Eee Pad: AsusTek unveils Windows 7 tablet computer

The 10-inch Eee Pad
The 10-inch Eee Pad

(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 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 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 . But iPads use the HTML5 standard and its lack of Flash support has alienated some users.

AsusTek also unveiled on Monday an e-notepad, named the Eee Tablet, 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.

The Eee Tablet
The Eee Tablet

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.

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User comments

May 31, 2010
It is too bad that tablet technology has to be shrouded in this us vs them mentality. Multitouch tablets are such a huge step forward for computing. Most everything I do with a computer is now simpler, more direct, faster and certainly more human-friendly. I now only return to the old, big & clunky "computer" strapped to my desk(it's a 17" laptop) for processor-intense tasks like photoshop. Even then, I find the old mechanical keyboard and mouse anachronistic. They work fine, but are slow and self-engineered as opposed to human-engineered.

And as far as "HTML5 and lack of flash has alienated some users."???? Where and who are these users? Go to the the Apple store. iPads are sold out in most places. You may have to order and wait. In Europe they're standing in lines. And everyone I have met who uses one express something quite the opposite of "alienation."

Ask these 3 questions of any new pad:
1) Is it instant on?
2) Does it have long battery life?
3) Does it run cold?

May 31, 2010
Yes, the iPad for example is such a success because the vast majority of people only use a computer for email, Internet, and media,... and don't need over-complicated and over-engineered desktops or laptops.

Although Apple didn't invent the multi-touch instant-on tablet computer, their iPad provided the spark for the growing market, so they will naturally receive the blame and critique for not producing the end-all perfect for everyone tablet computer.

I use my iPad for most simple tasks and don't miss flash at all.

May 31, 2010
Mayday -- Just because it is sold out, doesn't mean the world is waiting in line. People died over the Furby toy, that shows more dedication towards a product than standing in line for a larger iTouch. The iPad is a very well placed step for faster internet surfing and consumer buying/trading, but not a step towards better computing in general as you are describing it. For the 12 year old girl who needs to sift through Youtube lectures for homework help, the iPad is a great buy. In the end, apps are for your phone, movies are for your home theater, and video games are meant for joysticks.

I also enjoyed your line about keyboard and mouse and the whole anachronistic thing. Please tell me how someone plans on computing faster and more efficiently without keyboard shortcuts and the right-click drop-down menus from the mouse?

May 31, 2010
My point is not to compare a 1st gen tablet to umpteenth gen laptops. That would be ridiculous. My point is that light, go-anywhere is better than heavy and hot; all-day+ battery is better than mobs hogging airport outlets; and instant-on kills "boot-up" dead time. These simple and long overdue steps point to the future of personal/business computing.

And the full-function keyboards will come. And fast. After very short acclimation(1 month), glass typing becomes effortless and transparent(no pun). The old mechanical clacking wastes physical action for no gain. And multitouch is so right. Back on my laptop, I keep wanting its obvious fluid simplicity over the old no-touch rigidity.

May 31, 2010
Eh portable pc seems like a hassel to me. What if it gets stolen? What if I drop it and it breaks? What if I leave it in my car and it frys? What if it someone randomly spills acid on it? My computer in my home is fairly safe why would I want to take it outside?

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