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ASUS Eee Pad EP101TC
ASUS and Google Android are making sweet, sweet tablet love

In with the new, and out with the old, ASUS says.  The company is ditching Windows in at least one of its upcoming EeePC tablets and switching to the increasingly attractive Android OS from Google.

ASUS is preparing two tablets for launch -- a 10" display, 675g (1.5 lb) chassis model and a larger 12.1" display variant.  Both devices were demoed at Computex 2010.

The larger tablet used a full install of Windows 7 Home Premium -- that much remains unchanged, as of now.  The smaller tablet, though, was first shown off with a Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system, which now appears to have been ditched in favor of Android.

The 10" Eee Pad 101TC is reportedly currently running Android 2.2 "Froyo", but will ship with "Gingerbread", also known as Android 3.0.  Android 3.0 is expected to land during the holiday season.  ASUS may even opt to wait till CES 2011 to announced the final production plans, according to some rumors.

For ASUS the upcoming tablet series is critical.  The company, which launched the netbook craze, has seen the torch stolen by Apple, as the market cools to netbooks and heats up to tablets.  Apple itself has been vocal in predicting the demise of the netbook movement.  However, if ASUS can craft a more functional, cheaper alternative to the iPad, it could well return to glory.

ASUS is not the only key player opting with Android over Windows -- Dell also is using Android for its tablets.  Meanwhile HP's tablets are expected to run on webOS from its recent acquisition Palm.  That means that the 12.1" Eee Pad EP121 may be an endangered species -- the only high-profile upcoming Windows tablet from a major manufacturer.  Despite that, Microsoft insists that it hasn't given up on tablets.



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Usage model
By Lonyo on 7/20/2010 11:00:46 AM , Rating: 3
It all depends on what you plan to use your tablet for.
The fact that the iPad has been successful (apart from the fact that it's made by Apple) shows that general consumers don't always care about being able to do "regular" computer on a tablet (although arguably it is a little too early to talk about general usage situations for tablets like the iPad).

Not everyone needs the power and functionality of a (Windows) desktop environment, if they are just using it as a consumer electronics device instead of a "computing" device.
For these situations, something like iOS or Android or WebOS makes sense.
If you're the sort of person looking for a computer tablet, rather than a consumer electronics tablet, then you're going to want something more "proper" like a desktop derived flavour of Linux, or Windows. These tablets aren't aimed at that target market (which is more made up of tech enthusiasts, the sort of people who come to websites like this and make posts about wanting Windows/etc tablets).




RE: Usage model
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I really don't see the cost/performance justified in having a fully featured copy of windows on a tablet. It seems cumbersome and irritating at best.

I was under the impression that a tablet was perfect for:
1. Email (major factor)
2. Reading news/social networking
3. Quick chat/IM
4. Mild gaming device

I know I left out others, but Android seem much better suited than a full out copy of Windows/Linux/whatever.


RE: Usage model
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 11:15:58 AM , Rating: 2
5. Insanely good battery life
6. Tuck and go thanks to thin sizes (no hinges, clam-shells)


RE: Usage model
By dark matter on 7/20/2010 1:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely.

I don't want to loaf around on the coach with a full computer, developing software like some people claim. I mean, its hard enough to get a text right on a touch screen without the additional full stop of comma where your finger has slipped. Developing code that has to be syntactically perfect on a touch screen is nuts.

I want a long battery life. I want to be free, not tied up with a cable plugged into the wall because I am running a full OS.

I just want to browse the web, play a few stupid games, send some emails, manage my contacts, consult my diary, make a few notes, go on fb, watch a few you tube clips, and enter a few rage filled comments on sites like this. All whilst loafing about on the couch.

I don't want to sit there and develop software on it, nor do I want to use photoshop on it, or do video editing on it, I could not care less about those things. I already have them, and on a dedicated machine. Which, once these become mainstream, will be unceremoniously be booted out of my living room and into its own office and used purely as a productivity machine thereon in.



RE: Usage model
By damianrobertjones on 7/20/2010 1:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
Then buy a HP TC1100 and install Ubuntu or Ubuntu Netbook.

Done.

Probably save you a few $$ as well


RE: Usage model
By Suntan on 7/20/2010 3:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
There are other usages I personally would hold out for, namely:

- Netflix On Demand with no hassle (if/when Android gets this it will be a big equalizer)
- Hulu (again, android running this with no hassle will be good)
- Ability to run Adobe Bridge (basically to be able to open, view and tag raw format images while travelling. Namely, Nikon .NEF files) preferably with a USB port or at least an SD card slot.

Unless I am mistaken, Windows is the only beast that does all these things. If Andriod (or preferably WebOS) can have these functions, then I’d be ok with them on a tablet. But as it stands, Windows is still the one that does all the things I’d want it to do.

It’s not about holding on to the old dinosaur OS. It’s about wanting it to do more things than just being a web surfing paperweight.

-Suntan


RE: Usage model
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 4:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unless I am mistaken, Windows is the only beast that does all these things.

You have to take into account the reason the existence of Android is for the ability to create those programs/compatibilities if the need is there.

Whether it meets your personal needs in the long run still can't take away from how diverse and adaptive the open source system is.
quote:
It’s about wanting it to do more things than just being a web surfing paperweight.

I agree. The model is still very young, and IMHO will spread like wildfire soon especially with all of the interest in cellphones alone. Lets keep an eye on it and see where it goes.


RE: Usage model
By Suntan on 7/21/2010 4:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
No offense, but I don’t really care about how diverse and adaptive it is. I care about the ability to run the applications and tasks that I want to run on it.

Like I said, if a gadget/OS can run the things I want to run, it will get looked at. If it can’t, I really don’t care about it.

You feel free to “embrace the experience,” I’ll choose to use the product.

-Suntan


RE: Usage model
By JonB on 7/20/2010 2:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
My Acer AspireOne netbook with Linux and a SSD is exactly what you are talking about. I don't need "regular" applications; I just want to sit on the couch and surf and be able to open attachments and pictures and watch video.
(That is the iPad's market model but I already own the Acer)

I've seen where users have put Android on their AspireOnes but haven't tried it yet. It could be a good upgrade.


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