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Asus Eee Pad EP121 and EP101TC: Windows-powered tablet PCs

As inevitably as rain on a bank holiday weekend, Asus has unveiled a couple of new tablet computers -- the 12-inch Eee Pad EP121 and the 10-inch EP101TC

In a move that was as inevitable as rain on a bank holiday weekend, Asus has unveiled a couple of new tablet computers -- the 12-inch Eee Pad EP121 and the 10-inch EP101TC.

The larger of the two machines, pictured top, sports a dual-core Intel CULV processor and a full copy of Windows 7. We're told it supports multitasking, so you can run several applications at once, and Flash, which opens it up to a world of videos, games, applications and Web sites the Apple iPad currently can't handle.

Asus has yet to demonstrate the EP121 in full working order, so we can't tell whether using a full desktop OS like Windows 7 makes it hard to handle, or whether Asus will provide its own finger-friendly graphical user interface -- as it has on existing touch devices such as the Eee Top.

What we can tell you, however, is that it's a pretty-looking thing with a shiny aluminium bezel, a thin profile and a healthy range of ports, including mic and headphone jacks and mini USB.

The 10-inch Eee Pad EP101TC, pictured above, eschews Windows 7 in favour of the newly announced Windows Embedded Compact 7. This cut-down version of Microsoft's desktop OS is designed for set-top boxes, TVs and, evidently, tablet PCs.

The EP101TC will feature a custom interface layered over the top, making it look and feel a little more like the iPad. It'll also have the added bonus of Flash, multitasking and support for a host of Windows applications, making it a potential threat to the Apple tablet.

Word on the Internet is that both the Eee Pad EP101TC and EP121 will sell for between $400 and $500 (£275-£350), though release dates are still up in the air. We'll bring you more information on both devices as soon as we get it.