ASUS announces Eee Pad, features Windows 7 and 10 hour battery life

Computex 2010 in Taipei is just kicking off and ASUS has officially announced their first foray into the tablet market with their Eee Pad line. Maintaining the popular Eee naming scheme from their netbook line-up, ASUS will initially offer two models. 

The EP121 will feature a 12 inch screen, Core 2 Duo CULV processor, Windows 7 and a claimed 10 hours of battery life. Details on the second model aren’t as clear, but ASUS does say that the EP101TC will feature a 10 inch screen and Windows Embedded Compact 7. The larger of the two will also sport a “hybrid keyboard/docking station” for traditional, notebook style input. While not explicitly mentioned, it is assumed that both models will utilize capacitive touchscreens.

Windows is an interesting choice for ASUS, especially with so much buzz surrounding mobile operating systems in the tablet space. In the wake of the iPad, many pundits have agreed that the best approach for tablets is to build up from a mobile OS rather than trying to scale down a desktop OS. Maybe ASUS can make a good case for the latter.

Engadget has a video showing both versions of the Eee Pad, but they are non-functional and semi-functional prototypes at this stage. The EP121 is simply a hardware mock-up with a view of how the slick-looking docking station will work, and the EP101TC is running a version of Windows CE that is pretty rough. The release window is stated to be sometime in 2011, so these are still a ways off.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

OfCom's new plans for Internet piracy in the UK

Next Story

Microsoft admits Windows Phone 7 sales forecast was not true

55 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

That's a tough one. Since windows 7 has touch pack already and has multi touch supports. that would be great considering it is a FULL OS. this is a tablet netbook. if you want to use applications that has no touch support, what's the use of USB ports if youre not going to use it. everything is a good deal for me! like it if you'll just browse your pictures,surf the net, watch videos it would be a tablet. If you want to do your business stuffs , make it a netbook and use the keyboard dock and put USB mouse.

Now that would be something that I would be glad to pay money for.

I still miss the old palm tops through, they were so much better then netbooks.

many pundits have agreed that the best approach for tablets is to build up from a mobile OS rather than trying to scale down a desktop OS. Maybe ASUS can make a good case for the latter.

I've been saying this for a long time... Though I will still argue that the OS has to be designed around the way a tablet is used... Simply putting a mobile OS on a tablet like the iPad still does not take full advantage of the tablet...

I'm waiting for the iPad 2.0 or a GOOD Android Froyo tablet. I prefer to use an OS that was built with touch in mind than a full Win7 OS with touch barely being useful in current desktop application.

Jaron said,
How can the claim 10 hr battery life if the thing barely boot at all?
If it can't barely boot it better get longer than 10 hours

HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! Didn't we here the same BS before the iPad was released. Some people just have to say something.

Stonos said,
I wonder what kind of graphics card these will have.
I hope for something like an Nvidia Ion (2)...

I think the small one that runs CE7 is using Tegra 2. And I don't see why the others aren't using something like Ion as well which uses less power. It does make sense.

I'd be surprised if it gets 10 hours with heavy usage. Anyone else notice their keyboards look remarkably similar to Apple's? Down to the color combination, size of the keys, shape of the keys. Nice choice

I want to know what the resolution is on those things. I looks awkward. And I'd love to know under what conditions they're able to get 10 hours of battery life. All that aside, Windows 7 will probably be its downfall.

Wow, now i would buy that. Like many others have said on this page, a fully functioning OS with a claimed 10 hours battery life = win.

The video from engadget looked so cool when they sat it down like a nice looking laptop and then they suddenly remove the screen to use as a tablet. Unfortunately it sounds like these are far away from going into production.

profets said,
The video from engadget looked so cool when they sat it down like a nice looking laptop and then they suddenly remove the screen to use as a tablet. Unfortunately it sounds like these are far away from going into production.

I dunno about that, it's just a docking station that has a built in KB so it's like a notebook. Also Windows CE7 is reported to be final or going final soon. We could see this and others in a few months.

GP007 said,

I dunno about that, it's just a docking station that has a built in KB so it's like a notebook. Also Windows CE7 is reported to be final or going final soon. We could see this and others in a few months.

Yeah, its just a dock, but still done very well.

I think Asus themselves mentioned 2011 Q1 at the earliest.

profets said,

Yeah, its just a dock, but still done very well.

I think Asus themselves mentioned 2011 Q1 at the earliest.

That's not bad really. What's Q1 2011 anyways? Dec to Feb? It's kinda a funky setup.

Wanyal said,
Windows 7 on a tablet....

No thanks.

Indeed, why? If you can really get a 10 hour battery life, I now have the power of a fully functional OS in tablet form. This is WIN in its purest form. It don't get any better.

Why? For me because the interface of Windows 7 and practically all applications that run on it (including 3rd party ones) simply aren't really designed around touch input. Sure Microsoft adapted a few things and added a few gizmos to make it easier for touch input, like the icon spacing on the new taskbar and the touch pack, but most elements are way too small and tightly packed together.

