Asus Prepping Its Own iPad-like Tablets

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PC maker Asus is planning on bringing its own iPad-like tablet computers to market some time this year, and the company expects it will be able to capitalize on what it sees as weaknesses in Apple's design, according to Register Hardware.

Asus system business group vice president Eric Chen many people see Apple's iPad as a "big screen iPhone." He added "This is something we can improve. We will have similar products. We have a couple of projects under way."

Asus plans to release its iPad competitors within a year to take advantage of the tablet hype Apple has built up with its pending launch.

Apple introduced the iPad in January and promised a March release. The iPad includes a 9.7-inch multitouch display, runs a version of the iPhone operating system, can play movies and music, works as an ebook reader, and will be available in a Wi-Fi only version along with models that support Wi-Fi and 3G wireless data connections.

Mr. Chen isn't saying what features the Asus tablets will include, but did indicate that the company would likely form alliances with vendors and target different businesses.

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22 Comments Leave Your Own

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

It’s not like this is rocket science… Replaceable battery, HDMI out, 2 USB ports, Windows 7, Flash, Kindle app. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

klonky

Isn’t there an app for that?

Nemo

One thing that I find interesting is that the video demo for ASUS’s multitouch computers, the T101 and T91, originally showed those computers doing multitouch.  Now, after Apple’s patent infringement suit against HTC, those video demo have been altered.  They show touch, but multitouch is gone.  There is no zoom in and out by contracting and spreading fingers; typing is pecking each letter with a single finger.  The original demos were much different.  Multitouch was every where.  It could simply be a coincidence, but it could be that ASUS is concerned that it too may have to face Apple’s patent lawyers.  And I wonder what features and capabilities the production version of ASUS’s “multitouch” devices will have.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@nemo… I have a t91MT next to my MBP and just confirmed that pinch to zoom works great in IE. So does Flash!

thej

It’s the software stupid !!!

This is why Apple is kickin’ butt in the smart phone arena. The same will be true with tablets.

Look at any of the apps that are being shown off for the iPad. The UI design has been taken to the next level. Beyond   MacOS, Windows and even iPhone. The hardware is just the foundation for the software (especially the touch screen in the case of the iPad) not the other way around.

Will USB or HDMI ports allow ASUS or any other company to have software of this quality???

NO. It won’t.

Good luck ASUS. Without a solid software base and an army of developers that understand UI design, the end result will be just another Windows or linux machine… just smaller.

webjprgm

Will USB or HDMI ports allow ASUS or any other company to have software of this quality???

NO. It won?t.

Good luck ASUS. Without a solid software base and an army of developers that understand UI design, the end result will be just another Windows or linux machine? just smaller.

I agree with thej.  Though I think the ASUS tablet product will still sell very well.

Tiger

Prepping. Everybody’s prepping. Apple is one month away from RELEASING a product they’ve no doubt been developing for three years. Everybody else is going to rush something out the door to play catch up. Or attempt to I should say.

Asus should stick to their niche, netbooks. They’re making some good cash on them for now.

In the immortal words of TLC, don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to.

Bennyboy

Replaceable battery, HDMI out, 2 USB ports, Windows 7, Flash, Kindle app.

If you want USB, Flash and Win7,  you will need MANY replaceable batteries.  Just watch the same developers who have made a solar rechargeable battery case for the iPhone make one for the iPad. You want to charge up your iPad? go outside for lunch and bring it with you. 

Unless you have a SSD how are you going to run win7 on something so small without a ton of ram and a large amount of storage?  How long will the battery(ies) last before they have to be charged or replaced??

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  I am sure that Apple also has T91MT and is closely examining it, and will do the same with T101Mt, once it’s released.  We will see whether Apple and its lawyers and engineers conclude, as a result of those examinations, that either of those products infringes on Apple’s intellectual property.  For if Apple does reach the conclusion that either or both of those products infringe on its IP, I have no doubt that Apple will demand that ASUS cease and desist its infringement and compensate it for its infringing activity and, if ASUS fails to do so, sue ASUS in federal district court for an injunction and damages and move the ITC to enjoin ASUS from importing its infringing products into the United States.

