Computex Tablet Show Begins — MSI, Asus Drop Slates

All eyes are on the Computex show in Taipei which is underway today and as expected there are already a number of tablets on display to compete with the iPad (s aapl). Computer makers Asus and MSI are taking the scattergun approach as both companies are showing off a number of slates. It would seem the tablet strategy for these firms is to throw a few tablets against the wall to see what sticks. Windows 7 seems to be the platform of choice for both companies, with Android (s goog) only making an appearance on one of the models so far.

ASUS

The company that brought us the Eee PC, the original netbook that kicked off that storm, is continuing the product line in name with the tablet products. The Eee Pad (don’t think Apple will like that name) is being shown in two sizes — a common 10-inch model and a large 12-inch slate.

The EP121 is a 12.1-inch slate running an Intel (s intc) Core 2 Duo CULV processor for decent power and a promised 10 hour battery life. Windows 7 Home Premium is the OS running the show making this slate a “full” computer. There is an onscreen keyboard for data entry along with an external keyboard in a dock.

The smaller EP101TC has an interesting platform, Windows Embedded Compact 7. The 10-inch slate uses the Nvidia Tegra chipset to get things done, and also has a long claimed battery life.

Both Eee Pad models are expected to hit the market in early 2011 according to Asus, and according to those attending Computex neither model is very functional yet as shown. Asus has a long way to go to get the Eee Pads available for market.

The most unusual tablet being shown by Asus is the Eee Tablet (I see a theme), an 8-inch grayscale (1024×768) displaying slate. Yes, Asus has decided that a non-color slate is what consumers are dying to get. In addition to the grayscale screen, the Eee Tablet also uses a special high-resolution touchscreen that requires a special pen. Regular touch won’t work on the Eee Tablet which is being positioned as a portable note-taking device by Asus.

MSI

MSI is showing off two 10-inch slates, both dubbed the Wind Pad, one with typical netbook hardware and the other based on the Nvidia Tegra platform. The Wind Pad 100 will run Windows 7 and have an Intel Atom processor along with an SSD for storage. The Wind Pad 110 has the Nvidia Tegra chipset powering the Android platform. MSI is putting a custom touch-friendly UI on top of Windows 7 on the Wind Pad 100 that looks nice in preliminary photos.

The company is being coy about when the Android model 110 might hit the market, but states the Wind Pad 100 should appear for $499 by the end of the year.

Wind Pad 100

Wind Pad 110

Images courtesy of Asus, engadget.

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