Asustek plans Eee Book e-reader and tablet PC to rival iPad

The devices will be out in the second half of this year

Netbook pioneer Asustek Computer plans to launch its own e-reader and a tablet PC to rival Apple's iPad in the second half of this year.

The company will focus on bringing content providers on board when it releases its tablet PC, said Jerry Shen, CEO of Asustek, during the company's fourth quarter investors conference.

The company will also launch its first e-reader device, the Eee Book, at Computex Taipei 2010 electronics trade show, which runs June 1 to 5.

Details about both devices were not immediately available.

Shen hinted at creating a smartbook this year, a mini-laptop similar to a netbook but made using a microprocessor and other components normally found in smartphones. The devices offer far longer battery life than netbooks, which are made using laptop PC components. During the conference, he said Asustek saw a better opportunity for smartbooks this year.

Last year at Computex, chip maker Qualcomm displayed an Asustek Eee PC smartbook running Google's Android operating system, to great fanfare. The official reason given for the why the device was put on hold was because Asustek did not want to focus its engineering resources on an untested device. Only a handful of smartbooks were launched last year and they did not make a dent in the global mini-laptop market.

The Google Chrome OS, which is designed for mini-laptops, tablet PCs and other devices, is slated to debut in the second half of this year. A number of Taiwanese companies have expressed interest in the new OS.

Tags e-booksasustablet PCs

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service

1 Comment

Darth Stig


Eee Book e-reader and tablet PC to rival iPad

Well, as long as these devices offer un-hindered access to the web and better battery, this will be interesting in the least. I think Apple made a mistake slagging off netbooks and e-readers at the iPad launch, given the iPad doesn't last as long as an e-reader, or access the net as well as a netbook. It does look good though. Hint to all the PC manufacturers... don't just use plastic. Some people like nice looking gadgets too. Hints to Apple... looks aren't everything. If using a 1GHz ARM processor is better than a 1.66GHz Atom N450 or similar, then why can't the iPad multitask? If the industry standard for HD content is 1399x768 and 16:9, why make your screen different? Should the industry standard change for Apple? And how can it be the ultimate net access device if it can't i) access ALL websites (No Flash) or ii) at least download content whilst allowing the user to continue to browse the web or read their eBook? I don't want to hold onto a device that is downloading a movie or show from the iTunes store (or a song/book for that matter) unless I can still use it productivly. Asustek (and others) have a huge opportunity here. Bet they blow it!

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