Tablets

Has ASUS discovered the strategy to take down the iPad?

ASUS has a different tablet strategy than most of the vendors trotting out tablets at CES 2011. Learn it's two-pronged strategy for beating the iPad and get the details on its four tablets.

On Tuesday, ASUS unloaded the first round of ammo at the Apple iPad, which promises to be the favorite target of the big tech vendors at CES 2011. As the first major company to host a CES press conference, ASUS dedicated nearly the entire hour to announcing its line of four tablets -- three Android and one Windows -- aimed squarely at stealing market share away from the iPad in 2011.

The biggest takeaway of the event was that ASUS has a different strategy than most of the PC and device makers trotting out tablets at CES. It's not just about launching cheap iPad clones that can detach users from the draconian Apple ecosystem. ASUS is betting that it can pull more users into the tablet market by providing a choice of four tablets aimed at users with different proclivities and by turning tablets into productivity devices that can also create content (perhaps the iPad's biggest weakness).

Whether the ASUS strategy succeeds or not will depend heavily on whether Microsoft Windows 7 and Google Android can successfully adapt their software for multi-touch tablets in the months ahead. Android still has big questions to answer and Windows 7 may simply be too heavy and battery hungry for tablets. Nevertheless, I like that ASUS isn't just playing "me, too" in the tablet market and actually has a viable strategy that targets some of the iPad's genuine weak spots.

ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih shows off one of the four new ASUS tablets at the company's CES 2011 press conference. Photo credit: Jason Hiner | TechRepublic

Why ASUS?

The fact that the rising computer maker spent 75% of its biggest press conference of the year talking about iPad competitors speaks volumes. Four years ago at CES 2008, the newly-launched ASUS Eee PC -- a 7-inch netbook -- was one of the buzz products of the show and its surprising sales essentially launched the netbook phenomenon.

The Eee PC launched ASUS into mainstream consciousness and the company has since expanded nicely into laptops and desktops of all sizes and shown that it is one of the few PC makers that really cares about product design. In the ecosystem of Windows PCs, I'd rank ASUS with Sony as the two companies that consistently produce the most attractive designs, and ASUS does it without the big price premium that you pay for with Sony and Apple.

ASUS clearly watches a lot of what Apple does -- Apple's name came up at least half a dozen times in its press conference -- and has decided that the iPad is a serious threat to its laptop business, otherwise it would not have dedicated so much of its resources and marketing to its new tablets.

Here is a quick summary of the four ASUS tablets:

Eee Pad MeMo

The MeMo is a 7-inch Android 3.0 tablet that will compete with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the plethora of other 7-inch Android tablets about to hit the market, as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook. This is definitely aimed at media consumption with a Micro HDMI port and 1080p video playback. It has a capacitive touch-screen and includes a stylus for note-taking, so it also has the productivity element in mind.

Eee Slate EP121

The EP121 is the one Windows tablet in the ASUS lineup. This is a 12-inch tablet running the same Intel Core i5 processor that runs a lot of powerful desktops and laptops. It offers 1280x800 screen resolution, two USB ports, a 32GB or 64GB SSD hard drive, 4GB of RAM, and a 2 megapixel camera. It has both multi-touch and pen input. In the demo, ASUS was watching a full 1080p video while editing a picture in Photoshop and this thing didn't flinch. Battery life could be an issue though.

Eee Pad Transformer

Here's a slim 10-inch tablet that will compete more directly with the iPad. It features the dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and will run Android 3.0. It has a 5 megapixel camera on the back and a 1.2 megapixel camera on the front. The Transformer also offers an optional keyboard dock (see below) that essentially turns it into a laptop. The dock has has added battery capacity that can extend the battery life of this tablet up to 16 hours. I consider this the most interesting of the ASUS tablets and the one with the greatest potential, if Google gets the Android tablet software right.

