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Slate of the Nation - Your Guide to Upcoming Slate Devices

Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Acer
Tagged:

Acer, Apple, Asus

Acer

For a long time Acer has been denying the fact they will be releasing a slate device, but the cat was let out of the bag when Acer CEO, Gianfranco Lanci, demoed a 7” slate during a press conference. What makes the Acer device unique is that it is 7” device that uses a QWERTY keyboard thus making it the same physical size as an iPad, but with a smaller screen to make room for the keyboard. This device will also be running Google Android OS

Acer is the only company in the upcoming crop of slates to offer an integrated keyboard in their product, and it is debatable if the integrated keyboard has any advantage over the onscreen counterpart.

Intel has also revealed that Acer has been working on a MeeGo tablet device, but Acer themselves have not made any official announcement.



Image Source: APC Mag

Known Details:

  • Screen: 7” screen
  • CPU / RAM:  ARM
  • OS: Google Android OS with Acer UI
  • Networking: 3G
  • Unique feature: Integrated keyboard
  • Release Date: September or October 2010
  • Notes: Will be carrier subsidized

References:

Apple

The Apple iPad certainly isn’t breaking new ground with their product, but it is certainly one that has been the best at integrating the technology and executing a well designed product. The iPad’s biggest shortcoming is its lacking functionality (it doesn't have a SD card reader, a camera, or native PDF support), but it makes up for it through the Apple App store, a large number of accessories to cover for its inadequacies, and of course it doesn't hurt that it's a beautiful looking device.

The simplicity and elegance of the Apple iPad should not be dismissed, but to get the iPad more functional, expect to spend a little money for essential apps like a document editor, and a daily organizer / task manager. The camera connection kit is an essential accessory for those who want to use USB to read media cards, use a headset with Skype, or attach an external keyboard.



Image Source: Apple

Known Details:

  • Screen: 9.7” LCD screen (IPS panel), 1024x768
  • CPU / RAM: Apple A4 1GHz processor
  • OS: Apple iOS
  • Storage: 16, 32, or 64GB flash memory, 802.11 b/g/n, 3G (optional), Bluetooth
  • Weight: 680g (1.5 lb.) / 730g (1.6 lb.)
  • Special Feature: Apple App store, wide range of accessories, elegant design.
  • Battery Life: 10h video, 140h audio, 1 month standby

Asus

Asus has two devices coming to market this coming quarter: the EP121 and the EP101TC. The EP121 reads more like a netbook than a slate device - it uses an Intel CULV Core2 Duo CPU and is loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium. On the other hand, the EP101TC uses Windows Embedded Compact 7 which is Microsoft’s portable device OS that is streamlined for shorter interactions.

Asus will also be taking advantage of their Eee Cloud storage facility which makes it a compelling alternative to in-memory or offline storage just as long as you have a network connection to access the cloud. Asus also has an app store for their Eee netbooks, and you can expect this to be available on the Windows slate cousins as well.

Previously Asus also has also shown the Eee Tablet: a 2450dpi notepad device that uses an e-ink display. The Eee Tablet is more in the realm of ebook readers, although the lines are blurred when you consider the device has a 2MP camera and a web browser.

Asus has also previously announced Google Android based slates and it
has been speculated to be based on NVIDIA Tegra 2, but much of the
attention lately has been on their Microsoft driven products.



Asus Eee Pad EP121 - Big 12.1" slate running Windows 7 Home Premium.

Eee Pad EP121 Known Details:

  • Screen: 12.1"
  • CPU / RAM: Intel CULV Core 2 Duo
  • OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Networking: 3G
  • Storage: SD card
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB (host capable?)
  • Battery: 10h
  • Notes: Has a stylus. Keyboard docking station accessory that folds down like a laptop.



Asus EP101TC - one of the few slates
announced using Windows Embedded Compact 7.

EP101TC Known Details:

  • Screen: 10"
  • CPU / RAM: NVIDIA Tegra 2
  • OS: Windows Embedded Compact 7
  • Connectivity: Mini USB for syncing
  • Networking: 3G
  • Storage: SD card

Eee Tablet:

  • 2450 dpi sensitive touch screen
  • micro SD slot
  • 2MP Camera
  • E-ink display
  • See our coverage of Asus' new slates from Computex 2010 here and here.

References:

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