Asus EP Series - iPad Killers
Who is Asus
AsusTeK Computer Incorporated (Asus) is an electronics manufacturer in Taiwan. It began operations in 1990 as a computer component manufacturer, but has rapidly expanded into producing its own line of products.
The company was originally founded by TH Tung, Ted Hsu, Wayne Hsieh, and MT Liao, all former employees of Acer Computer Corporation.
As a component manufacturer it builds motherboards, laptops and servers. It also produces mobile phones though these are not widely distributed in the west. These component parts are sold to Apple Inc., Dell, Falcon Northwest and Hewlett-Packard.
The current Chairman of Asus is Jonney Shih.
Asus Pad Computers
Asus is planning to release a number of new machines at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 6, 2011. All three (known to date) are tablet computers. They include:
Asus Eee EP121
This is a 12" diagonal display computer with a capacitive touch screen. The EP121 will run Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium on an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It will include wired and WiFi access. The pad is intended as an Internet/entertainment computer designed for watching videos and other multimedia formats. It will also include office productivity software for home computing and also function as an e-reader.
The EP121 will also doc with a wireless keyboard or support on-screen typing. AsusTeK claims the machine will run for up to ten hours on a single battery charge.
The Eee Pad EP121 will be offered with two docking stations options; one for a keyboard attachment and the other to turn the pad into a netbook/notebook computer. The second doc will attach the screen to the keyboard essentially making it one unit.
Both docking options are at additional cost, though at this point Asustek has not released manufacturer suggested retail prices for either the machine or keyboard - docs. The tablet itself has been hinted at $399.
The EP121 is one half inch thick (0.5") or twelve point two (12.2mm) millimeters. It will weight one and one half (1.5lb) or six hundred seventy-five (675g) grams. This without the docking stations.
The Asus EP121 is now available at Fry's Electronics in California.
Additional Pad Computers
Eee Pad EP101TC
The other smaller EPad-style device will be called the Eee Pad EP101TC. This machine will have a ten (10") touchscreen and will run Microsoft's Windows Embedded Compact 7. Projected MSRP is $399 ~ $499 depending on options.
Eee Tablet EP71
Finally AsusTeK will offer an e-reader named the Eee Tablet. It is designed not only for reading e-books, but as a note taking device. AsusTeK's press release describes the device as designed more as an educational tool as it includes a two (2) Megapixel camera so students can take photos of lecture slides. To ease transfer of data from the tablet to another computer or network the Eee Tablet will include MicroSD cards for data storage and a USB port of data transfer via USB drive or cable.
MSRP for this device is projected to be $199 ~ $299 depending on options.
Touchscreen / Stylus
All three machines are designed to work either by touch or stylus. AsusTeK claims all the screen displays are designed to feel like pencil on paper while using the stylus.
The author was not compensated in any way, either monetarily, with discounts, or freebies by any of the companies mentioned.
Though the author does make a small profit for the word count of this article none of that comes directly from the manufacturers mentioned. The author also stands to make a small profit from advertising attached to this article.
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