Aside from wanting to be the 3rd largest notebook manufacturer in the next 2 years, ASUS also wants to be the more open alternative to Apple. That means no closed platforms, no limiting functionality in order to preserve an ideal user experience, but it also means that we should expect some Apple-alternative products from the Taiwanese company. That's where today's Eee Pad announcement comes in to play.

There are two versions of the Eee Pad, a 12" and a 10" model. I'll start with the 10" first as it is the closest competitor to the iPad. The EP101TC runs Windows Embedded Compact 7 (Windows CE based) and uses NVIDIA's Tegra 2. 1080p playback is supported but I'm waiting to hear from ASUS exactly how open the platform will be. The iPad is great for video playback but everything needs to be in an iPhone/iPad friendly format. Hopefully the 10" Eee Pad will let you play all of your H.264 content on your network regardless of format/container. In my mind that would give the Eee Pad the edge it needs over the iPad to be a great video consumption device.

 

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The 12" Eee Pad shares little in common with the 10" version other than the name. The EP121 uses a CULV Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and runs Windows 7 Home Premium. This is a touchscreen tablet PC rather than an iPad competitor. ASUS estimates up to 10 hours of battery life.

 

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  • OblivionLord - Monday, May 31, 2010 - link

    I would say yea. You are locked into the OS that apple puts on the iPad. You simply can't run any apple app you want that you would use on your imac or ibook.

    However with this 12", since it says it uses windows 7 home, you can run any executable that is compatible with windows7. It may be a 'thicker' device than the ipad but you have more freedom overall.
    Reply
  • zero2espect - Monday, May 31, 2010 - link

    i wouldnt be holding my breath on the ui on the 10" version - bespoke ui and os is not the strong point of companies like asus (i'd be more reassured if it was a google based os). i am genuinely interested to see what they can pull out with enhancements and ui wraps to win7 touch. i sure hope it's multi touch. Reply
  • DaveSimmons - Monday, May 31, 2010 - link

    I'm not sure WinCE is a good choice for a tablet compared to Android (similar batter life, huge variety of apps) and "real" Windows (reduced battery life but runs real Windows programs).

    You can't run any of your existing software on it, and CE doesn't have the support from developers that Android is getting.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Monday, May 31, 2010 - link

    There's a decent amount of WinCE software available on the net. You don't need an app store to grab it, either. I'd probably slap mplayer or coreplayer on there, if the built in player doesn't have enough format support. Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    The 10" version from Asus will use some ARM processor, and Windows (non-CE) is not officially compatible with ARM processors (and even if it were, you couldn't run Windows x86 applications on it). So, it's either Windows CE (for mobile), Android, a version of Linux or some BSD derivative Reply
  • hvakrg - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    You're forgetting about Silverlight and XNA, with support for that it's not a problem for developers to create apps and games for the 10" tablet. And even "port" them from the WP7. What I'd really love though is for MS to create an API that lets people build support for shops like WP7 and Zune into their own programs, imagine Mediaportal/Meedios with a Zune shop integrated in it? Reply
  • killerclick - Monday, May 31, 2010 - link

    I'm sick of the word 'consumption' bein used in this context. Ever since the iPad came out, I keep hearing about content consumption... Hey, tech journalists, how about you consume the content of my balls... right off of your little content consumption devices.

    It's even worse than 'Web 2.0' and 'Cloud'...
    Reply
  • hmurchison - Monday, May 31, 2010 - link

    I really hope they have something a bit more powerful than "We're Open" as a marketing campaign for their tablet. By and large consumers don't really care about open platforms as much as they care about making a product that's quality and idiot proof.

    Marketing "open" is marketing to Geeks and you don't get rich selling only to Geeks.
    Reply
  • ABR - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    I'm not sure I understand the terminology "Open Apple" here. So we have a device that ships and runs Microsoft Windows instead of iPhone OS. (And I assume either can / will be able to run Linux.) Great. So somehow Windows is "open" because it is more common? When did this "new math" come into fashion? Reply
  • hvakrg - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Windows is open because you're not locked into an exosystem where the manufacturer is all-mighty and can do as they please. Reply

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