Eee Pad Slider

The Slider is very similar to the Transformer. It is a 10-inch Android 3.0 tablet running on an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and has the same 5.0 and 1.2 megapixel cameras as the Transformer. Instead of a keyboard dock, the slider features a slide-out qwerty keyboard. Again, ASUS is betting on turning the 10-inch tablet into a productivity device so that people don't need to carry both a tablet and laptop, but can do all of their content creation on this device. It will be very interesting to see if Android can cut it as a light laptop OS.

Also read

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

58 comments
ClickRepairNow
ClickRepairNow

From my experience with the garmin/asus android phone they are very glitchy so I am not sold yet.

Kris.J
Kris.J

That's the best way I've seen Apple's app store described, ever. I've got an iPad - it's a shiny toy out of the box, nice for a couple hours of cheap thrill, then it goes into the pile of similar toys that don't have lasting useful power. If I jailbreak it however, THEN it has potential!

jmbrasfield
jmbrasfield

The four units displayed here have the potential of being our future. As a student, when I purchased my ASUS Eee PC (a 10-inch netbook) two years ago, most students had boat anchor laptops always looking for a wall plug. I was the first with a netbook and took some flack for it (weak and worthless are netbooks). Today you are hard pressed to find a laptop on campus. Light, very portable, long battery life, built-in WiFi, etc., all the things a student requires while on campus. The Eee Pad Transformer and the Eee Pad Slider have the greatest potential from my point of view. Especially the Eee Pad Slider with its pop out keyboard, not unlike most smart phones, just bigger. The Eee Pad Transformer and the Eee Pad Slider are 10-inch tablets, about the same as my netbook. An adequate size for a portable, long battery life unit and much easier to use than my phone/keypad. I'd replace my netbook with a Slider any time.

gajrajs
gajrajs

What's Sony challenge to iPad ?

Justin James
Justin James

All I want is a mobile RDP client. I don't want ANOTHER machine to manage (data, backups, apps, email, etc.)... I want to access the machines I ALREADY have set up, with their giant drives, fast CPUs, and gobs of RAM. Plus, using RDP (or another remote access system) will give me a lot more battery life. That slate looks PERFECT for me. J.Ja

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Always liked ASUS. Using their mobo for my desktop [three of my 4 systems I built use the ASUS mobo] plus an ATI powered ASUS GPU. I have the [then] very popular 1000 HE netbook. Only thing I wonder is how long they'll support them directly. ASUS killed the support forums for all netbooks last fall and there has been no netbook updates since then as well [not much over a year in support].

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

the first, mind you, that I've seen. I like the keyboard dock... if they decide to expand on that, it could be way more than a tablet; it's a device that can make laptop-preferring users use a tablet! A customer base expander...

rvrichardson
rvrichardson

No matter who brings what tablet out. Apple will still have a market. There are those out there that are brand aware and won't change.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

In the time when I build my own pcs, I remember I prefer ASUS motherboards. Asus started with the netbook revolution. I can remember the "WOW!" aspect when we see our firsts EEePC. My BOSS have a great ASUS laptop and I see crisp HD video thanks to an HD Asus Oh Play media player (cheap 99usd at amazon) every weekend. I will think about get one of this asus products very soon without hesitation.

Stalemate
Stalemate

"Android still has big questions to answer..." "...if Google gets the Android tablet software right." "... interesting to see if Android can cut it as a light laptop OS." Defeated out of the gate, huh?

Slayer_
Slayer_

All I want is remote desktop functionality and basic web browsing.

DNSB
DNSB

how much are you asking for yours?

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin

Kris.J I agree with you entirely! I too fell for the con of buying one. Kidding myself of what I could use it for to try and justify the profit saturated price of the contrivance. Once out of the box as you say after an hour or so I realise its mainly a gimmick for posers...and I find myself putting it in the cupboard with all the other good ideas I have succumb to over the years! Not forgetting to conveniently lose the bank statement! As a professional it has no use unless I can actually do something with it, but it's a good toy for the boys about town.

DNSB
DNSB

Since Sony doesn't seem to have displayed a competitor for the iPad at CES, that is a rather interesting question. Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any equally interesting answers.

