I can’t decide if I’m excited or baffled by this news, but Digitimes reports that the Asus Eee Tablet will hit the streets this October for under $599. While that would be a pretty high price for a full color Android-powered tablet at a time when Apple is selling the entry level iPad for $499, the Eee Tablet isn’t a full color Android tablet. That’s the Asus Eee Pad, which may not be available until early next year.

No, the Eee Tablet is an 8 inch device with a grayscale touchscreen display. Asus is positioning it as an eBook reader and note-taking device. It has a faster refresh rate than most eBook readers, at just 0.1 secondsseconds. But the LCD display, which can handle 64 shades of gray doesn’t hav the same high contrast ration and outdoor readability of an e-Ink display.

And with a price that could be as a high as $599, I’m not really sure why anyone would pick up an Eee Tablet instead of a cheaper iPad, Android tablet, or dedicated eBook reader like the Nook or Kindle — all of which could be cheaper.

Of course, it’s possible that Digitimes is way off on the price or other details. We can only hope.

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9 replies on “Asus Eee Tablet (not the Eee Pad) to launch in October for $599 or less?”

  1. this seem to be an ereader instead, and not a model which had been reported last time for 199

  2. “It has a faster refresh rate than most eBook readers, at just 0.1 inches.”

    That’s pretty fast. But I know a ship that can do the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.

  3. Original rumors had it at $199 or below… Unless that digitizer is on the level of a WACOM then $599 or less is an outrageous asking price for a ebook reader with just a gimmicky function unless it’s as useful as aftermath hopes it is… We shall see when the official reviews are in which it is.

    1. The digitizer is from Wacom, so this is an extremely viable note-taking device that I, as a college student, can’t wait to get my hands on. Why is everyone obsessing over its e-reader ability? It’s not simply an overpriced e-reader or an under-equipped “ipad competitor.” It’s in an entirely different genre. Asus should be applauded for finally making something truly useful for those of us (physics and math students) who need to take huge amounts of notes that just simply can’t be typed.

  4. i would not mind seeing a 14″ grayscale, as that should be able to show a letter sized pdf without having to rescale.

  5. “I’m not really sure why anyone would pick up an Eee Tablet instead of a…”

    I can. If you would have said “I’m not really sure why MOST people…” then I’d agree with you, but there are many people who need something better than a cheap resistive or capacitive passive digitizer. There isn’t much detail about their digitizer, but in may be something truly revolutionary. The world of touchscreens is divided into two worlds: passive digitizers for “finger pokers/swipers” and active digitizers for “digital inkers”. Of course, some devices bridge these two worlds by offering both functionalities. I understand that most people don’t do useful things with their “tablets”, but I do. All I can do with something like the iPad is watching my net worth decrement by thousands of dollars over the course of my data contract. With a device that offers a real active digitizer that supports high-quality, subtle hand input, I can generate same amount in revenue in a couple of days. That makes this tablet compelling to me, and I know I’m not alone. I know that we’re not typical of your average “tablet” cravers, but many of us are genuinely intrigued by the special digitizer that drives this thing. 2450 dpi of touch sensitivity sounds very useful (although I’m not really into Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, or wasting my time in front of a screen.)

    1. Interesting post. The problem with portable devices that use expensive display technology is that the “guts” are likely to be obsolete soon, as processors get faster, more efficient, add cores, batteries improve, etc etc. It would be _nice_ if you could upgrade the guts of these things every few years and not have to buy a new display. Flipside: I’ve upgraded the display on my desktop 4 times. That would not have been possible if I had to buy a complete new computer each time I wanted to change a part. I’d love to upgrade the cpu in my Samsung Q1 – not possible of course. There are good reasons for modularity, even in small devices.

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