Edited by .Neo, May 31 2010, 2:47pm :

.Neo said,
Why? For me because the interface of Windows 7 and practically all applications that run on it (including 3rd party ones) simply isn't really designed around touch input. Sure Microsoft adapted a few things to make it easier for touch input, like the icon spacing on the new taskbar, but most elements are way too small and tightly packed together.

Having tried touch screen with windows 7, I couldn't agree more.

jimmy_jazz said,

Having tried touch screen with windows 7, I couldn't agree more.

That's why they have a model with WinCE7 which is more of a mobile OS anyways. Using that they should be able to run both desktop apps, and also probably mobile WP7 apps as well.

.Neo said,
Why? For me because the interface of Windows 7 and practically all applications that run on it (including 3rd party ones) simply aren't really designed around touch input. Sure Microsoft adapted a few things and added a few gizmos to make it easier for touch input, like the icon spacing on the new taskbar and the touch pack, but most elements are way too small and tightly packed together.

Here's a tip for ya. Why don't you simply run the programs designed for keyboard and mouse only when you have it docked and run the programs designed for touch when you have it in tablet mode (i.e. undocked)? Complaining that the 100 million currently-existing Windows applications aren't designed for touch as a way to bash the OS itself is one of most retarded arguments I've ever heard, and it continues to be perpetuated every day. Once the hardware is release, developers will start to design Windows applications specifically for touch, but you have to wait for the freaking hardware to be released. Geez!

Edited by bj55555, May 31 2010, 3:59pm :

jimmy_jazz said,

Having tried touch screen with windows 7, I couldn't agree more.

Owning an Archos 9 I disagree, not perfect but you have endless possibilities....

bj55555 said,

Here's a tip for ya. Why don't you simply run the programs designed for keyboard and mouse only when you have it docked and run the programs designed for touch when you have it in tablet mode (i.e. undocked)? Complaining that the 100 million currently-existing Windows applications aren't designed for touch as a way to bash the OS itself is one of most retarded arguments I've ever heard, and it continues to be perpetuated every day. Once the hardware is release, developers will start to design Windows applications specifically for touch, but you have to wait for the freaking hardware to be released. Geez!


There have been Windows PCs and laptops with touch screens for ages now, remember Windows XP Tablet Edition and how well that worked out? Where is all the perfectly optimized software for that after all those years? Also, you choose to pick out a very specific part of my post. Next to that I'm by no means "bashing" Windows... Being a desktop platform designed for keyboard and mouse it's simply not fully optimized for touch screen input and nor are most of its applications... Not even those that ship with Windows 7 itself... Simple as that. Same story when it comes to Mac OS X and Ubuntu...

Here's a tip for you: Take a chill pill next time before you post.

Edited by .Neo, May 31 2010, 3:29pm :

stevember said,

Owning an Archos 9 I disagree, not perfect but you have endless possibilities....

Yeah, when I tried it it was setup in its native desktop form, I suppose with a bit of tinkering user experience could be improved. But personaly I think touch screen devices will only end up being used for browsing and playing games and using an OS as powerful as win7 is a bit like cracking a nut with a sledge hammer.

stevember said,

Owning an Archos 9 I disagree, not perfect but you have endless possibilities....

I disagree too, it's nice having a full OS that allows me to do more with the device.

.Neo said,

There have been Windows PCs and laptops with touch screens for ages now, remember Windows XP Tablet Edition and how well that worked out? Where is all the perfectly optimized software for that after all those years? Also, you choose to pick out a very specific part of my post. Next to that I'm by no means "bashing" Windows... Being a desktop platform designed for keyboard and mouse it's simply not fully optimized for touch screen input and nor are most of its applications... Not even those that ship with Windows 7 itself... Simple as that. Same story when it comes to Mac OS X and Ubuntu...

Here's a tip for you: Take a chill pill next time before you post.

I must have been living under a rock for years, because I thought multi touch screens large enough for tablets didn't become economically viable until about a year ago at the earliest. I also thought Windows 7, which wasn't even released until late October of last years, was the first Windows OS to even support multi touch. Where have I been?

As for your complaint about applets within Windows 7 not being optimized for touch, well no shiat! You're NOT SUPPOSED TO BE fiddling around with the Control Panel, adding and removing programs, updating device drivers, etc. when you're in tablet mode. You're supposed to be sitting on your lazy arse on the couch reading content from stupid sites like this. If you're going to be doing anything meaningful, you'll be docked to the keyboard and mouse. That's the beauty of this device.

Edited by bj55555, May 31 2010, 4:05pm :

bj55555 said,
I must have been living under a rock for years, because I thought multi touch screens large enough for tablets didn't become economically viable until about a year ago at the earliest. I also thought Windows 7, which wasn't even released until late October of last years, was the first Windows OS to even support multi touch. Where have I been?

