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Asus Joins Tablet PC Race 235

Posted by Soulskill
from the aiming-for-a-piece-of-the-apple-pie dept.
WrongSizeGlass writes "Reuters is reporting that netbook pioneer Asustek Computer Inc. has become the latest technology company to jump on the tablet PC bandwagon. The device will be called the Eee Pad, will run on Intel or ARM chips, and use Microsoft's Windows operating system. 'The Eee Pad can display Adobe Flash for the full web experience, has a USB port and a camera,' Asus Chairman Jonney Shih said. Asus did not release pricing details or a potential release date, and did not provide further details on the format or a launch date for the new app store."
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Asus Joins Tablet PC Race

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  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:39PM (#32408624)
    I'm sure no one will stoop to the level of calling it a Pee Pad. Nope.
  • "Flash" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nemasu (1766860) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:40PM (#32408630)
    Is it just me or does it seem ridiculous that "our device X supports flash" is becoming a major selling point??
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes and no. If it does, in fact, become a major selling point,(as in, actually drives considerable amount of consumer behavior), then clearly a lot of people need flash a lot more than I do.

      However, as a marketing bullet point, it makes perfect sense. Adobe already supports Windows, and is desperate to support android, so if you are running one of those, the engineering is done for you, more or less. Plus, it makes for an easy, instant, product differentiation vs. the iDevices. Completely logical that yo
    • There is a lot of content on the web that requires flash. For some people, they will not purchase an iPad because it does not have flash, and will not allow them to view all fo the content they normally view. For those people, having flash certainly is a selling point.

      What seems more ridiculous is that devices like the iPad don't support flash.
      • by node 3 (115640)

        There is a lot of content on the web that requires flash. For some people, they will not purchase an iPad because it does not have flash, and will not allow them to view all fo the content they normally view. For those people, having flash certainly is a selling point.

        I suspect the number of people who will not buy an iPad due to its lack of Flash are already outnumbered by the people who have already bought an iPad.

        Lack of Flash is used as a jab against the iPad disproportionate with the actual impact the lack of Flash has on the consumer. It's a cry of desperation from the underdog. Flash is already being replaced all across the web, driven by the demand from iPhone OS users.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > What seems more ridiculous is that devices like the iPad don't support flash.

        The iPad represents ancient technology in some respects. One key thing that makes this
        less obvious is how Apple controls the experience. If end users are able to run things
        willy-nilly or try to play any random video file, the out-dated-ness of the iPad becomes
        readily apparent.

        If the iPad ran Flash, then all of the review sites would be in the same position to
        eviscerate it for it's poor Flash performance for the same exact reas

    • by westlake (615356)
      Is it just me or does it seem ridiculous that "our device X supports flash" is becoming a major selling point??

      Flash is more than video.

      The Flash 10.1 RC for Windows supports hardware acceleration.

      The installed base for Flash on Windows is as close to 100% as makes no difference.

      • by peragrin (659227)

        yes but the only hardware acceleration for flash is running windows.

        Even flash 10.1 will only hardware accelerate flash video on some devices but not all. Flash will still drain down mobile devices at a massively increased rate for little gain. carefully read adobe's words. they can only do part of it and the beta's prove it.

        Not to mention flash is way to hardware specific for a PLUGIN. Flash wants direct hardware access for a limited access plugin. it is why adobe has such a hard time porting to to var

    • Is it just me or does it seem ridiculous that "our device X supports flash" is becoming a major selling point??

      If the rest of the internet has been babbling about Apple and Flash the same way Slashdot has been babbling about it, it's easy to believe why they'd see it that way.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:41PM (#32408636)

    And then whimper when they find out Asus has been making Apple products for years.

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1042363/asus-apple-building-tablet-pc [theinquirer.net]

    • by node 3 (115640)

      Interesting article. Asus leaked that they will be building Apple's tablet, based on the Intel Core processors, and it will run Leopard. In 2007.

      As for the relationship between Asus (and other Taiwanese companies) and Apple, they have been manufacturing Apple products for years, but they have not been making them. That's how the entire industry works. And anyone who pays any attention to the tech world already knows this. Foxconn specifically has been prominent in the news in this regard, but this dynamic i

    • Wow! I didn't know Asus wrote the iPad's operating system!