DNSB
DNSB

Enough RDP clients to choose from for either iOS or Android based devices. The one I've used most for iOS is Wyse's PocketCloud which can be used as a straightforward RDP client or you can add a companion app on the PC which adds some nice features such as automatically popping up the virtual keyboard when keyboard input is being requested.

Marc Jellinek
Marc Jellinek

Here are the problems with using a slate as an RDP/VNC client: Wifi kills batteries, small screens will make you blind. I use my slate as an ereader, light calendar client, RSS reader, light web browser and "I'm in a meeting so I'm going to play games" device. Without a keyboard, it's not a great remote access device and even though the stylus can be used instead of a mouse, the small screen makes things VERY hard to read. You may not be happy with a slate as a remote access client unless you get a fairly large screen (at least 10 inches, perhaps 12)

rexrzer1238477
rexrzer1238477

I love Asus products, don't get me wrong...I have owned 4 of their notebooks in the past 2 years, before settling on an Asus G51JX-A1 Core i7-720QM/nVidia GTS-360M-1GB DDR5 15.6" notebook, my "keeper". However we are now talking about competing against Apple iPad, and Asus has no chance, sorry to say. First there's the OS, "If" No.1, and it's a biggie, so big I don't think that there will be a success story there. If you don't have the OS down pat, done, down, and dirty you don't have a chance and Android 3.0 is just one HUGE "If", "Maybe", and "Possibly" thrown in there too for added flavor, so I just don't think that these tablets have a chance no matter how trick, innovative, or trend-defining they may seem to be on the outside. "If" No.2 is the GUI itself, that is how the device will actually in practice work, and with stylus, and touch input there's bound to be compromises, and you can't have compromises with Apple iPad competitors, it's all gotta work 100% or it is doomed to failure. "If" No.3 is design, and you can't have 4 different designs to compete with one stellar, incredibly versatile and unique design like iPad's. They should have settled on ONE (1) design and had different versions of it with different extras, OS's, GUI's, whatever...in essence their Plan for this iPad competition is just incredibly complex and spread out over 4 different models, and it just won't work. "If" No.4 is Support, pure, plain, and simple. That should be self-explanatory. There is no way that Asus offers top-tier level support for its present products, much less its future and planned iPad killers in the pad competition. I have 1st-person experience with Asus support on the notebook side and front, and it is nowhere near as sophisticated and thorough, complete, and competent as it needs to be to compete with Apple on a level field. There is no comparing Asus support with Apple's support, it just isn't in the same book, much less page, chapter, and marker! So I doom this valiant CES "Show Me The Way" effort from Asus with "4 brilliant new tablet concepts" to complete and utter failure, it is going nowhere but down, down down, and it will end in complete surrender to the king of the pad wars, the iPad itself, of which and for which there will most likely never be any real competition.

rb
rb

No doubt. It's a trick question. Mr. Jobs could sell his poop in box to his minions so nothing will "take down the iPad". But for the rest of us, we probably would have never bought an iPad anyway. Personally, I've been waiting for this release for a while. But I'm more of a 2nd generation guy. I'll wait and see all the problems that early adopters discover. Then get the Slate 2.

Marc Jellinek
Marc Jellinek

If you can stretch to under $200, the Augen GenTouch 78 is a 7 inch Android-based tablet available at KMart. It takes some work to get the software in shape for actual use (the factory distribution is next to useless), but if you don't mind spending a little time surfing and configuring, it's pretty useful. Here's my experience with the thing: http://marcjellinek.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/new-toys-from-kmart-if-you-see-a-programmer-carrying-a-screwdriver-run/ That being said, I'll probably go for the one of the new ASUS tablets (Eee Pad Slider or MeMo) when they ship. I like the 7 inch form factor (it actually fits into a jacket pocket), so it would probably be the MeMo, but I'll probably test drive the Slider just to see if the physical keyboard would be worth having.

