ASUS Presents 3 Android Honeycomb Tablets, 1 Wintel Slate

ASUS just unveiled four new tablets, three powered by Android 3.0 or Honeycomb and one by Windows 7, due out within the next six months.

The main details are as follows:
  • the Eee Pad MeMO is a 7-inch, capacitive-screen mobile device with a Snapdragon processor and Android 3.0, priced at $499 to $699 with June availability;

  • the Eee Pad Transformer has a 10.1-inch touchscreen and has an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, Android 3.0 and QWERTY keyboard docking station, Priced at $399 to $699 with April availability;

  • the Eee Pad Slider has the same specs as the Transformer, but has a sliding keyboard, costs $499 to $799 with May availability; and

  • the Eee Slate EP121 runs Windows 7, has a 12.1-inch multi-touch display, Intel Core i5 processor, a 64GB SSD drive and offers various data input options ranging from a Wacom Digitizer pen to an included Bluetooth wireless keyboard, and costs $999 to $1099 with January availability.

The announcement of a new family of tablets by ASUS was made at the Consumer Electronics Show being held this week in Las Vegas, where analysts and industry insiders are expecting a slew of tablet PCs to be shown off by dozens of vendors.

Since the iPad debuted last summer, and realized phenomenal sales success, the tablet space has started to heat up as competitors enter the mix, pinning their hopes of snatching market share from Apple on mobile devices running Google's Android OS.

Google's Android czar Andy Rubin during a presentation Dec. 7 showed off a prototype of a Motorola Android tablet running Honeycomb, the next version of the Linux mobile OS that's optimized for slate PCs and due out early this year. Other manufacturers prepping or already selling Android tablets include Samsung, Acer, Archos, Viewsonic, Dell and Cisco.

Meanwhile, Research In Motion, HP and Microsoft are also planning to offer slate PCs this year, though they won't be powered by the Android OS.

As the tablet sector emerges as one of the hottest trends of the year, Forrester Research predicts that one in three Americans will own a tablet PC by 2015, and just yesterday revised its forecast for the market.

"Today Forrester published its revised US consumer tablet forecast, updating its previous forecast from June 2010. When Apple's iPad first debuted, we saw the device as a game-changer but were too conservative with our forecast. Since then, we've fielded additional consumer surveys and an SMB and enterprise survey, conducted additional supply-side research, and seen more sales numbers from Apple. We've had briefings from many companies that will release new tablets at CES.

"All of these inputs have led us to revise our US consumer tablet forecast for 2010 upward to 10.3 million units, and we expect sales to more than double in 2011 to 24.1 million units. Of those sales, the lion's share will be iPads, and despite many would-be competitors that will be released at CES, we see Apple commanding the vast majority of the tablet market through 2012," said Sarah Rotman Epps, consumer mobile device analyst at Forrester, in a blog post about the tablet reports.