ASUS Tablets—Introduction

With CES 2011 upon us, we must acknowledge that 2011 could well be the “Year of the Tablet”. Everyone—Motorola, Dell, HP, HTC, Acer, you name it—is releasing a tablet or three. If you’re ASUS, you’re announcing four different tablets today. If you are ASUS, I’d like to offer my congratulations and best wishes for this full-on assault of the tablet market. Chances are though, you’re not ASUS, so here’s the rundown on the four new devices.

Three of them are Honeycomb-based tablets, joined by a traditional Windows slate. Looking at the Android tablets, we have the MeMO, a 7” Snapdragon slate, the Transformer, a 10” Tegra 2 slate with an optional keyboard docking station (hence the name), and the Slider, an interesting 10” model with a sliding, tilting keyboard (think a supersized HTC Touch Pro 2). All three of these come under Eee Pad branding, while the Windows tablet is branded as the Eee Slate EP121. It’s a 12.1” slate with an active Wacom digitizer and Core i5 UM power. There are IPS displays and 178 degree viewing angles to go around, as well as 1080p playback and HDMI outputs.

Like I mentioned before, ASUS is just one company in a huge wave of forthcoming tablets. After Apple, Google is the biggest player in the room, both in the form of existing Froyo devices like the Galaxy Tab and new systems based on Honeycomb. Microsoft, who really made the first tablet push back in 2003, are still there, but seeing themselves being reduced to a bit player until something drastic changes (is anyone else seeing the parallels with Windows Mobile here?) BlackBerry and HP/Palm are hoping to make a splash with the PlayBook and WebOS, respectively. Given all these different players, let’s break down the four new ASUS tablets further.

ASUS Eee Pad MeMO
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  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, January 06, 2011 - link

    remind me, how was the battery life on that one? Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't really call the R2h a 'convertible tablet' and I should know as I have one sitting right next to me, with it's cray stylus that no longer likes to stay in it's slot and fan that never stops. Mmm, celeron.
    Why haven't I ever repalced it? Simple, it's great. Slow, huge, but does what it does. I might even get an SSD drive for it one day.

    It also had gps! (Never worked very well, but its there)
    Reply
  • ATOmega - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    Not sure why tablet makers insist on gouging us so hard. Overall, the hardware costs them peanuts to produce. The majority of the OS is produced by google and all they're doing is integrating it. Most of the devices of which already have drivers.
    None of this is new to ASUS who have been in the business since forever. So why the premium? SOCs are supposed to reduce prices, not drive them up.

    Do these use Gorilla Glass? Do they have GPS? Will I be able to buy one from somewhere other than a cell phone service provider? Will I be able to use the Android market? Are the prices in Canada going to have another $40 tacked on arbitrarily, even though our dollar is at par? How much extra will we pay just to get 1GB instead of 512MB?

    I'm incredibly interested in the Transformer, but I'm not shelling out what will likely be $800 for a tablet and the keyboard! Get real! Offer a pack of the 1GB RAM model with the keyboard for $500. Overnight tablet market domination.
    Reply
  • sjprg2 - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    Why at this late date are they STILL putting USB 2 instead of USB 3 ports, and only 1 GB of memory? Same crap, with nothing moving ahead. No PCI-E ribbon for SSDs. Come on turkeys, Give us something to feel worthwhile spending our money on instead of rehashed crap. Still pushing SATA when PCIE is the logical step. Price is important, but performance is the bottom line for buying technology NOT toys.
    Paul
    Reply
  • alfredska - Thursday, January 06, 2011 - link

    Vivek Gowri's style of writing makes this article difficult to read right from the start. The first paragraph includes two sentences that start with "If you (are) ASUS...". The congratulatory statement to ASUS is probably best moved to end of the article and directed differently. These are quickly followed by an incomprehensible list that fails to properly join operating systems and hardware: "Three of them are Honeycomb-based tablets, joined by a traditional Windows slate. Looking at the Android tablets, we have the MeMO, a 7” Snapdragon slate, the Transformer, a 10” Tegra 2 slate with an optional keyboard docking station (hence the name), and the Slider, an interesting 10” model with a sliding, tilting keyboard (think a supersized HTC Touch Pro 2)." First, honeycomb should have been linked to Android for the bulk of the public who isn't familiar with all of the Android OS names. Second, list the devices concisely, then follow with descriptions. The processor names look as if they could be tablet names.

    I gave up reading beyond page one.
    Reply
  • accolite - Friday, January 07, 2011 - link

    Ive been looking for a slate with these kinds of specs for a while and the other is the Wacom pen, one question before I get too excited about this slate, is the pen pressure sensitive?

    If it is I am getting one as soon as it is coming out.
    Reply
  • Anon51 - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    Let the buyer beware!

    I signed up just to say, as an owner of a Garmin-Asus A10 smartphone, it has come to my attention that every single LCD panel Asus uses in that phone has a significant amount of lazy pixels. After sending it back to Asus for repairs several times, every LCD panel they have replaced have come back equally flawed. Refunds are not available.

    Suffice to say, i am extremely skeptical of their products, especially when they are priced well below market. Protect yourselves and do not purchase from this company unless you can be guaranteed a refund.

    I pray you have a better experience with them than i did.
    Reply

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