TAIWANESE MANUFACTURER Asustek will launch its own tablet device at Computex in June.
The firm that popularised netbooks will be peddling the Eee Pad, a tablet that will run Google's Android operating system. The device reportedly will have cutting edge features missing on Apple's Ipad, such as USB ports, an integrated webcam and even support for Adobe's Flash.
Asustek is keen to offset a decrease in netbook sales with tablet devices. The company's chairman, Jerry Shen said that the touchscreen devices will consume 10 to 20 per cent of the existing netbook market. He wouldn't rule out releasing ebook readers either, saying that Asustek would monitor the market to "prevent related products stepping into each other's demand".
Sources told Digitimes that the Eee Pad, which is expected to be based on Nvidia's Tegra chip, will be priced at around the $500 mark when purchased through mobile operators.
The firm believes that it will shift 300,000 or so of the devices in 2010. While that figure may seem somewhat low compared to the Ipad, the Eee Pad isn't slated to appear until the third quarter of 2010.
Rival firm Micro Star International (MSI) is also getting ready to unleash its own tablet, the M Pad, around the same time as the Eee Pad.
Although both Asustek and MSI can be expected to ship units without the hype that surrounds the Ipad, competitive pricing and increased functionality could see both firms replicate the success they have enjoyed with netbooks. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score