When the the Asus Eee PC 701 was introduced in 2007, it was arguably the first consumer-oriented netbook (the OLPC was designed for educational purposes, not the general public). But now Asus has plenty of company in the netbook space. And in order to keep competitive, the company is keeping an eye on the market and aggressively launching products in a number of new spaces including network attached storage devices, home theater media streaming devices, eBook readers, and the bizarre computer-in-a-keyboard Eee Keyboard.

It’s too early to say which, if any, of these devices will gain traction in the marketplace. But Asus seems to be taking a throw-it-against-the-wall-to-see-what-sticks approach to product launches. And next up? A web tablet featuring a 4 to 7 inch touchscreen, according to DigiTimes.

The Eee Pad is reportedly the company’s response to the upcoming Apple Tablet, although Asus will likely sell the Eee Pad at a much lower price. And it won’t run OS X (at least not out of the box). Of course, Apple isn’t the only company with a touchscreen tablet in the works or already available. Like eBook readers, there’s a growing trend of PC makers launching mini-computers without keyboards. What remains to be seen is whether there’s sufficient consumer demand for these devices to sustain the market.

There’s not a lot of additional information about the rumored Eee Pad at the moment. DigiTimes simply says that it will “offer a combination of tablet PC and MID functions.”

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5 replies on “Next up for Asus: An EeePad tablet PC?”

  1. IMO; Asus seems to be leading the way in small computer innovation. I agree with the other post in that it will do well if they can keep the price low. It is one of the reasons netbooks are doing so well; low price and affordability.

  2. Now, about this tablet…Great idea if they do two things: make it very functional and cheap!

    It has to be ‘zippy’ with the touch input recognition. No lag, no hiccups, and no mistaking what you were trying to do. And if Asus is smart they will put their device out now and then when Apple is about to launch their device Asus needs to have their “improved” second device landing on store shelves a day earlier.

    Asus I other words needs to BET BIG and put that bet on the table now. Put their device out now, back that device with an aggressive sales campaign to the tech media, and then be ready with a second generation model before Apple reacts to the first generation model. Asus can’t beat Apple, so the idea is to use market judo; use Apple’s weight against them. Be faster, be cheaper, and counter any device Apple makes with an improved device of your own.

  3. You know out of all the products aside from typical form factor computers that Asus makes the MOST impressive to me is the Eee Keyboard. It is the most obvious form factor for a living room sofa computer.

    -If you are going to build something with the least parts then having the entire computer in the keyboard makes sense.
    – It makes the thing on your lap heavier with all those parts inside is actually more helpful for keeping it just in your lap.
    – When you want to move it 90% of what you have to take with you is that keyboard.
    – If the Commodore 64 existed today…it would be this! That was a computer in what amounted to a keyboard.

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