  • Android (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TBoon (1381891) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:41PM (#32408638)
    So, Intel or ARM is still not decided, but that it will run Windows is? Guess that must be WinCE? But why not put Android on it? To make a real alternative to those cheap/underpowered chinese android pads floating around, and give the WePad a run for it's money?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...or rather, at this early point, Asus won't dare to openly challenge The Bully and talk about anything but Windows.

    • Because Android still has lots of issues on tablets. Until Google "blesses" it for use on a tablet PC, it's going to have a lot of limitations. For instance, Google will not allow tablet versions of Android to use the Android Marketplace... so you now have to provide a way to get apps to your tablet, and that is a headache a lot of manufactuers don't want. Either that or tell your customers to fend for themselves in finding apps.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by asdf7890 (1518587)

      So, Intel or ARM is still not decided, but that it will run Windows is? Guess that must be WinCE? But why not put Android on it?

      Because Asus sold access to their soul to MS, probably in exchange for preferential pricing or safety from a patent or few, would be my guess. Hence "its better with Windows" being plastered on the promo sites for certain eee models last year.

      • Re:Android (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 0123456 (636235) on Monday May 31, 2010 @02:47PM (#32409242)

        Hence "its better with Windows" being plastered on the promo sites for certain eee models last year.

        The funny part is that my EeePC works so much better with Linux than it does with Windows... I don't even remember the last time I booted it into the Windows partition.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        I've noticed that hardware that's good enough that significant effort goes into getting it to work in Linux (eg. anything Intel makes, it seems; Realtek hardware - if only due to quantity/commonality, etc.) will work better in Linux than in Windows. This seems to be the case with anything that is supported well in Linux, in fact: it'll run better there than in Windows. (I think NTFS on slow disks is largely the cause of poor performance on Windows, at that.)

        I wonder if Asus has enough market sway to say "ma

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by moogsynth (1264404)
        They were "persuaded" to go with Windows instead of Android. source [electronista.com]. Make of that what you will.

        Taiwan companies making tablets are being "persuaded" by Intel and Microsoft to promote x86-based tablets over ARM models, according to a controversial claim today. Both ASUS and MSI had made it clear they were producing Tegra-based ARM tablets with Android at the start of the year but have suddenly shifted much of their attention for the Computex show in early June to systems using Intel's chips, usually Atom pr

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Patch86 (1465427)

      I'd be more interested to see a MeeGo slate come around. It already works great on the N900, which is obviously a rival of the iPhone, and has a scaled up version for full laptops/netbooks.

      If iPhone OS can make the successful jump from phone to larger tablet, MeeGo seems like a natural enough rival to follow its lead.

  • Day Late... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:43PM (#32408654)

    Neither model is expected to hit the market until Q1 2011, with prices tipped at between $399 and $499.

    At which point the iPad will have been out for an entire year. Every one else that can will have jumped on the bandwagon. If I *wanted* a *Pad, I'd go and get an iPad. I'm not waiting until Q1 of next year for something.

    Reminds me of what PCWorld said about the Windows 7 Phone:
    "If this were two years ago, Windows Phone 7 might even be a cutting edge innovation that could set the smartphone world on fire."

    • Re:Day Late... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zmollusc (763634) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:49PM (#32408726)

      iPad, iShmad. I am willing to wait until a tablet comes out that does what I want. Or (more unlikely) until Apple decide that it will allow the things I want to do with a tablet to be done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      ... "If I *wanted* a *Pad ..."

      Sweet. The SPLAT Pad. I want one!

    • Re:Day Late... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:54PM (#32408774)

      What about those of us who *might* want a tablet if it had a maximum price of $500 and could run what we want to on it? If it's made by Asus and has Windows installed by default, then there's a good chance it can be made to run Linux also.

      • What about those of us who *might* want a tablet if it had a maximum price of $500 and could run what we want to on it?

        Jailbroken iPad.

        It's here today. You can buy one right now.