bbarnes
bbarnes

Do you see any netbooks for less than $100. Prices come down and features improve over time and we've seen that with netbooks but I think you'll have a long wait for a decent pad @ < $100

sistemascymsa
sistemascymsa

I find the pads to be an expensive "desktop picture frame". Of all the people I know they own an Ipad only a handful use it with less than 30% of its manufacturing intention, from a sales point of view: it is a hit, from a productivity stand point: is a waste of technology. On the other hand, the tablet market will surge as more and more people rely on mobil productivity rather than multimedia. Asus, I'd say, is getting ready for that. My take? Eepad Transformer with a robust touchsmart OS... Utopia? always a possibility.

dursse3
dursse3

I could afford an ipad but won't buy one because of the weight. It feels great at first. The longer you hold it, the heavier it feels. It would not make a good reader for that reason. On a surface, ok. But not long in the hand like holding a 1k page book.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

I have an Android 1.5 phone, I also recently bought a tablet running 2.1. The progression I've seen in just that small time frame is enough for me to think that Android has a good chance. Then consider that Asus (reputable manufacturer with above average build quality) will give Android 3.0 some really nice hardware underneath it, I think this tablet could really turn some heads. It has my attention. The last issue will be price point. I bought my tablet for $190, yes you get what you pay for one way or another, but I'm not willing to pay more than $350 for a tablet. My tablet is an Epad aka zenithink aka apad. It runs a 1ghz low end cpu, 256mb rom, 2gb user space, usb, micro sd card support. It performs decently well, can run DVD quality encoded files. Overall I'm pleased with it. The build quality is less than what you would want but it proves that a decent tablet can be made for $200. This means a good tablet should cost no more than $400

rdbrown
rdbrown

Even if Android or even Windows doesn't make the grade on this platform chances are good there will be a Linux distribution or three that will.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Since by no means do they appear to be weaknesses to me. The iPad has just as much productivity capability as any of the four Asus models and, aside from the OSes themselves, are essentially identical, even though the Windows pad includes a core i5 processor. This doesn't mean that the iPad is better than this grouping, just that it isn't as crippled as you prefer to contend. If anything, the Windows model is the crippled one, not just for the probably painfully short charge life on the model, but also due to the woeful lack of touch-based software available for Windows 7. Nearly everyone I've read who has used the iPad to control a Windows box remotely has complained that the Windows touch interface simply doesn't work with a pointer-based application. The other three look to be roughly equivalent to the iPad, one adding the two cameras but otherwise little different in capability. My only concern even here is the fact that with no software oversight, malware such as the virus and trojan that hit Android phones two weeks ago will become just as prevalent on the tablets.

DNSB
DNSB

Were there any suggestions as to when Asus will be shipping their Android tablets given that Android 3.0 is not yet released? On a more paranoid side, are we going to see the same issues as the Galaxy Tab where it seems fairly certain it has no upgrade path to Android 3.0?

Rexxrally
Rexxrally

Jason, you only mentioned the battery life when connected to the dock. Any idea of standalone battery life? I like the slider best. It gives me an actual keyboard when I need to do a lot of typing, but it's all together in one (I hate carrying multiple pieces and having to connect them).

RayJedi
RayJedi

> Quad core processor > 4GB RAM > 16:9 Aspect ratio > Non-reflective screen in direct sunlight > USB Port > Expansion Card Slot > Front facing camera > Rear facing camera > HDMI port > Stereo speakers > Mic > Stereo Speakers > Included carrying case > $999 starting pricepoint for a 16GB HD wifi only model > ????? WHEN ????

a.portman
a.portman

While there are still quite a few "ifs" on the table, ASUS could be a contender. While I would like a Pad, I don't know if I want to go to phone + device life again. I like my Blackberry, but the screen size is an issue and I just can't handle the iPhone/Pad keyboard. I would love to have more of a desktop replacement, with quick power on and a long battery life. Losing my brick of a laptop would be nice.

Komplex
Komplex

I'll buy your ipad for $200. Cash.

