After releasing several teaser shots
of its new tablets, Asus has properly greeted the devices with a press release. The company has announced four new slates that offer different feature sets depending on your needs: the Eee Pad Slider, Eee Pad Transformer, Eee Pad MeMO, and Eee Slate EP121. All will be on display during CES from January 6-8 between 9:30AM and 6:00PM at The Venetian, San Polo Ballroom - 3501A.
As its name suggests, the Slider ($500-$800, set to launch in May) packs a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for folks that want to use their tablet for content creation and other heavy typing sessions on the go. Key features include a 10.1-inch IPS touchscreen, a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 SoC, 1.2MP front and 5MP rear cameras, optional 3G connectivity, and Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb
, the update with enhanced tablet support).
Eee Pad Slider (left) and Eee Pad Transformer (right)
The 10.1-inch Transformer ($400-$700, coming in April) carries the same Tegra 2 chip, Android OS, and front/rear-mounted cameras, but it drops the slide-out keyboard in favor of an optional docking station that "transforms" the slate into a full-fledged notebook. This sounds similar to Lenovo's IdeaPad U1 Hybrid
, except the Transformer's dock isn't an entirely separate machine so you won't have to pay $1,300 for a hardware keyboard.
Eee Pad MeMO
Asus' Eee Pad MeMO (starts at $499, due in June) has a smaller 7.1-inch body, making it more portable than the above offerings. It too runs Android 3.0 with a "wide range of productivity and entertainment software" and an emphasis on note-taking (a stylus is included). We assume the MeMO also utilizes Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform, as the press release mentions a micro HDMI port and support for 1080p video playback.
Eee Slate EP121
Last, but certainly not least, Asus' new Eee Slate EP121 ($999, coming this month) departs from the Tegra/Android combo in favor of a dual-core Intel Core i5 and Windows 7 Home Premium. It also carries a 12.1-inch 1280x800 multitouch display with a 178-degree viewing angle, 32 or 64GB of flash storage (expandable via SDXC), a 2MP camera, one mini-HDMI and two USB 2.0 ports, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity.