Pretty much every Asus Eee PC product released in the last 2 years has been powered by Intel chips. But it looks like that could change with the launch of the upcoming Eee Pad, EeeReader, or whatever it is that Asus is going to call its new tablet device.
The folks at NetbookNews.de are hearing rumors that the upcoming tablet could be based on NVIDIA’s Tegra platform. That makes sense, since Tegra is based on a low power ARM chip which uses significantly less energy than an Intel Atom processor or pretty much anything that Intel offers at this point. And while 5-10 hours of battery life might be great for a netbook, users have come to expect eBook readers to have batteries measured in days, not hours.
But if the device really does use a Tegra processor, then that opens up the possibility that it could be much more than an eBook Reader. Tegra’s strength lies in its multimedia capabilities. The Zune HD, for instance, has a Tegra chip that allows this 2.6 ounce device (including battery) to play up to 8 hours of continuous 720p HD video. Just imagine a 7 to 10 inch tablet with the ability to run for days at a time when reading books, and for the duration of a cross-country flight while watching HD videos?
Of course, this is just a rumor for now. But it’s a rumor I like.