Asrock, a subsidiary of Asustek Computer that sells inexpensive computer components and PCs, last week reportedly decided to can its inexpensive notebooks and this week it revealed that it intends to sell tablet PCs. In case Asrock drops notebooks in favour of slates, it will be among the first company's in the industry to do so.
Li Jun-Ying, vice president of sales at Asrock, reportedly said that the company is evaluating both 7" and 10" tablet form-factors and plans to use Google Android 3.0 operating system as well as Nvidia Tegra 2 system-on-chip (with two ARM Cortex-A9 and a GeForce graphics core) to power the slates. The tablets will be made by Pegatron Corp., another spin-off from Asustek Computer.
In the recent years Asrock has been trying to transform itself from a maker of inexpensive mainboards into a provider of solutions. The company has introduced notebooks, nettops, home theater PCs and other solutions, but it is still mostly known for its low-cost motherboards. In such situation it is logical for Asrock to enter the emerging markets of Android-based tablets and try to establish positions on this market instead of competing head-to-head in the overcrowded notebook space.
It remains to be seen how successful Asrock will be on the market of slates. The main differentiator of a tablet is its software and quality of built. While Pegatron can obviously build a good tablet, neither Pegatron nor Asrock have a lot of experience in tailoring Android and developing essential software.
Asustek Computer, the parent company of Asrock, is about to release its own series of tablets shortly. The company will aim high end of the market with its series of Eee-branded slates.