Then again perhaps ASUS isn’t infringing.  We shall see.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Funny that my t91MT pretty much goes all day. I’m using it by the side of my MBP to browse developer documentation, take quick notes, and test Windows builds. It’s not on all the time, but quite a bit. I’m certainly getting 6+ hours of use per charge. It could use another 1GB of RAM, sure, and when 32GB Flash drives come down in price, it’s getting one of those in its dedicated secondary Flash slot.

Constable Odo

Funny that my t91MT pretty much goes all day. I?m using it by the side of my MBP to browse developer documentation, take quick notes, and test Windows builds. It?s not on all the time, but quite a bit. I?m certainly getting 6+ hours of use per charge. It could use another 1GB of RAM, sure, and when 32GB Flash drives come down in price, it?s getting one of those in its dedicated secondary Flash slot.

Clearly the iPad is not for you.  I doubt if it was ever designed for someone like you in mind.  You consider yourself a cutting edge sort of computer user.  It doesn’t matter how complicated the device is.  If it’s cheap and does what you need, you’ll buy it.  The t91MT is at the bottom of the heap when it comes to usability vs complexity.  No self-respecting company would offer that convertible to the low-tech consumer masses.  It’s barely suitable to run full Windows 7.

The iPad is meant for low-tech consumers who really don’t care much about computers.  These consumers won’t care about ports, processors, memory, etc.  They’ll only want to be able to download reading material, video, games and view specialized media content as simply as possible.  Lack of Flash support doesn’t matter now and will matter even less in the future for mobile devices.  Neither the iPhone or iPod Touch support Flash and still have tens of millions of users that make up the majority of mobile web browsing.

It’s understandable that you would not buy an iPad due to your must-have hardware features list.  The iPad will come up short for that.  These shortcomings will not matter to youngsters or adults that only want a computing device that is simple for them to use without having to master a steep learning curve like Windows 7 would require them to.  So, even though you think the iPad is just an overpriced, dumbed down device with less value than a netbook, it will probably become a very successful product for Apple.  A game changer for the humble low-tech consumer that may have little interest in computers as they are now.  The publishing industry is not putting hopes in the netbook for it’s revival.  They’ve apparently chosen the iPad for that.

Nemo

Dear Constable Odo:  “The iPad is meant for low-tech consumers who really don?t care much about computers.  These consumers won?t care about ports, processors, memory, etc.  They?ll only want to be able to download reading material, video, games and view specialized media content as simply as possible.”  I concur.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You two crack me up. You have turned my 87 year old grandmother (who managed to fry her G4 Cube today and will be getting a hand-me-down Mac Mini that will be replaced by a colorful Dell Zino HD) into an ?ber-geek! She who takes pictures with her digital camera, loads maps on her TomTom, and prints cute letters for her church friend is now too technologically gifted for the iPad.

So in June, it will be interesting to see if people who bought iPads are still using them or whether they realized the devices were just big, clunky iPod Touches. I can’t wait.

Vern Seward

It?s not like this is rocket science? Replaceable battery, HDMI out, 2 USB ports, Windows 7, Flash, Kindle app. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

OK, so why do you need a replaceable battery?

I’ve never understood that argument. I’ve owned plenty of laptops of various makes and models and I’ve only had to replace one battery, and that was because of a recall (it was a Dell).

Well, OK, I’ve got a PowerBook 520c that has a battery that won’t hold a charge for long. I’m sure glad I can swap that one out. grin

Seriously, why do people feel they need to access the battery?

Some argue that they want to replace the stock battery with something better. If you put a third party battery in your iPad/laptop/iPhone you can void the warranty, and unless the battery offers 50% or more in device uptime then is it really worth the bother?

I don’t think so.

And if you really need more uptime there are alternatives available.

Maybe I’m missing something. (My marbles perhaps?)

Vern

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You are missing something. And to be fair to Apple’s iPod and all the other devices they make that you can’t replace the battery on, other netbook makers are spotty on this. My t91MT doesn’t have a swappable battery, but I remember reading that the t101MT would.

