Feature: Meet a Bunch of Would-be iPad Killers from Asus


A day before the CES show is set to kick off, Asus confirmed swirling rumors by formally announcing four Eee-branded tablets. Three are based on Google’s Android software while a fourth runs Windows 7. The Android slates are of particular interest because they run Android 3.0 codenamed Honeycomb, the latest and greatest Android version specifically created with the tablets in mind. Regardless of the operating system, however, all four devices come with interesting twists, like integrated keyboards or the dreaded stylus-based input that we thought died in the 1990s. Here’s a quick overview of all four devices in no particular order.

Eee Pad Slider

This Android slate trumps the iPad in screen size, 10.1 inch versus 9.7 inch on Apple’s tablet. It’ll sport front and back cameras for taking pictures and videoconferencing. The Eee Pad Slider, as the name suggests, will include a full fold-away QWERTY keyboard for prolonged text entry that turns it into a mini-notebook.

It’ll be capable of 1080p video playback via Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chipset and will support WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

  • 10.1-inch WSVGA 1280×800 capacitive touchscreen
  • powered by Android 3.0
  • Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset
  • 512MB/1GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB storage
  • 1.2-megapixel front camera
  • five-megapixel back camera with LED flash
  • 1080p video playback
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB, microSD card slot
  • video output via mini-HDMI
  • arriving in May 2011
  • priced between $499 and $799
Eee Slate EP121

This pricey device will run Microsoft’s Windows 7 on a twelve-inch WSVGA 1280×800 touchscreen. Remembering HP’s sluggish Windows 7 slate, how do we know that this thing will run fast without draining battery? Well, for starters, the Eee Slate EP121 will be powered by an ultra-low-voltage Intel Core i5-470UM processor that provides notebook-class power while conserving power.

Coupled with an option between 32GB or 64GB solid-state drive, this should give you enough oomph to run desktop-class software. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a two-megapixel camera for taking photos, a mini-HDMI video output and wireless keyboard and stylus support round up the list of features.

  • 12-inch WSVGA 1280×800 touchscreen
  • powered by Windows 7 Home Premium
  • ultra-low-voltage Intel Core i5-470UM processor
  • 2GB/4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 32GB/64GB solid-state drive
  • two-megapixel camera with LED flash
  • supports stylus and wireless keyboards
  • video output via mini-HDMI port
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB port
  • MMC/SD, SDHC and SDXC card reader
  • arriving later this month
  • priced between $999 and $1,099
Eee Pad MeMO

This seven-inch tablet will offer HSDPa+ cellular connectivity via what’s called MeMIC, a Bluetooth media phone extender that will let you make calls and send and receive text messages. Other than that, this dual-camera Android device also packs in in-plane switching display like on the iPad, allowing for wide viewing angles.

It also beats Apple’s gizmo with a USB port, microSD card slot for storing music and photos. Oh, and it comes with stylus that works in conjunction with note-taking and photo-editing apps.

  • seven-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • WSVGA 1024×600 pixel resolution
  • IPS display technology for wide viewing angles
  • powered by Android 3.0
  • ships with stylus
  • apps for taking notes and editing photos with a stylus
  • 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8260 processor
  • 1.2-megapixel front camera
  • five-megapixel back camera with LED flash
  • HSDPa+ cellular connectivity
  • video output via mini-HDMI port
  • Bluetooth media phone extender for phone calls, SMS messages
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB port, microSD/SDHC card slot
  • arriving in June 2011
  • priced between $499 and $699
Eee Pad Transformer

This 10.1-inch Android 3.0 tablet runs Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 chip and packs in front and back cameras, HDMI video output and claims at least eight hours of battery life. What’s interesting about this device, besides the catch name, is that it works in two modes: The pad mode and docking mode.

The Pad mode lets you use the Eee Pad Transformer as a regular tablet. The docking mode allows you to dock the device to a keyboard dock which has a clickpad. This mode essentially turns the Eee Pad Transformer into a mini computer.

  • 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • 1280×800 pixel display resolution
  • powered by Android 3.0
  • dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor
  • 1.3-megapixel front camera
  • five-megapixel back camera
  • 32GB storage
  • video output via mini-HDMI port
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB port
  • HDMI video output
  • SD memory card reader
  • weighs in at about 1.5 pounds
  • arriving in April 2011
  • priced between $399 and $699