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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Asus announces 3 new tablets

Just a few days before CES officially starts, Asus took the stage today and announced three new Android tablets, all expected to be available later this year. Each one tries something new for tablets, and each will likely appeal to a different group of people.

First up is the Eee Pad Transformer, which is a 10.1-inch tablet powered by a Tegra 2 CPU. It has both front- and rear-facing cameras, along with a detachable keyboard/touchpad which also serves as a docking station. When attached, the device looks like a small netbook. Asus says this device will launch in April for $399.

Next is the Eee Pad MeMO, a 7-inch tablet that features both touch and pen input, along with custom note-taking and painting apps to make use of it. It is powered by a dual-core CPU, and has front and rear facing cameras. This one is expected to launch in June for $499.

Finally, we have the Eee Pad Slider, which is nearly identical to the Transformer, except that it has a sliding QWERTY keyboard that tucks behind the screen when not in use. It is scheduled for launch in May for $499.

Interestingly enough, Asus says that these will all run Android 3.0, Honeycomb. While it's already known that Google will be building more tablet centric features into Honeycomb, no official version number has been given yet, so either Asus is making up the fact that it will be 3.0, or they know something we don't. [via Asus and Android Central]

UPDATE: Engadget got a nice in-depth preview of these devices, be sure to check it out.

These look really nice, and I applaud Asus for doing something new. Each of these is different, and each is trying something that hasn't really been done before. Whether any of them will be a success (or if they'll even be for sale in the US) remains to be seen, of course, but I think they look great. Personally, I want the little one that does pen input. Taking notes on that thing would be amazing.

I'm actually really excited about these. I can't wait to see these things in person. I honestly don't know which one I would want--each one offers a unique advantage, and I can't decide which one I want more. I'm curious about how heavy the two bigger ones are. I think the price is a little high--especially for the little MeMO. But maybe not, especially if the software ends up being as awesome as I was hoping Courier would have been.

I can't decide how I feel about the names, though. When you say them out loud they're great names, but to see them spelled out...man...I don't know. It seems kind of silly. Still, I'm a big fan of the little I've seen so far. Now I'm very curious about how the HTC tablet will compare...

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