posted by Thom Holwerda on Mon 31st May 2010 12:44 UTC
IconIt's time for Computex! This means loads of gadgets and related stuff to flood the internet, so let's get started by focussing on ASUS. The company showed off two interesting tablets: the Eee Tablet (which is actually a notepad) and the Eee Pad (which is actually a tablet). No, this doesn't make any sense, but product naming hasn't been a strong point at ASUS for a while now. There's also the ExoPC Slate (not from ASUS), which has a pretty interesting user interface.


ASUS

The most interesting of the two is definitely the Eee Tablet. This one is actually a combination between an e-reader and a digital notepad, and employs a backlight-less TFT-LCD with 64 shades of gray. The 8" 1024×768 display has an input sensitivity of 2450 dpi, and employs a stylus for taking notes.

It's an interesting device, but it will surely have a relatively small niche to serve. Still, the refresh rates are a lot better than e-ink displays, and as the Engadget video below demonstrates, writing on this thing is incredibly smooth. Input is stylus-only, but on a device like this, that makes perfect sense.


Video courtesy of Engadget.

There's more tablet stuff on the way from ASUS, though. They also demonstrated two other tablets, the Eee Pad EP101TC and EP121, which come in 10" and 12", respectively. These devices, while very well-built in the hardware department (I love the dock), still have a long way to go: software-wise, they're simple nowhere near production ready.

The most interesting thing here is that they're NVIDIA Tegra based, and run Windows Embedded Compact 7, with an admittedly good-looking interface (very Android-like). These hardware choices should give the two tablets some pretty good battery life and performance figures. While I personally would prefer Android, choice is always a good thing, and it will be interesting to see how well Windows Embedded Compact 7 holds up to the competition.


Video courtesy of Engadget.


ExoPC Slate

The ExoPC Slate takes an entirely different route. Whereas the Eee products were impressive hardware-wise and not ready in the software departmant, the ExoPC is almost the exact opposite: the hardware is slightly stale (Atom-based), but the software really stands out. Hardware first though: Atom 1.6Ghz, 2GB of RAM, 32GB SSD, two USB ports, SD card slot, HDMI out, VGA webcam, and a Broadcom Crystal HD chip for HD content.

Being an Atom-based machine, the ExoPC slate is x86, and it runs Windows 7. Now, we all know Windows 7, while multitouch ready, isn't particularly suited for finger-based input, and as such, the guys behind the ExoPC have developed their own UI layer on top of Windows 7. According to Engadget, who got to test the device at Computex, it's an incredibly slick experience.


Video courtesy of Engadget.

Battery life will most likely be an issue with this device, but hopefully they'll be able to keep it at an acceptable level. I think the interface does indeed look quite interesting, but as usual, most of this device's success will be based on how many developers will be willing to write applications that fit into the paradigm.

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