I want to have one battery in the device, and one charged backup to take with me on a long day. With a realistic 6-8 hour device, that means I can go all day doing fairly heavy tasks without any worries. That’s roughly 12x as long as my MBP.

Vern Seward

You are missing something. And to be fair to Apple?s iPod and all the other devices they make that you can?t replace the battery on, other netbook makers are spotty on this. My t91MT doesn?t have a swappable battery, but I remember reading that the t101MT would.

I want to have one battery in the device, and one charged backup to take with me on a long day. With a realistic 6-8 hour device, that means I can go all day doing fairly heavy tasks without any worries. That?s roughly 12x as long as my MBP.

Then how about carrying a charger, the kind that’s a battery itself, and use it to supplement your power? Such devices are plentiful and versatile because they can charge multiple devices, not just your laptop.

Nope, I not missing anything. I can see no reason to have a swappable battery in laptops, cell phones, or the coming iPad.

Vern

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Vern, You made a very strong point that I had to think about. And then this morning, since Apple doesn’t make a netbook and I needed another cheap laptop for my kids literacy projects, I received an Acer Aspire One 532-h from Amazon ($306 shipped next day, 1 GB, 160 GB, Win 7 Starter, 802.11n). And the answer became very clear.

It has a removable 6-cell battery. From multiple sources, I can get an additional 6 cell battery, a sleeker 3 cell battery, or a bulging 9 cell battery. The downside of more cells is more bulk below. So there are two reasons the removable battery makes a lot of sense. (1) When the battery needs to be replaced (and it will), multiple sources ensure that I get a competitive price with no labor component. (2) I can customize the device to either maximize battery life or sleekness to my liking, not Steve Jobs’ liking. I know, that makes me a power user nerd and all. Blah blah blah.

Check one of these Acer netbooks out next time you get a chance. The battery pack really doesn’t get in the way or detract from the design. Yeah, I know, it’s not Apple, of course it doesn’t detract from its crappy not-by-Johnny-Ive-design. Blah blah blah.

Vern Seward

Hi Bosco,

While I’ll agree that being able to choose between battery sizes is a nice feature, I still contend that is is not a good reason for Apple to offer any product with user changeable batteries. Your netbook can still be charged using the portable charger I suggested earlier. The bonus is that you can maintain the slim design and have extra power whenever you need it, and, as I mentioned before, that battery can be used elsewhere when needed. You can’t do that with your bulgy battery pack.

With Apple products, design is a major part of the equation, so having an option for a bulking battery won’t do, and it’s a non-issue. And if design wasn’t relevant then why does the rest of the industry follow Apple?

Now you had to go and pull the “Jobs=God” card. Again, I take issue. Jobs is just a guy with a vision and the balls enough to go after it. Everyone won’t share that vision, and that’s OK, but why attack it? Don’t be hatin’ cuz the guy is doing his thing.

I’m not saying that Jobs and Apple can do no wrong. They can and have. Those who run are more likely to misstep than those who stand still.  What I am saying is that I respect the man and the company for forging ahead where others standby and wring their hands.

You like the Asus, I’m happy for you. Really. I’ve compared netbooks and favor the HPs, even bought one a while back. The experience was less than stellar, but it got the job done and I think I got what I paid for.

The removable battery is not an issue or a feature anyone need care about. My suggestion would be to not bother with the bulkier Asus battery pack and just get a mobile charger.

Vern

lrd

What Mr. Chen doesn’t tell you is that these would compete agains Asus’ own netbooks. So, he’s going to eat his kids like it or not?

No. Apple’s going to eat his kids.

daemon

What Mr. Chen doesn?t tell you is that these would compete agains Asus? own netbooks. So, he?s going to eat his kids like it or not?

Asus isn’t afraid to offer multiple form factors.

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the iPod no longer comes in only one form factor….

daemon

Now you had to go and pull the ?Jobs=God? card. Again, I take issue.

Ummm, He did? Got a quote?

Mike

I love my iPhone but I am waiting for the Microsoft Courier.  No iPad for me.

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