You have been living under a rock, as laptops with touch screens (also known as tablet PCs) have been released for ages. Also, Windows 7 supporting multi-touch has very little to do with the fact that since all these years hardly any software has been designed to properly work with touch screen. Multi or single touch for that matter...

bj55555 said,
As for your complaint about applets within Windows 7 not being optimized for touch, well no shiat! You're NOT SUPPOSED TO BE fiddling around with the Control Panel, adding and removing programs, updating device drivers, etc. when you're in tablet mode. You're supposed to be sitting on your lazy arse on the couch reading content from stupid sites like this. If you're going to be doing anything meaningful, you'll be docked to the keyboard and mouse. That's the beauty of this device.

As if Internet Explorer , Firefox etc, Microsoft Office with their many menus and small toolbar buttons have been designed for (multi) touch... Oh wait, using your logic I shouldn't touch those either...

Edited by .Neo, May 31 2010, 4:45pm :

bj55555 said,

As for your complaint about applets within Windows 7 not being optimized for touch, well no shiat! You're NOT SUPPOSED TO BE fiddling around with the Control Panel, adding and removing programs, updating device drivers, etc. when you're in tablet mode. You're supposed to be sitting on your lazy arse on the couch reading content from stupid sites like this. If you're going to be doing anything meaningful, you'll be docked to the keyboard and mouse. That's the beauty of this device.

Good point :-) nice to see someone with bit of sense make a post. When itis not docks you surf the web, play your music, watch whatever you want on flash based websites etc. All the iPad does is surf n play games with bit utube andanyother apps you can download. Doesn't do much meaningful work. If you want to do admin stuff dock it.

.Neo said,

You have been living under a rock, as laptops with touch screens (also known as tablet PCs) have been released for ages. Also, Windows 7 supporting multi-touch has very little to do with the fact that since all these years hardly any software has been designed to properly work with touch screen. Multi or single touch for that matter...

As those didn't support MULTI TOUCH, there's no reason to optimize those. They were designed for styluses, which are intrinsically no different from a mouse.

.Neo said,

As if Internet Explorer , Firefox etc, Microsoft Office with their many menus and small toolbar buttons have been designed for (multi) touch... Oh wait, using your logic I shouldn't touch those either...

First, IE hides the menus by default whether you're on a desktop, laptop, or tablet. You have to dig your way around the UI to even bring up the menus in IE. If you don't think the menus are optimized for touch, then don't enable them. Simple as that. Second, why in the hell would you use Office in tablet mode? Third, what other kind of "optimization" do you need for a freaking browser? Scroll and click. Big whoopdee do. The OS takes care of that for you. It even supports pinch zoom, but why in the hell would you need to do that when you're browsing on a full-sized screen? Isn't that the point of using a tablet instead of your smartphone?

Wanyal said,
Windows 7 on a tablet....

No thanks.


It will run Windows CE 7, not Windows 7. Read the article again. Then read up on Windows CE 7. You will find that Windows Mobile 7 is based on Windows CE 7.

I totally disagree with those that say Windows 7 isn't good for touch. I happen to own an HP Touchsmart tm2 that has a capacitive multi-touch and active-digitizer combo screen that works quite nicely with Windows 7. I just set the screen scale to 125% to make UI elements more finger-friendly, and dock the taskbar to the left side of the screen (it's a 1280x720 screen). This works great because when I hold it with both hands I can use my left thumb to switch betwen apps, and simply flick to the right to open jump-lists. Touch scrolling is very smooth in all the built-in OS apps (Windows Explorer, picture viewer, media player, media center, Internet Explorer, etc...) and there are slowly more and more 3rd parties taking advantage of the new touch APIs.

And using the stylus in Photoshop, OneNote, and with Windows 7's impressive (it's really very, very good) handwriting recognition that works with any app is a true pleasure, and makes me wonder what Jobs is smoking when he discounts the stylus as a valid input method.

It also has 4 USB ports, HDMI output, and both integrated Intel and descrete AMD GPUs, so light gaming and blu-ray movies (using an external USB blu-ray drive) all work nicely. Oh, and Flash support is no problem, either.

It does all this, and if I need to get some serious typing done, I just spin the screen around and I have a full keyboard.

My only gripe with my tm2 is it's a tad heavy (if they could shave another pound off it'd be fine) and the battery life isn't ideal; I get about 4-5 hours with normal use, 8 if I pretty much just let it sit on, and around 50 in stand-by (aka sleep).

If ASUS can up the battery life they could have a winner on their hands...

I'd love a tablet that supports both multitouch and pressure support from pen-like devices (a more useful and cheaper "alternative" to Wacom's Cintiq series, but with the perk of being an actual PC)

thealexweb said,
Capacitive touchscreen, so is it capable of multi-touch?

Not sure if they've mentioned multitouch but a screen can be capacitive and single touch, like the Sony Ericsson X10

profets said,

Not sure if they've mentioned multitouch but a screen can be capacitive and single touch, like the Sony Ericsson X10

Currently, SEX10 has no operating system support for multi-touchSE X10 has android 1.6 only which doesnt support multi-touch but if it is upgraded to 2.1 or 2.2,sure it will have one. But as always, capacitive screen can take advantage for its multi-touch support unlike TFT screen with only single touch