TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Taiwan’s AsusTek Computer Inc. unveiled Monday a portable tablet computer that runs on Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system, joining a slew of manufacturers trying to tap demand for the sleek devices following Apple’s launch of the iPad.
AsusTek is among several Taiwanese computer makers to display tablet PCs at the five-day Computex Show in Taipei that opens Tuesday.
Acer Inc., the world’s second largest PC vendor, unveiled last week a 7-inch touchscreen tablet that like many other coming models runs on Android, the operating system that Google is distributing for free for mobile devices.
AsusTek’s touchscreen tablet, with the name of Eee Pad, comes in 10- and 12-inch sizes and is set to go on sale in the first quarter of 2011.
In addition to full Windows support, Company Chairman Jonney Shih said Eee Pad is equipped with a Web camera and runs Flash by Adobe Systems which will allow users to view YouTube and other video programs on the Internet.
The 10-inch Eee Pad will sell for $399 to $449. No price tag was given for the 12-inch model.
By contrast, Apple’s iPads cost $499, $599 or $699 depending on the data storage capacity. But iPads use the HTML5 standard and its lack of Flash support has alienated some users.
AsusTek also unveiled on Monday an e-notepad that serves as both an electronic-reader and note-taking device, with a built-in camera that will let the user grab screenshots of lecture slides.
Shih said the notepad – with a price tag of $199 to $299 – turns pages at a faster speed and does not cause as much eye-fatigue during lengthy reading as other e-readers.
After HP pulled the plug on Slate PC, we knew someone else would hitch a ride to bring Windows 7 powered tablet PCs back on track. Though ExoPC took an initiative, but ASUS has jumped on this bandwagon with a bang with their Eee Pad which boasts an Intel CULV processor, an amazing 10 hour battery life with Windows 7 on top!
ASUS Eee Pad will come in two varieties: the 12-incher running full-blown Windows 7 desktop OS underneath with an Intel Core 2 Duo ultra low power CULV processor, and the 10-incher running Windows Embedded Compact 7 with NVIDIA Tegra in its back. The form factor and everything else will almost remain the same. Both of these devices will give 10 hour of battery life (like iPad), and will feature webcams on the front for video chatting/conferencing. They’ll also feature USB ports for connecting other devices with the Eee Pad.
Here is a video of both the models in action from Computex.