Justin James
Justin James

... owning an Android or iOS device. My current Android phone is the worst computing device I've owned since the Windows 3.1 era, and I am not over exaggerating. It literally cannot handle even the most basic of functions properly. iOS seems to work quite fine, but the iPad is too expensive for what I want. That being said, when i said that the slate looked perfect for me... I had no clue that they were charging so much for it. No way am I paying that much! All I want is basically the Mirra idea... I want a portable window (so to speak) into my desktop PC when I'm not at my desk. Why should I be forced to move to Web mail when I love my copy of Outlook? Or move to Mint.com when I have my life set up fine with Quicken? J.Ja

TexasJetter
TexasJetter

The Eee Slate EP121 is a 12" screen, so I can see it as a perfect RDP client. Amazon has it for per-order at $1099. It has a 1.3/1.8Ghz i5, 4Gb RAM, 64Gb SSD, and uses Intel HD Graphics. OS is Win 7 Home 64-bit. Also included is a Bluetooth keyboard. I can't find the link right now, but it also has a docking station with all the right ports to make it a full replacement... I just might have to get one of these.

jhinkle
jhinkle

I agree with every one of your points but I think you've managed to skip something about competing with the iPad. What do you write your software in? Because neither the iPad or the Android tablets are going to support all of the old code that many tablet users are going to need. In my case it's going to be stocking and sales software management systems. I've been using Toshiba Portege's (running XP) for several years and am in the market for new tablet designs but the iPad or other Android tablets won't cut it. When someone comes out with a legitimate Windows 7 tablet it will be able to compete against the iPad because businesses like ours don't want to do complete rewrites of our software and retrain everyone in new operating systems. I will make one point about rewriting software though. I've spoken with some of my co-workers about this. Converting our VB code into PHP. Then running a local web server on the computer so we can use any OS/device (including some smart phones) to run this. It's a novel idea that could go far but such a change would take a lot of time and money that businesses don't want to deal with. For those of you who say that it's for personal use then it's just a toy. There's very little difference other than personal preference for these devices if all you're doing is the usual web browsing/music/social network stuff.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

You have to understand a few things about the electronics market and the people involved. When we talk about consumers, it does not just involve you and your ring of friends. It extends way further beyond your reach and maybe to extraterrestrials (just kidding). I believe these tablets will not kill the iPad but instead will eat parts of the iPad market pie. Not everyone enjoy a device that everybody has. Think of it like fashion. You wouldn't like to wear uniforms anywhere out of work or/and school. I believe some people had wished for the iPad to have a physical keyboard, some may wish for a customizable interface, some might wish for better Microsoft integration and I bet many people are also wishing for a cheaper alternatives. With more varieties and competition, I believe all these devices will bring their prices down which will be good for us consumers yes? So, I don't think anybody's going down. It's just a matter of who's part of the pie is bigger. What's more, Asus ain't the only new tablet/pads maker.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Futureshop, bestbuy, etc. would still charge 399 for it. They are determined to scam you.

DNSB
DNSB

Around here, the majority of the people I know who own iPads use them for email, web browsing, minor word processing, etc. Much as they use/used their laptops, netbooks, smart phones, etc. Hmmm... mustn't forget Angry Birds and other games are popular too. I must admit one of my major uses for the iPad is as a "picture frame" -- nothing like showing the client a large image of their new data center compared to the current mess -- and I can damn near guarantee that any data center that's been in use for more than a couple of months is going to look like disaster area from the right angle. I also use a RDP app and a SSH/Telnet app to allow me to remote from almost anywheres using a screen where I can actually read the text without zooming. It's possible that plugging a USB keyboard into the iPad is not quite what was envisioned by Apple but it works for me when I need a faster method of inputting text than offered by the virtual keyboard. Productivity? Anyone who has tried running a full graphics or desktop publishing or other memory and CPU intensive application on a netbook is not going to be impressed trying to run them on a tablet. Or are you kidding yourself that, for example, Premiere Pro is going to be working on a tablet making use of a touch interface Real Soon Now? USB keyboard? The iPad Camera Connection Kit's USB adapter allows some USB keyboards and headsets to work. About the same size as the micro USB B to USB A adapter I need to use the USB port on my phone with the few USB accessories that actually work with it.