        No it doesn't run Linux but it does run a variant of UNIX you can compile just about anything for you might want - or of course write your own stuff (and that's even easily done without jailbreaking).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pandrijeczko (588093)

          Sorry, why would I buy a *restricted* device only to *unrestrict* it and more than likely invalidate the warranty in the process?

          Besides which, even if I wanted to, the cheapest iPad is $499 without sales tax - and because I'm in the UK, I'd have to add sales tax and shipping on top of that if buying from the US, or pay £429 (= $620) for one in the UK. Either way, it's more than the $500 limit I'd pay for such a device.

          Finally, I'm a shell/PERL/Python scripter, not a fully-fledged programmer - so the

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If I *wanted* an *Pad, I'd have gotten one already. Oh, wait, I did, in early 2008.

      I bought a tablet from Motion Computing in early 2008, and I've been very happy with it. It lets me use a stylus to take notes. I use peer-to-peer interactive whiteboard software, so that I can work on maths with my colleagues; this software is in Python so it runs happily on Windows, Mac, and Linux (including the Nokia N900 and the ARM tablet from Always Innovating).

      When Apple or anyone else makes a *Pad that works with a st

    • by V50 (248015)

      Not only that, but by 2011 the next revision of the iPad should be coming out. Like the iPod and iPhone, I imagine it'll really be the second and third revision of the iPad that become popular.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sznupi (719324)

      Even then the market will be far from saturated, especially considering that Apple targets only premium people living in premium places.

      Did you know that, for a few years, you can easily find, say, a manufacturer which sells more media players than the total number of iPods produced up to that point? Not so visible in favorite markets of analysts/etc., but...

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:47PM (#32408712)

    Asus should remarket themselves as "Snapple", call the device the "iPud" and appoint a new CEO with glasses called "Steve Jibs".

    I'm sure if Steve Jibs of Snapple Inc. post some viral videos of the iPud showing its Adobe support, multi-tasking and USB ports, thousands of rabid fanbois would queue up outside Snapple Stores to buy one and part with their hard-earned cash before they had calmed down enough to realise they had been duped, albeit with a device of better capabilities than their iPads.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by hedwards (940851)
      You're missing the point, if Steve Jobs says that a keyboard shouldn't have an M key, then by God it shouldn't have an M key. I mean, I think that's what that old stupid mouse button thing was about. Thankfully they've come to their senses, but Apple is rather notorious for telling users what they can and can't do with there devices. Sure flash sucks, but it ought to be up to the users to decide rather than some arbitrary licensing restrictions to decide.
      • I think you've missed my point - I was joking about Asus exploiting the feeble-mindedness of the fanbois in order to make some money out of them...

  • The browser is Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hkmwbz (531650) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:54PM (#32408770) Journal
    I was about to say "surprisingly", but then realized that it isn't really that surprising after all: The Eee Pad seems to use Opera [youtube.com] as its browser.
  • I really like my Eee's, couldn't ever see myself buying a tablet because I use the keybboard on them so much and a non-tactile keyboard that gets in the way of the application you're typing into doesn't appeal to me much.

    However if I wanted a tablet I'd get an Asus T91, virtually the same size as my Eee 900's, with multitouch capabilities on the higher model and the screen rotates round to hide the keyboard, allowing you to use it as a notebook and a tablet.
  • Joins? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:58PM (#32408804) Homepage Journal

    By announce a simi-vapor product with no concrete release date or price..

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:59PM (#32408816) Homepage Journal

    By the time this comes out, with how things are going Flash may be just a distant memory.

    • Yes, because of course there's been an absolute *DELUGE* of web sites migrating away from Flash to HTML5 since the iPad came out!

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Just the big players so far. Smaller ones will follow so as not to be left out.

        Sure it takes time to change, but in the IT world a year is a LONG way away.

        • Well, go on then... some examples of "big players" please, rather than the generalised sweeping statement typical of the genus fanboius incredibilus gobshite.

        • If, by big players, you mean players such as Hulu and Netflix, no dice. Not going to happen. They've said so.
    • by westlake (615356)

      By the time this comes out, with how things are going Flash may be just a distant memory.

      Apple has sold two million iPads.

