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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  • hvakrg - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    One thing I believe could be a problem on the CE-tablet is the browser, if I'm not mistaken it comes with a version of IE7 and that won't cutt it on a tablet, we need a HTML5 capable browser by next year. Reply
  • nortexoid - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Should've gone Android or other linux (derivative). Reply
  • R4F43LZiN - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Yeah, put me on the list for the 12" one! When I read the description, I was like, "wow, that's exactly what I want".

    Shame that's gonna take so much time... With one of those, I really don't see the need (at least for me) to have a notebook. I would just buy a keyboard-dock and would be all set.
    Reply
  • R4F43LZiN - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    I believe, like some of the above, that "open windows" means that you would be able to run anything that can run on a windows desktop, not just the apps that Apple wants you to run. I mean, everyday we hear stories about how Apple manipulates the appstore, offering only what it judges to be good. With Windows on the Pad, there would way more freedom in terms of software and compatibility. Of course that the MS haters would still prefer the iPad. In the other hand, anyone that doesn't buy its hardware by religion would prefer something that's more useful than a giant iPhone. Reply
  • ABR - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    So an Asus-pad would be open because you can run any desktop Windows app? But how is that an open/closed thing? The iPad is a different device from a laptop computer, just like a smartphone or a portable gaming console is. Different device, different purpose. Maybe Android phones and portable Playstations are "closed" in some sense since they aren't providing you full access to that Von Neumann architecture inside, but that's not very relevant. If you want to play PS games, buy a portable Playstation. If you want to run all your Windows apps and do general-purpose computing, buy a laptop or an existing or upcoming "Winpad" computer. If you just want to listen to music, watch videos, read PDFs, browse the internet, but are already happy with what your laptop provides in the general computing department, maybe you'll get an iPad. Open and closed has nothing to do with it. Buy one or don't buy one -- unlike in many cases, Windows, you aren't forced to use it. Reply
  • Ninjahedge - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Open simply means that M$ has not locked out all other developers/contributors yet. It has always been both the blessing and the curse of the PC (compatibility).

    They will have a hard time unseating the Pad if they face it on the same field. There are few linear OS's that could give a smoother, albeit limited, experience.

    The problems are simple. Apple has a fanbase. They also have EXCELLENT promoters, AND they have a head start. It would be very difficult to compete with them unless you did any combination of things.

    They need to either do whatever it can, but cheaper, or offer more for about the same price.

    Some additions, like ports and easily accessable batteries may make it worth more to some, but not to all.

    Or they need to make it something that is basically a smaller Notebook. But then you are no longer directly competing with the Pad anymore....

    As for battery life, 10 hours sounds great, but a bunch of people will not be using this for 10 hours strait. If they can find an easy way to swap batteries and provide a convenient charge station (have one ready at the drop of a hat) it may balance out a shorter lifespan (4 hours? 6 hours?)
    Reply
  • x0rg - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    You said: "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."

    I'm using Air Video on my iPad, it streams any video format I have on my home rig to my iPad over WiFi. The Air Video Server needs to be installed on your computer and it converts almost any video (using ffmpeg) in real-time, then broadcast the video stream so you got it on iPad with Air Video client. very smart move. I'm watching everything from my computer. No audio support yet, just video.
    Reply
  • PortsOrBust - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    No mention here about external connectivity, but so that's been the deal killer for me most of these devices, and not just Apple. I use a USB760 Cellular broadband device (Verizon), and have used an ExpressCard (Sprint) in the past. From what I have seen, "closed" has also meant locking the user to a manufacturer-chosen 3G provider via an internal, device, instead of letting user choose the provider and device that works best for them. And then there are things like the keyboard and mouse I already own, instead of spending another hundred bucks for a redundant device . . . SDHC, cameras, I could go on . . . Sorry, but WiFi isn't everywhere, and video isn't everything, at least not to me. I find the Asus /Windows 7 combination very promising in this regard . . . They may just let me use the device how and for what I want . . . Finally, when comparing battery life, don't forget to compare screen resolution - the Asus is displaying at 720p vs most others at what - 1024x600? I'll take 8 hours at that trade off any day . . . . Reply
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