Asus CES Announcements
AsusTeK 2011 Offerings
AsusTeK, typically simply called Asus here in the United States has been offering highly functional computing devices for about five years now.
The name Asus, and a key to it's pronunciation, come from the winged stallion of Greek lore called Pegasus. So the name itself is "Ah Soos"
CES Offerings & Announcements
First, the reader should be aware that an announcement or showing of a new product at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is no guarantee you'll ever actually see the product in stores or online. This has happened a number of times, but not usually for AsusTeK.
Asus has shown four new tablet based computers. They are the Eee Slate, Eee Slider, Eee Transformer, and the EeePad Memo.
AsusTeK has also announced the WAVI Xtion motion capture device. It is surely intended to go head-to-head with Microsoft's Kinect
This is a Windows 7 powered tablet computer with capacitive mutl-touch display. The display itself is a twelve point one (12.1") inch diagonal capacitive touchscreen recognizing mutli-touch gestures. It runs and Intel Core i5 processor and the Widnows 7 Home Premium operating system.
The official designation for this tablet is Eee Slate EP121 and AsusTeK claims it is the most powerful tablet computer ever produced. It comes with 64Gigabyte (GB) SSD drive. Memory will range from 2Gb to 4Gb. It can be connected to a network (including the Internet of course) via wired or wireless connections. This includes the old standard RJ-45 connector and WiFi.
Because there is no keyboard the tablet offers a virtual keyboard interface. Unlike other capacitive touch devices the Eee Slate will also recognizes input from a Wacom Digitizer pen (seen in the right hand portion of the photo); it also has BlueTooth 2.0 connectivity and will be offered with an optional Bluetooth wireless keyboard for best of both worlds in user flexibility.
The Eee Slate is expected to sell in a range of $999 for the 2Gb model to $1,099 for the 4Gb model.
Eee Pad Transformer
The next tablet offering shown is the Eee Transformer which will be powered by nVidia's Tegra 2 processor and run Android 3.0 Honeycomb and will come with a special keyboard designed specifically for docking the tablet.
The capacitive mutli-touch screen is ten point one (10.1") inch at 1280 x 800 resolution; not great but so-so for a tablet/pad computer. It will have both front and rear facing cameras, the rear-facing presumably for video chatting and will support it will support miniHDMI, miniUSB and microSD. The miniHDMI, of course, for interfacing with a larger high-definition display if desired.
Because the keyboard dock and tablet each have their own batteries, the tablet is slated to run for eight (8) hours on a single charge extending to sixteen (16) if docked with the keyboard.
The Eee Pad Transformer is expected to sell for between $400 and $700, depending on configuration and memory options.
Eee Pad Slider
Another tablet offering promises to provide the user with a full physical keyboard while keeping the table form-factor. This too will have a ten point one (10.1") inch mutli-touch display and run nVidia's Tegra 2 mobile processor and Android Honeycomb (3.0) operating system. The Slider keyboard nestles under the tablet display. A slight push at the base of the tablet will transform the tablet to a netbook/notebook type computer with a small physical keyboard. The slider hinge design will place the tablet screen at a convenient viewing angle.
Because the screen itself is a touch-pad type interface no touch-pad is included with the keyboard. AsusTeK claims the unit will be slightly less than three quarters of an (0.7") inch thick.
The Slider is expected to sell for between $500 and $800 depending on memory and connectivity options.
Eee Pad MeMO
Finally, there’s the tiny Eee Pad MeMO, which is likely to go head-to-head with existing tablets due to its 7.0-inch touchscreen. It will include the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (8260), front and rear facing cameras, and Android (Honeycomb) operating system (v3.0).
Jonney Shih has hinted that the MeMo is designed more for classroom use as it will include productivity software, notetaking and sharing applications. He also hinted that the forward facing camera might come in handy for taking pictures of blackboard or white-board presentations.
The MeMO is expected to sell for between $500 and $700 depending on memory and connectivity options.
Asus WAVI Xtion
Asustek Computer Inc. and Primesense (the company behind the Microsofttm Kinect) has announced a mouse replacement for PCs. This device is called the somewhat tongue twisting Wavi Xtion.
The device will be mounted below, atop, or near the personal computer screen and will serve as the user interface by allowing hand gestures to replace some keyboard functions and most mouse functions. The device can also be connected to gaming systems.
PrimeSense's 3-D camera is a core part of Microsoft Corp.'s Kinect motion- and voice-control technology for the Xbox 360 gaming console and the company has certainly extended these capabilities to the WAVI Xtion.
If plans move forward (see author's warning at the beginning of this article) the WAVI Xtion could be available as soon as the second quarter of 2011. No price has been given or even hinted at however, the Kinect retails for $150.00 so the author guesses it will be somewhat lower in price than that.
Having had direct experience with AsusTeK's offerings in the past I find this potential product line exciting. No nothing earth-shatteringly new is being introduced here, but Asus has a well deserved reputation for building reliable and functional computing devices at reduced cost.
Of the five offerings I find the Slider and WAVI XTion the most exciting.
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.
The author has no control over either the advertising or the contents of those ads.