud as well.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Here come the iPad

        @DonnieBoy: And don't forget, a lot of these post are written that the iPad is a stagnent device. Apple has already mentioned that they'll be coming out with an OS update for the iPad by the Fall. Don't think that Apple isn't already working on the next generation iPad in regards to hardware either. Just like the iPod, iPhone and now the the iPad, all these companies are playing catch up. Windows Mobile and Windows CE are bear skins and stone knives compared to what Apple is currently offering and will pale even more in the next iterations. Between being way ahead of the competition and its patents, I don't see viable alternatives to Apple's ware for some time to come.
        gtdworak
      • Yes, we are looking forward to the next gen Arm system-on-a-chip from Apple

        @gtdworak. Maybe they will have a dual core model at a lower clock speed that gives better application performance at the same time using less power and extending battery life. Maybe they will add sizes, say 7 and 11 inch models to round it out.

        Also will be exciting to see other system-on-a-chip innovations from others delivering Android tablets.
        DonnieBoy
      • Dude. Did you even read what it said?

        @DonnieBoy Please read:

        [i]Computex is really starting to ramp up now, as ASUS has taken the covers off its brand new Eee Pads. [b]Of most interest will be the 12-inch EP121, which sports Intel's Core 2 Duo CULV processors, Windows 7, and a reputed 10-hour battery life.[/b] Sort of like a laptop sans the keyboard, you might say, which is probably why ASUS is also touting a "hybrid" dock/keyboard solution for those times when you want some more tactile feedback to your typing. The Eee Pad will also include an integrated webcam and at least one USB port. A 10-inch EP101TC is being announced today as well, though its specs are less detailed and it's set to run Windows Embedded Compact 7 -- you can see it after the break, along with the full PR. We'll be doing our best to bring you hands-on pics and video shortly.

        Update: [b]ASUS has given us a $399 to $499[/b] price range for the Eee Pads, but don't start salivating just yet. We were also told that the Eee Pad won't be out until the first quarter of 2011.

        Update 2: As promised, we've now got a preview of both devices, which you'll find right here.[/i]

        emphasis mine.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Here come the iPad

        @NStalnecker - the first quarter of 2011?? you're kidding right? by that time it's going to be all over.. is that some kind of bad joke!!

        like with the iPod.. apple will have defined what a tablet is in consumer's eyes by then.. the only way to compete with apple is to extend Android like apple extended iPhone OS for the larger screen real estate and use low power ARM processors.. you might love them but consumers are tired of the BS of computers.. they want a simplified device to surf, to look at video, pictures.. maybe so small editing, write emails, small letters etc.. and the sales of iPad are an indication of people rejection of traditional OS... most people want and need 90% of the time a simple, internet connected, portable, computing appliance.. anyone that come up against Apple with a tablet with a traditional OS WILL fail.. HP already realized this.. how come you guys don't see this?

        plus, do you know how big, bulky and heavy a core2duo tablet that runs windows 7 (even HP was smart enough to realize people don't want win7 on a tablet) with 10hrs of battery life is going to be? that's if they can even build it.. c'mon man.. these guys need to get off the crack pipes and get to work.. apple can get the 10hrs of battery life out of the iPad playing solid video for that 10 hrs.. you realize that right? and you realize that reviews have said the apple's battery life estimates are wildly underrated right?

        1st quarter of 2011.. OMG!! WHAT A JOKE!!
        doctorSpoc
      • @NStalnecker: And, how big will the battery be? How heavy will it be? How

        thick will it be? And, seems like the realize that Windows 7 will be a toad on Atom!!

        You could also put wings on a tank and get it to fly . . . . so what???
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Here come the iPad

        Give every product a chance to get to the market before slamming it.<br><br>Make no mistake, the iPhone OS is good for what it does as a limited functionality appliance OS, but as a budget conscious consumer, I would have to ask several key questions:<br><br>1. Tablets are sold at twice the price of a netbook, and about the cost of a full laptop. I get FAR MORE bang for the buck with a tablet that allows me to treat it as a COMPUTER, not as a phone appliance.<br><br><br>2. Right, when you travel and you take photos with your DSLR camera and you want to edit your photos...... wait, how do I read the photos stored in the memory cards? Or maybe if my camera is bluetooth capable. But then....

        For the same form factor, I will take the most powerful OS every time I choose it.
        CyberGuerilla
    • RIP iFad

      iJunk will have to get out of the way now that the kings (Win7 and WinCE7) are back in town for some real business.
      LBiege