Asustek Computer plans to release a slate personal computer later this year that will run Windows 7 operating system and which cost will be around $1000. In addition, the company readies a less expensive device running Google Android. The company also plans a tablet running Microsoft's Windows Embedded Compact 7.
Large, Powerful, Expensive
The very first device in the Asus Eee Pad family - the Eee Pad EP121 - will be a premium product aimed rather at professionals than on mainstream users. The device will feature 12" touch-screen, Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessor (probably ULV 9-series with 10W power consumption) and Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. The product will cost around $1000 and will be available towards the end of the year, said Jerry Shen, CEO of Asustek, speaking to reporters after the company's second quarter earnings conference, reports IDG News Service.
In fact, a slate with a 12" screen is not really a small and lightweight device; moreover, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 10W thermal design power (TDP) may be rather hot in certain conditions. That said, the Asus Eee Pad EP121 may be a rather interesting, but still a niche product for those, who demand performance from a tablet that lacks even a keyboard.
Windows Vs. Android
Another member of the Eee Pad breed will feature 10" touch-screen, and ARM architecture-based microprocessor as well as Microsoft's Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system. It will cost from $399 to 499 and will be available sometimes in January, 2011. Given the fact that the slate still has 10" screen, it may still be aimed at people looking for something more than simplistic consumption of content while on the go.
The most impressive Eee Pad will be available sometime in Q1 2011 and will be powered by Google Android platform alongside and ARM architecture-based chip. The product will cost less than $399 and will be a direct competitor for Apple iPad. That said, it can be expected that the device will offer approximately similar size, functions and battery life.
"If you want to compete with the iPad, you have to do more than just be less expensive. You have to offer more features. We want to spend more time perfecting the [Eee Pad] before we launch. We are looking more at Q1 to launch the devices," said Mr. Shen.
Asus presently employs a team of over 800 software developers working on Android, but the majority of those engineers are tailoring Android for Asustek's smartphones. According to the chief exec of Asus, some of those engineers will be transferred to the tablet product division. But "some" may not be enough, given the fact that there are hundreds of engineers at Apple working on various types of programs and services for the iPad customers.