      That translates to 0.03% of web users. 0.12% in the states. Headlines [netmarketshare.com]

      Windows has a global share of 91%. Win 7, 12% and closing in fast on 20%. Operating System Market Share [netmarketshare.com] [May 31]

  • Pad. How Original (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Monday May 31, 2010 @02:00PM (#32408828)
    The problem with tablets running "full" operating systems is that Windows, OS X, etc are designed specifically for keyboard and mouse/trackpad interfaces and not touch. Having a multitude of windows on a touch screen where you simply substitute your finger / stylus for input and still requires keyboard input via the on screen keyboard is not an optimal solution. I've used the iPad and windows powered tablets, and while the iPad doesn't do all the things I'd like it to do, the interface is ideal for a touch screen, unlike regular windows 7. Unless Asus is going to invest in a really good touch interface to sit on top of windows, or use android or some other OS designed for touch, this will be a failure.
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      You make it sound like no one ever made any other software for PCs that have utilized other inputs.

      A lot of what the iPad does with touch isn't even terribly magical.

      It's not the tech, it's the approach. It's just that all the fanboys want to whine about
      is the spiffy new gadgets. They certainly are prone to grab you're attention but they
      really aren't the most important part. Although it certainly benefits Apple for their
      users to fixate on the wrong details.

      • They have not (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall (25149)

        You make it sound like no one ever made any other software for PCs that have utilized other inputs.

        For the most part, they have not. You can count meaningful PC tablet software on both hands, probably while eating a hotdog.

        The iPad can run around 200k applications written specifically for touch input. Around 5k or so I believe, that target the iPad specifically.

        To claim any tablet PC has even a reasonable collection of touch based software you can use out of the gate, is absurd.

  • horrible (Score:4, Insightful)

    by yyxx (1812612) on Monday May 31, 2010 @02:02PM (#32408846)

    A Windows 7 tablet and a Windows CE tablet, both lousy software platforms for tablets. They should be shipping Android, ChromeOS, and MeeGo.

  • Yawn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Monday May 31, 2010 @02:15PM (#32408976)
    EEE Pad? Not even Linux based? **yawn**.... another "me too". Nothing innovative here. There have been many MS-Windows tablets for many years. There is no reason to think this is anything different.
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Monday May 31, 2010 @02:43PM (#32409210)

    These rubbish Windows OS based tablets have been around for years, they've sold poorly (even Bill Gates's predictions were completely wrong) and just have rubbish usability. Why will they sell now?

    Why do you think Apple put iPhone OS on the iPad? simple, there is masses of touch screen compatible software for iPhone OS, the UI is great for a touch screen (it was built for one). Apple even redesigned and rebuilt their office tools for the touchscreen.

    Microsoft couldn't do any of the above, there's just too many internal squabbles and underhanded tactics at Microsoft. The head of the Office software team refused to support tablets, so Office is painful to use. Windows itself only has a hack of a tablet layer on top of it to support tablets.

    • Why do you think Apple put iPhone OS on the iPad?

      You know, I'm pleased you gave me the correct answer because my first response was going to be "Because it cuts downs on development costs while still giving Apple the opportunity to overprice the item, thus allowing Steve Jobs to earn even more filthy fanboi lucre for just churning out a bigger Touch".

      Thanks for putting me on the correct track, you may make a cultist of me yet!

  • Tablet-like computing is the future, and although Microsoft's absolute fucking around stalled it for years and forfeited the market to Apple, the outcome is still inevitable. What I'm waiting for is a Tablet PC that finally eliminates the lag when you draw on the screen with a stylus. I want to get rid of the security, storage, and landfill problems inherent with drawing my designs in paper notebooks.
    • It depends what you need a computer to do.

      If you're into graphics design then there's some justification in what you say and there's been odd bits of technology like light pens and graphics tablets to plug into computers to help with graphics work.

      But if you're administering or programming a computer then you cannot beat the tactile feel of an external keyboard - they're pretty much unchanged on computers for 5 decades now so I don't think they'll be changing any time soon.

  • by Snaller (147050) on Monday May 31, 2010 @04:08PM (#32410154) Journal

    If Google is working on one, I hope they'll get it right and call it the GPadd (Personal Access Display Device [memory-alpha.org]

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