Asus unveils three tablets and a slate

Android-based tablets feature keyboard options, and a Windows 7 slate offers both pen a touch input.
  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 05 January, 2011 12:32

At CES 2011 today, Asus announced three new Android tablets and a Windows 7 based slate PC. The tablets, all Android-based, go by the moniker "Eee Pad" while the Windows 7 device is called an "Eee Slate." Each one offers some unique features, from stylus input options to sliding keyboards or docking stations. Unfortunately, we don't yet have exact shipping dates or prices for the Android tablets, and the Eee Slate looks to be fairly pricey.

Eee Pad MeMO

First up is themost conventional of the bunch, the Eee Pad MeMO. A 7-inch tablet based on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), it's powered by a Qualcomm 8260 Snapdragon CPU running at 1.2 GHz. You'll aslo find a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and 5 megapixel rear camera, along with Micro-SD, Micro HDMI, and Micro USB ports. The 7-inch screen has a resolution of 1024 by 600. Perhaps the most interesting is the built-in stylus for taking hand-written notes. Asus promises 1080p video playback, with pricing and storage size varying by region.

Eee Pad Slider

Moving up in size takes us to the Eee Pad Slider. Again based on Android 3.0, this tablet features a slide-out keyboard - sort of like a giant slider phone, but with a screen that tilts up. The tablet features Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor with either 512MB or 1GB of RAM and up to 32GB of flash storage. Obviously a tablet with a sliding keyboard will be a little bulkier than one without, but Asus claims the Eee Pad Slider will weigh under 2.2 pounds and be less than half an inch thick. The 10.1 inch uses an IPS panel with a resolution of 1280 by 800, you get a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and a 5 megapixel rear camera, and a host of ports: mini-USB, an audio jack, micro SD card reader, a docking port, and mini-HDMI. Asus promises up to 6 hours of mixed-use battery life.

Eee Pad Transformer

Perhaps the most interesting of Asus' new Android based tablets is the Eee Pad Transformer, as it is specifically designed to go from laptop to tablet and back again. Specs are similar to the Eee Pad Slider: 10.1 inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 by 800, Tegra 2 processor with 512MB or 1GB of RAM, Android 3.0 operating system, 1.2 megapixel front camera and 5 megapixel rear camera, with similar ports and plugs. Instead of a slide-out keyboard, the Transformer has a separate detachable keyboard deck that houses extra USB ports and a card reader along with another battery, doubling the tablet's estimated battery life from 8 hours to 16. When in this docking keyboard deck, the screen folds down like a typical laptop. Also, note the clickpad on the docking station.

Eee Slate EP121

Not to leave Microsoft out in the cold, Asus has a Slate to go along with its tablets: the Eee Slate EP121. Targeting a blend of entertainment and enterprise business use, the EP121 features a 12.1 inch screen with a 1280 by 800 resolution and a nifty twist: this IPS panel is both capacitive multi-touch and support for a Wacom electromagnetic digitizer pen. The unit is powered by an Intel Core i5 470UM ultra low-voltage processor and comes equipped with Windows 7 Home Premium, up to 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB SSD for storage. It comes with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and 2.0 megapixel front-facing camera for online video chat. Of course, it's considerably thicker and heavier than the Android-based tablets at 0.66 inches thick and just over 2.5 pounds. Asus says the Eee Slate EP121 go on preorder immediately with shipments early in the first quarter, with prices starting at US$999 for the version with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The version with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD should list for only $100 more, which seems like the obvious better choice.

Pricing and availability are not yet known for the Android tablets, perhaps because nobody knows exactly when Google is going to put the wraps on Android 3.0. All these Android devices with keyboards, and in some cases pointing devices, poses an interesting question: is Google doing something more with Android 3.0 than we anticipate? Will it have more built-in functions that duplicate those found in typical laptops? Or is Google simply banking on the idea that, as screen sizes scale up beyond the smartphone, the need for frictionless text input increases?

Be sure to check out or CES 2011 page for more news and video from the show.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jason Cross

PC World (US online)
Topics: CES, Android, Phones, asus, Windows, software, Windows 7, tablets, nvidia, operating systems, tablet PC, consumer electronics
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?