back to article Asus Eee Pad Slider

The smartbook is the great 'might have been' of mobile computing. Something thin and light, with solid-state storage, a keyboard, a day-long battery life and the ARM CPU that makes such a quality possible, and a price in keeping with the Small, Cheap Computer ethic. Killed by the iPad? Killed the absence of the right chips and …

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  1. JDX Gold badge

    sticky fingers

    couldn't you clean it before taking the photo?

    Sounds interesting though.

    1. Anton Ivanov
      Grenade

      That is evidence

      Well, the fingerprints show that it is not an oleophobic coating (one of the reasons for the price).

      In any case, if this is hackable to run Debian it will definitely make my shopping list.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      title here

      That would be the xhamster effect.

      1. BorkedAgain
        Terminator

        @AC 13:31

        Ooh, that was close. Glad I googled before I browsed...

        Seriously, we should come up with some kind of warning when referencing stuff that isn't suitable to have flash up on a screen at work. Maybe an ETLA that could flag something as unsafe in a professional environment?

        1. Stuart Archer
          Badgers

          NSFW

          'nuff said

  2. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Nice.

    I presume it has a capacitive touch screen?

    I look forward to this, and like you would buy one in an instant at that price. Lets hope that's real.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice.

      "And, let's not forget, the slider has a larger screen, a 10.1in, 1280 x 800 IPS LCD capacitive panel, to be exact."

      Reading the article so that you don't have to (TM).

  3. nordwars
    Go

    Two things I wonder...

    Looks interesting to me.

    - What is the battery life like?

    - Is it possible to run Windows XP or 7 on a Tegra chipset? Or indeed some kind of linux?

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Tegra is ARM

      Only way you're going to see Windows on one of these devices is through an emulator. Maybe in a couple of years when MS port Windows to ARM it's possible you'll see similar devices for that OS though there are so many unknowns of how it might work that it's not worth holding your breath.

      1. RAMChYLD
        Heart

        Or well...

        There's always WinCE...

        I'm sold on this baby tho. Need an Android tab for experimenting and this looks like the ticket.

    2. Greg J Preece
      Linux

      Errrr

      "Or indeed some kind of linux?"

      You mean like Android? :-p

    3. vegister

      ubuntu

      well that's the aim of ARM builds of ubuntu, and all that work they've been doing for tablet friendly desktop.

  4. Ru
    Thumb Down

    "less than £300 including VAT"

    How on earth did you come up with that figure? A retail price of 400USD is never going to equate to anything less than 400GBP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Under £400 is actually very likely - do the math

      Price of about £350 looks more likely

      iPad = $499 in USA, £429 in UK. Using same conversion $400 is £344

  5. dotdavid
    Thumb Down

    £300?

    "Now, if that's right we are looking at less than £300 including VAT for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model."

    Uh-uh. All manufacturers do when releasing products here is exchange the $ sign for the £ sign. It's far more likely to be £400 than £300.

  6. maxillius

    You're right, however...

    A keyboard/pad isn't the only thing that puts me off the tablet idea. Its size seems to welcome frequent mobile use, as such I would want to actually use it mobilly. Will the battery be able to put up with full screen brightness while playing multiple Deep Space Nine episodes?

    Also, how long does it take for fatigue to set in if I were to type some papers on it?

    And on that note, is there any productivity software for Android?

    1. Nuno

      Atrix concept

      I prefer the concept adopted by motorola. I just wish someone would create a standard way for doing it, so we could by a standard dock and connect any Android phone to it. That would also make our dock survive the phone upgrade process...

    2. P Saunders

      Softmaker Office for Android

      Softmaker are building a version of their Office clone for Android. Other platform versions are quite serviceable so this one should fit nicely.

    3. Nigel 11
      Thumb Up

      Pad not needed

      It's got a USB port. Buy a mouse to connect at your desk when you're doing serious typing. Maybe a better keyboard and USB hub as well. The rest of the time, touch the screen.

      I'm assuming Android supports a mouse and extra keyboard. Anyway, if I buy one, It'll be to run a Linux more like Ubuntu or Fedora. This is the design I've wanted for ages.

  7. James 51

    W(h)ine

    If I didn't use One Note so much I would be very tempted to pick one of these up when my netbook dies. Still, it's a big step in the right direction.

    Was anyone else remined of the old Psion Netbook?

  8. Samuel Williams
    Thumb Up

    Looks good...

    ...but I've yet to see an opening mechanism as pleasing as the Psion Revo!

    1. Matt_payne666

      apart from...

      the Psion series 5 :)

  9. Neil Hoskins
    Thumb Up

    Want!