md_hunt
md_hunt

software oversight(v) : gestapo totalitarian control of an entire ecosystem. Where one mighty dictator sits on high and protects all the users by making all the decisions for them. No, thank you.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Then you don't want a tablet, you want a netbook. How do you know you hate carrying multiple pieces, if you've never needed to do it?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Quad core processor Maybe in five years or so--tablets are not intended to be desktop replacements. Not yet, anyway. 4GB Ram When you get the quad core processor, then maybe 4GB of ram will be necessary. Until then, 512K to 1G is probably more than enough. 16:9 aspect ratio Let me know when you get that on your desktop. Non-reflective screen in direct sunlight An issue for some, not for others. Screen covers are cheap enough to meet the need. USB port Few consumers have a need for such and I honestly agree with them. I far prefer the ability to adapt to whatever connection is needed at a given moment rather than forcing a connector that may rarely be used. In over 7 months of using an iPad, I have yet to need the USB connector for any purpose. Expansion Card Slot Again an unnecessary connection, though admittedly desirable. I've only plugged an SD card into my iPad 6 times in 7 months. Front facing camera I can see the need and expect to see this in the next iPad. Rear facing camera I cannot see the need, though I still expect to see this in the next iPad. Honestly, I think you'd look silly trying to take a picture with something that big and clumsy. HDMI port Yet a third fixed connector that really serves no everyday purpose. Stereo speakers You realize you put this in twice--you want one on either side of the mic? Mic I believe the iPad already has one. Hard for some of the apps like Dragon Dictation to work without one, no? Included carrying case So you want to force everyone to have exactly the same carrying case for their iPad. Do you want to do that to every iPhone? Android phone? Android tablet? Hey! At least allow some personal customization, ok? $999 starting price... Ok, you really are trying to be sarcastic, aren't you? Apple so surprised you by starting at $499 when everybody else expected $1000 that you still think it should be priced that high so the Android tablets can undercut it. Basically, the only people who could accept your wish list are people who want Apple to fade away. Well, guess what? Apple ain't going nowhere but up as long as Steve Jobs is at the helm.

DNSB
DNSB

What I like about using the iPad as the RDP/SSH/Telnet client is that I can actually read the screen without having to zoom. OTOH, if I didn't have other uses for the iPad, it would not make economic sense though I did pick the cheapest unit since I am not into taking a multi-gigabyte collection of videos on the road. Even my ebook collection lives on a dedicated reader since I find my Kobo much easier to hold for an extended period. The iPad is handy for those PDF manuals that need the larger screen to make diagrams readable without eyestrain. As for expense, the pricing on the Galaxy Tab suggests that contrary to their usual practice, Apple is pricing the iPad to make it hard to meet or beat the price without cutting corners that most consumers will notice. See reviews of the KMart tablet for example.

Marc Jellinek
Marc Jellinek

I like the idea of the Eee Slate EP121. But the cost is way too high. He's looking for a sub $100 slate/tablet... after shipping and tax, the Eee Slate will probably top $1200. Your average (but much less cool) laptop is going for half that. With the small 36WH 3-cell battery, you are probably looking at about 4 hours of use between charges.

Marc Jellinek
Marc Jellinek

If your software is written in a recent version of Visual Basic, you might want to check out Mono. Mono is a CLR port (Common Language Runtime... the software that actually runs .NET code), that allows applications written in VB and C# to run on non-Windows operating systems. I've ported over VB code to Linux and there are Mono runtimes for iOS (MonoTouch) and Android (MonoDroid). I would not recommend a PHP port.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

This is why the web-based system needs to be modeled based on the non web-based system with similar looks and feel. This can be eased with the use of Java but then I dunno if tablets are Java friendly enough to execute it.

jhinkle
jhinkle

I agree that web based systems are the way to go but this software was in use before web software could match it. People are creatures of habit so once something is in place it's hard to get it changed.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

I thought web based systems are the way these days. I've been working with several companies for the past 5 years and I'd say most of them favor web based system to eliminate the need to install the application across around over 200 PCs.

