Asus Eee Slate EP121 video teases the tablet Eeexplosion
The Asus Eee Slate EP121 has a refreshed name and a chalk-based marketing strategy that it hopes will get us excited about Windows 7 and a detachable keyboard.
Expect a tidalwave of tablets from Asus to sweep over this week's CES tradeshow like a wall of touchscreen water. The company that built the netbook bandwagon with its Eee PCs is going finger-friendly for the new year.
We're expecting a bouquet of Windows 7-powered touchscreen tablets to break cover in Las Vegas. Asus already announced the back in June, but now it's calling them the Eee Slate in a possible nod to Microsoft's preferred term for big Windows tablets.
Asus is flaunting the flatness in a YouTube video that does plenty of bragging about the Eee Slate EP121, including its full Qwerty keyboard. But the video doesn't give anything away about the tablet's appearance, since it's all about trying to inspire us with the stultifying memories of staring at a chalkboard, rather than showing us the goodies.
We also wonder how well the quirky Qwerty keyboard works. Asus says it will include a keyboard and docking station, which sounds like it will transform the tablet into a touchscreen netbook. Asus also teased us with a capacitive stylus that could control the tablet with greater dexterity than our flabby meat appendages, although it's hard to tell from the a twee little chalk drawing.
The video does confirm the PC's specs, however -- it will sport a 12-inch screen and have Windows 7 on board, running on an Intel Core I5 processor. It will also have HDMI and USB ports and removable memory.
That means the Eee Slate will be more of a pint-sized PC than an overgrown smart phone like the Apple iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Expect proper multitasking, Microsoft Office and Flash in the browser.
We look forward to scrutinising the EP121 and the EP101TC at CES with every tool we learned from watching all 30,000 episodes of CSI: Las Vegas this Christmas. We also expect to bag and tag the EP102, which is rumoured to have a slide-out keyboard, and a smaller 8.9-inch tablet with the catchy name of EP90.
That could be just for starters, with every combination of keyboard and screen size likely to come from the company that expanded its Eee range so widely that it exceeds the boundaries of observable space-time.
If the Eee Slates are set to tempt the Windows warriors who wouldn't be caught dead with an iPad, there's also the EP71, a 7-inch tablet running the Android OS. Although we don't know what version of the software to expect, , and are all serving up tablets running Android 3.0 Honeycomb, so Asus is likely do to the same if it wants to bring all the bees to the yard.
Expect Asus tablets to fly out like cards from an over-active magician's hands this week, and stick with CNET UK for coverage of them all.