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back to article Asus will hit e-pad market this year

Asus is working on multiple e-pad type devices which it hopes will exploit the shortcomings of Apple's iPad when they hit the market this year. Eric Chen, corporate vice president systems business group at the Taiwanese portables specialist, told El Reg that many people had described Apple's product du jour as "one big screen …

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FAIL

That all assumes tablets are a good thing!

If I recall, one of the biggest problems with tablet uptake was the 'ergonomics' of use i.e. how do you hold them to use them. Holding with one hand means you only have one hand to drive ... so then you palce them flat on a surface and have a non-optimal viweing angle ... so then you prop them up ... etc. And once you no longer treat them as 'light and easy to hold' but place / prop them up on surfaces to type - then you may as well have a proper keyboard and seperate screen.

I am sure the iPad will sell to the fanbois who pre-order and those with money for a 'gadget', but why Asus thinks that the shortcomings (assume: camera, multitasking, lack of open connectivity like USB, expandable storage etc.) will address this fundamental issue is beyond me ...

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Paris Hilton

Ergonomics

Apple does seem to have at least thought about ergonomics - the iPhone OS is much better suited to single-hand operating than the Windows OS used on older tablets. As for laying it flat, the protective folder raises it at an angle. Yes, it's an extra expense, but not a particularly expensive one. Still, nothing beats actually getting your hands on one and seeing how it feels.

Paris, because, well, once you use the phrase "single-hand operating" there's nowhere else to go...

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Coat

Didn't asus say no to Pad?

Didn't I read, not more than a Month ago that Asus said No to making a iPad? What a turn around.

So soon we will all be using 'Star Trek' like pads, maybe find a new way to input data with 'Gestures', didn't see the crew of the Enterprise having much trouble using them :)

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Silver badge
Happy

FANBOiS

There will be a rush to buy the things - the world is littered with rather sad 'must get one first' mugs.

The most common gesture is likely to be from those who didn't rush out and by one but will wait until someone brings out a version that is useful. The gesture is that of using one's thumb and forefinger to form a circle and moving the hand back and forth in a horizontal plane.

Oh, the Enterprise regularly had the things blow up whenever there was a strain on the life support systems or when the dilithium crystals 'Canna handle it!'.

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Flame

patents.. patents.. patents...

How many of Apple's patents protect the iPad interface / usage mechanism etc and when would Apple start suing?

PS- - Need an icon (or two!) with Job's face adorned with horns / halo, please...

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Coat

Re: PS

only need the one with the horns really. I mean why waste time on something that's never going to be used?

Mine's the one with the Apple-tard repellent on.

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Bronze badge
Jobs Horns

correct me if im wrong,

but dont they already exist?

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Grenade

"when would Apple start suing?"

As soon as the competition starts to bite - just ask HTC about that.

In the case of the iPad, that's going to be about as soon as someone releases something similar but actually useful.

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Jobs Halo

Used

Used.

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Tablet problems

I think the problems with existing tablet PCs were weight, battery, and an OS that was totally tailored towards a keyboard and a mouse.

Anyway, the notion that tablets will be forgotten next year seems a bit strange. Many people are already quite happy with smartphones for most of their computing/online needs and something like a smartphone or a PDA with a large screen makes a lot of sense to them. Having a full PC squeezed into a tablet with no keyboard may be the right thing for others but those just might be better off with a netbook indeed.

I think "real" tablets will either be simple ebook-readers or something like big smartphones running Android (or the iPhone OS). A tablet running Windows 7 is not much more than a netbook with no keyboard and has all the disadvantages of a PC with the added disadvantage of a missing keyboard.

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I predict..

That the first company to make one that will servive in a factory and run some form of SAP or Orical interface, made to work with touch inputs and a bar code reader attached will sell a minimum of 1 metric fuckton of them.

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Psion?

Was that one of their niches?

In which case it must be time for someone else to come along with something to replace all those old Epoc / WinCE machines.

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Alien

Star Trek Tablets

I seem to recall that the tablets on Start Trek were wedge shaped - thus solving the viewing angle problem when you put them down on a flat surface.

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You can scan barcodes with the webcam.

Asus makes tablets ALREADY. Well, sells them. I don't know who makes them.

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Paris Hilton

Asus nicely in the game already

EeePC T91MT, has a fold out/rotate touchscreen that folds back flat against the keyboard. Very nice piece of kit. Course it runs WIn 7 which MS swear blind is 'touch ready'. That's about halfway true, since the Win 7 API has support for touch and gestures, but you need a stylus to drive windows, finger friendly it aint.

Asus' own touch software is, well, mediocre. I suppose MS could come up with something sexier, a nice touch UI for windows, but by the looks of things, Apple would then sue them. I'd buy tickets for that, Jobs vs Monkey Boy Ballmer would be a treat.

Might happen yet, unless MS have licensed some patents from Apple, because Win 7 uses the same pinch gestures for zooming that Apple seem so keen to destroy HTC over.

Cost about the same as an iPad might (what with pricing still TBA), it's faster, it does more, dev tools are free and I can put any software I damn well please on it. Oh yeah, and it has a camera and proper blue tooth.

Asus have the smarts to kick ass in this market, but then again, don't underestimate the fruit, and don't forget that Jobs isn't going after the same market demographic by a long shot.

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Jobs Halo

Spaniards

Do Asus make a phone?

If so, the Spaniards would regard it as the 'Asus phone"!

Apple, prepare your lawyers.

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News?

Since when did "Apple has something great and we're going to do a half-assed job of copying it" become news?

Sounds like 20 years of history condensed into one sentence.

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Confused Asus

If all this guy sees in the iPad is an overgrown iPhone, he is clearly misguided. If you don't know what I mean, just take a look at how Apple has completely revamped their iWork Apps, and the Calendar and Address books apps to exploit the very different form factor of the iPad. They are all very different from the Mac versions and the iPhone versions and completely customized for the iPad ergonomics. I won't be surprised if Asus comes up with a similarly hardware speced tablet that might even be cheaper than the iPad, and I'm sure it will have a lot more ports. But who is going to customize the OS and Apps from the ground up to use a completely touch-based interface, which ditches file folders, menus and such?

And yes, a couple months ago Acer was the one saying they could make an iPad tablet hardware-wise but realized they didn't have the ecosystem to support it. Maybe the guys at Asus need to do lunch with the guys at Acer.

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