DNSB
DNSB

I will make one point about rewriting software though. I've spoken with some of my co-workers about this. Converting our VB code into PHP. Then running a local web server on the computer so we can use any OS/device (including some smart phones) to run this. It's a novel idea that could go far but such a change would take a lot of time and money that businesses don't want to deal with. One local company just bit the bullet and updated their "web-based" inventory control/query/management system. Their original software package was tied to IE6 with several custom Active-X components that were not compatible with IE7/IE8. The rewrite is pretty much standards based and works on almost any web based device. They are still tweaking the custom coding to recognize the various browser flavours to make the interface more consistent but that's a relatively minor issue at this time. Between the rewrite and the testing, they spent quite a bit but ROI is estimated at 18 months and they have lost the requirement for IE6 which was becoming a major pain in the butt to support.

xtensha
xtensha

I don't think software oversight is a bad thing. If Google was to review an App for things it shouldn't do.. eg virus, spyware, trojans etc. That would be a good thing and help protect the user and the platform. Where Apple over steps the line is that they do editorial reviews on software... like no sexual based nudity, no fart apps etc etc. To me that should be left up to the user.

pwhite42
pwhite42

I like the idea of the slider also. My phone is like that. Most of the time I use the on-screen keyboard, once in a while I'll use the physical keyboard. It's nice to have the option. Also, I'd like a wi-fi only version. I won't buy any tablet, phone etc that Steve Jobs controls. If I buy an app I expect it to stay where I put it, not disappear due to some whim of Steve Jobs. I hope this doesn't cause any snarky replies.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I'd buy that, it it is built sturdy enough.

jred
jred

He wants a tablet, with touch screen UI. He also wants a netbook, with hardware keyboard for when he has more than casual data entry to do. He wants them both in one package, and the slider fits the bill. Personally, I like the slider best, too, for the same reasons.

txag
txag

"His expectations are extremely unrealistic for a first or even second generation device." iPad = 1st Generation iPad2 = 2nd Generation Now what did he say again? Oh yes, "Ipad 3 Hardware" So that would be THIRD generation. Get off your high horse.

DNSB
DNSB

iPad with $30 camera connection kit gives you a USB port and a SD card reader. Works just fine for me since I use my DSLRs quite heavily. OTOH, my needs are not everybody's needs. One friend uses his iPad mostly in his car which has built-in iWhatver connectivity.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

Obviously I'm picking on this one point. I bought an Android tablet, it has a usb port and I use it frequently. I love that it has one and wouldn't have bought a tablet without one. I suspect the reason you haven't needed it is that you haven't had it as an option.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... for a first or even second generation device. As I pointed out, tablets are not intended to replace the desktop computer and to want the kind of performance implied by the processor/ram combination means exactly that, he wants to replace his desktop. In essence, tablets are an attempt to go back to the beginning of the desktop computer era. They have relatively low power and the applications are small and efficient. 25 years ago, you flat didn't need massive processors and huge amounts of RAM because the software didn't use as much as today's commercial apps do. With this new/old paradigm, tablets simply don't need that kind of power and won't for at least a few years. I still believe that trying to put a desktop version of Windows on a tablet will be as much a failure now as it was ten years ago. I credit Asus for recognizing that and offering only a single Windows model with three Android ones.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

One of us is confused. "16:9 aspect ratio - let me know when you get that on your desktop" - huh? Desktops have had that for what, 5 years? At least three, anyway. Likewise for notebooks in various sizes. Unless I'm missing something, the snarky comments just backfired a bit.

jamiewilson
jamiewilson

The op asking for the spec and a price point based on the same yet you complain. His expectations are not unrealistic and a simple USB port would be a great idea, as would removing the official itunes shackles that apple are so tied to as a revenue stream. I like the ipad and have a 64 wifi only in the house but like all computer users I would like more power, more speed, more functionality. The op just presented a wish list and at a $1k price point for that spec I too would be tempted. Stop with the snarkyness its not big and its not clever its just not the way to go.