ASUS Tablets—Introduction

With CES 2011 upon us, we must acknowledge that 2011 could well be the “Year of the Tablet”. Everyone—Motorola, Dell, HP, HTC, Acer, you name it—is releasing a tablet or three. If you’re ASUS, you’re announcing four different tablets today. If you are ASUS, I’d like to offer my congratulations and best wishes for this full-on assault of the tablet market. Chances are though, you’re not ASUS, so here’s the rundown on the four new devices.

Three of them are Honeycomb-based tablets, joined by a traditional Windows slate. Looking at the Android tablets, we have the MeMO, a 7” Snapdragon slate, the Transformer, a 10” Tegra 2 slate with an optional keyboard docking station (hence the name), and the Slider, an interesting 10” model with a sliding, tilting keyboard (think a supersized HTC Touch Pro 2). All three of these come under Eee Pad branding, while the Windows tablet is branded as the Eee Slate EP121. It’s a 12.1” slate with an active Wacom digitizer and Core i5 UM power. There are IPS displays and 178 degree viewing angles to go around, as well as 1080p playback and HDMI outputs.

Like I mentioned before, ASUS is just one company in a huge wave of forthcoming tablets. After Apple, Google is the biggest player in the room, both in the form of existing Froyo devices like the Galaxy Tab and new systems based on Honeycomb. Microsoft, who really made the first tablet push back in 2003, are still there, but seeing themselves being reduced to a bit player until something drastic changes (is anyone else seeing the parallels with Windows Mobile here?) BlackBerry and HP/Palm are hoping to make a splash with the PlayBook and WebOS, respectively. Given all these different players, let’s break down the four new ASUS tablets further.

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  • wifiwolf - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    That's what i'm hoping. Sure notebook panels have been improving but not as much as I would expect - it's more marketing talk all around HD, LED, 3D. But nothing about image quality directly. All those are indirect ways to improve quality but I hope this is a trend beginning now not only for tablets but for every display. If not, at least for products which the price is already a premium and it doesn't make sense to be cheap (1000$+ notebooks for instance).
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Slates practically require the IPS screen, especially when the iPad which defines the device has one.

    A desktop screen doesn't really need the IPS screen since the user generally sets it up to be best viewed from the seated position. Slates are constantly held at many angles and require the enhanced viewing angles to maintain the user experience.
  • softdrinkviking - Saturday, May 28, 2011 - link

    100% agree.

    i won't buy a slate or another smartphone that has a crappy TN panel in it. i want ips or better from now on. those devices are like 75% screen.
  • hvakrg - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Does the Windows slate come with a HDMI dock, or is that extra?
  • Chinoman - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    At that price and size it's hard for me to not see the EP121 in comparison to the 11" MBA. Can anyone else see them competing?
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    No, as one's a computer and one's a tablet
  • michael2k - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    What's the difference between a computer and a tablet?

    Given that the tablet runs Windows 7, has a 12.1" screen, and a core i5, I think it's actually more similar than dissimilar. One bluetooth keyboard and you have a valid MBA competitor.
  • LostPassword - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    well at least we know those rumours about honey comb system requirements are wrong. but with these prices, i think i'm just going to keep my g tablet i got on sale.
  • snoozemode - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    The Transformer is awesome. This type of dock should be offered to all tablets by their respective manufactures.

    The Slider, nah, I think they prolly just released that product to see the demand. Don't think there will be a successor to that.
  • stlc8tr - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Do any of these tablets have GPS capability?

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