Taiwanese computer manufacturer Asustek is boldly going into territory HP may (or may not!) be abandoning: touchscreen tablets running Windows 7. At the Computex trade show opening this week in Taipei, Asus will be showing off a Eee Pad touch screen tablet computer, running a full version of Windows 7 and sporting Nvidia Tegra graphics to add an extra oomph to media. The tablet will sport GPS and 3G connectivity options, and when it ships in a few months should have pricing to rival the Apple iPad. The question is: how many people really want Windows 7—and its not-all-that-great-with-touch interfaces especially when jammed down into a tablet computer?
Asus is apparently planning two versions of the Eee Pad tablet running Windows 7: one will sport a 10.1-inch display and the other a 12-inch display. The devices will features Nvidia Tegra graphics controllers so they can support 1080p HD video playback—we presume this means they will have HDMI video output, too. The 10.1-inch tablet appears to have a 1,025 by 768-pixel resistive touchscreen display, and is apparently based on an ARM CPU running at an unspecified clock speed. The systems feature 64 GB of flash memory, integrated 802/11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and GPS, along with a 3G connectivity option for mobile broadband; the devices also feature two USB ports for peripherals like keyboards and storage, along with a VGA-resolution webcam for video conferencing. Asus hasn’t announced pricing or release dates for the systems, but reports have the company targeting a July release date, with pricing on the 10-inch model starting at $399 to $449.
Reports have the 10-inch version running Windows Embedded Compact 7, while the 12-inch version will run Windows 7 Home Premium and sport an Intel Core 2 Duo CULV processor, making it much more of a traditional notebook computer, just without a keyboard.
Both tablet devices appear to be aimed at users of cloud-based applications and services. Although some industry watchers will no doubt hail devices like this as “iPad killers,” HP’s struggles to put Windows 7 into its Slate device highlight some of the difficulties putting Windows 7 into a tablet form factor. Despite doing apparently solid work with Surface and putting a lot of effort into the forthcoming Windows 7 Phone operating system, Windows 7 itself doesn’t not make for a strong touch-based, mobile computing experience. However, these systems out to be able to run the vast majority of applications available to Windows 7 PCs…and for some customers that will make all the difference.