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Asus Eee Tablet: More like an ebook reader

When is a tablet not a tablet? When it's the new Asus Eee Tablet ebook reader

Tablet this, tablet that -- these days, the news is full of more tablets than a branch of Boots. But when is a tablet not a tablet? When it's an Asus Eee Tablet, that's when.

The Eee Tablet isn't a tablet in the sense everybody else means at the moment. It's not a flat portable PC like the iPad, JooJoo or Asus' own Eee Pad EP121 and EP101TC, also announced today. Instead, it's a flat portable take on the graphics tablet, like the Wacom Bamboo range. But really it's an ebook reader and digital notepad.

Unlike conventional e-ink displays, the Eee Tablet's touchscreen can flip a text page in just 0.1 seconds -- far faster than e-ink's refresh rate. You can make notes, sort tags, and annotate ebooks right on the screen with a provided stylus, like the Sony Reader Touch Edition. The pad can sense 2,450dpi of pressure, so you can essentially sketch in black and white.

You can also draw on pictures captured by the 2-megapixel camera. Data is stored on a microSD card slot with Wi-Fi in there too. Battery life is 10 hours, comparable to the iPad but nowhere near the longevity of readers packing e-ink.

The Eee Tablet is being shown off at Taipei IT conference Computex 2010, where Engadget reports it will cost between $200 and $300 (£135-£200). The screen is reported to be an 8-inch, 1,024x768-pixel, backlight-free TFT-LCD screen displaying 64 shades of grey. We'll keep tabs on the Tablet should it end up on UK shores.