updated 07:40 am EDT, Mon May 31, 2010
ASUS Eee Pad EP121 and EP101TC launched
ASUS kicked off Computex with the Eee Pad, its first true tablet. The design is closer to a touch-only notebook and theoretically promises a more advanced experience than the iPad it's targeted against: the 12-inch EP121 runs a full Windows 7 OS and uses a CULV Core 2 Duo processor that can provide an Apple-like 10 hours of battery life. Its multi-touch screen can recognize handwriting, a webcam and USB are built-in, and a keyboard dock turns it into a true computer when at home.
A 10-inch Eee Pad, the EP101TC, has fewer details but is more directly aimed at Apple: it uses Windows Embedded Compact 7 with an interface customized for touch and the same 10-hour battery life.
Despite the reveal at the Taiwan technology show, the Eee Pad line won't ship until early 2011 for prices of $399 for the EP101TC and $499 for the EP121.
ASUS' launch marks its official entry into the tablet space but may not necessarily be its primary device in the short-term future. Rumors have circulated that Intel and Microsoft exerted pressure to make ASUS promote Intel-based Windows tablets even though models due in July would use ARM chips, likely run Android, and offer many of the same features.