Business notebook purists, who sneer balefully at early corporate adopters of tablets, often argue that without a keyboard, a tablet has no real value as a part of the mobile corporate armoury. Well, those purists might now be eating their words, as clearly, this tablet means business in both senses of the word.
Coming hot on the heels of its well received Eee Pad Transformer, the super slim, super light dockable tablet that bridged the gap between notebooks and tablets, Asus has announced an EeePad Slider version that conceals a full QWERTY keyboard about its very person.
Not content with hiding a keyboard under its skirt, the EeePad Slider also features ten finger multi touch support including pinching and sliding, a 10.1” toughened scratch resistant display, NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor and Android 3.1 upgradable to 3.2 (available through FOTA). And, like its older sister, the Eee Pad Slider features a mini HDMI output, pre loaded Polaris Office 3 (a suite of office tools that support reading and editing PowerPoint, Word and Excel) and a 178 degree wide viewing angle so it’s quite capable of holding its own for a desk based presentation.
But it’s not all about work, there’s plenty of playtime built in too; two cameras, a 5 MP in the rear and 1.2 MP in the front, Adobe Flash, a Micro SD reader and the use of Asus’ Waveface interface. This incorporates MyNET for streaming media to wifi devices around the house, MyLibrary A clever way to consolidate your books and magazines. Supporting PDF and ePub formats, it offers a set of handy utilities including a dictionary, translator, bookmarker, notes and text-to-speech and finally MyCloud for web storage and downloadable music and video.
The Eee Pad Slider is available with 16g at £429.99 or 32g at £479.99
Everybody may be talking about the iPad at the moment as being the hippest gadget on the tablet bazaar, but the ‘WePad’ and Asus’s ‘Eee Pad’ have quietly snuck onto the market and may prove to be close challengers in knocking Apple’s iPad off its pedestal.
Besides the use of a different vowel in its name, the Eee Pad has some other distinctions, which differentiate from the iPad. Asus have built the Eee Pad using an Nvidia Tegra chip and Google Android OS continues to spread its influence far and wide by running the Eee Pad. Unlike the iPad, Asus’s version has USB ports, as well as a webcam and support for Adobe Flash – additions which are arguably aimed mainly at giving Apple a run for their money. The Asus Eee Pad is to be unveiled at the Computex Conference in June and is expected to be available from July. The rumors are that the Eee Pad will be priced at around the $500 mark (approximately 330 pounds).
You’d think companies would be a little more adventurous with the naming of their products wouldn’t you? But no as the German company Neofonie followed its rivals like sheep with the launch of the WePad. Although realizing the potential legal problems, such an unoriginal and similar name may cause, Neophonie made a recent announcement on Facebook that they are changing the WePad to be called the WeTab. Except for its new and more innovative name, there is nothing spectacularly different to mention about the WePad. Like the Eee Pad it is Android run, has support for Flash web content, sports USB ports, a SD card slot and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. And like the iPad there are two different models available. The 16GB model will cost 449 Euros (approximately 390 pounds), whilst the 32GB version, which includes GPS and a 1080p display will retail at 569 Euros (approximately 490 pounds). The WePad, sorry now WeTab, is planned to be available sometime after July when a soft launch is scheduled.
With a so far seemingly unchanged monopoly of the tablet market, Apple, due to a ‘surprisingly strong US demand’, pushed back the international launch date of the iPad a month and will be available in the UK from May 28. In its basic form the iPad will set consumers back 429 pounds, but the price will soar to 699 pounds for the a 64GB version, which includes both a 3G and Wi-Fi network. Cashing in on the iPad’s already phenomenal success are Vodafone, Orange and O2, who will all be offering mobile data plans for the 3G-enabled UK iPad.