    It's a Psion7/Netbook with an uptodate OS and I am absolutely getting one. Certainly does NOT need a track pad, which would spoil it. After some use, you'll find the combination of touchscreen and keyboard is the PERFECT configuration.

  10. James Hughes 1

    If the price is right

    One has to wonder how most of the other tablets on the market - you know, the ones without the keyboard but otherwise the same- manage to be considerably more expensive.

    And with that nice rubbery keyboard, you could put a Sinclair Spectrum emulator on it and really feel the nostalgia.

  11. Frosty840

    Android version locking?

    It's vaguely implied in the review that this product will allow pain-free upgrading to newer versions of Android, as opposed to the typical horror of Andoid-phone-style version locking.

    Can you confirm that, one way or the other?

    1. Hetz Ben Hamo
      Go

      I can hardly remember

      any time that Asus has locked something to be un-upgradable.

      Motorola does those tricks, not Asus.

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

        @ Ben Hamo

        Yeah, I don't figure it will be locked. The issue will be availability of drivers. Remember the 701? Hopefully Asus will have realised that there will be some who will want to boot their own arbitrary linux and will make this process easy.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Dave Lawton

      Re: looks v nice

      From the article - 'Other goodies include a USB port, mini HDMI, and 1.2Mp front-facing and 5MP rear-facing cameras.'

      If my Tosh AC100 is anything to go by (same Tegra 2 chipset), at least 6 hours of continuous use.

    2. handle

      People are having difficulty reading today

      "Other goodies include a USB port, mini HDMI, and 1.2Mp front-facing and 5MP rear-facing cameras."

  13. Cameron Colley

    I think your conversion rate is off.

    If $400=£340 then I think this thing will cost around £380, perhaps they'll price it at £389 or £395. An easier way to price up electronics for the UK is to assume that $1=£1 then take off a small ammolunt from the total so it's not quite as obvious.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Promising...

    but I would want to put a real linux on it, and nVidia's linux support for tegra2 has been significantly worse than for their GPUs. Like the Toshiba before it, this could be a nice piece of hardware hobbled by inadequate software.

  15. Pat O'Ban
    Thumb Up

    It's a gigantic...

    Psion 5!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_Series_5

    1. Mark Jan

      What Psion Would be Making - it's a 2011 Psion 5!

      It's the sort of thing that Psion would be making if:

      a) they hadn't pissed about with Motorola then got stung

      b) they hadn't pissed about generally for so long and got left behind after showing such early brilliance and design flair

      c) Psion wasn't British! (or Finish or European for that matter!)

      d) if David Potter had met Steve Jobs!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        More like a 2011 Series 7 or Netbook

        Though I would love it if they did a version the size of a Series 5 with a keyboard as usable as the original, and a PixelQi screen.

  16. Buzzword
    Go

    Yes

    I like this. Tablets like the iPad just aren't productive enough - they're a chore for composing emails or editing code. After a couple of years with a smartphone, fondling the screen feels natural; to the point where I sometimes forget and tap links on my laptop's screen too. At that price I like even more. Not sure if Android covers all my use cases; but it should be easy enough to flash it with a Linux distro.

  17. P Zero
    Boffin

    My interest

    It is piqued.

  18. spencer

    Finally....

    Finally, an ARM based portable device with a keyboard.

    Best of everything: Portable, decent battery life, hardware acceleration, able to create as well as consume content (unlike the Ipads, thanks to the keyboard).

    It feels like it's been an age to come. Remember when everyone was getting excited about the ARM based netbooks 2+ years ago? Yeah, they never turned up.

    If the price is right I'll be picking up one of these for sure.

  19. DrXym Silver badge

    Very clever design

    The thing is a bit thick because of the slider but for that you get a built in keyboard and don't have to haul around some crappy stand / keyboard attachment. Looks like a great design & very useful for folks who need to do some serious typing but benefit from the tablet the rest of the time.

  20. Alfred

    Provisionally sold....

    Stick a grown-up operating system on there (my preference is a Linux dist or a *BSD) and I'll take one.

    1. Leona A
      Thumb Up

      not tricky

      to do yourself, assume if you already use such OS's you will already know how to get them on the tablet.

  21. Mage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    iWant

    ILike

  22. Nagy, Balázs András
    FAIL

    title here

    Please use some decent resizing algorithm next time, the photos (especially the first one, not so much the others) look horrible.

  23. Al Taylor
    Alert

    Price

    I was working on $400 = £250 (at today's exchange rate) plus 20% VAT = £300. I asked the Asus PR if $400 was the likely to be the local US price or the equivalent Euro / Sterling, and he said the latter. How true that will turn out to be, well, your guess is as good as mine.

    Be that as it may, I was expecting to be told the price would be more in the region of 500 Euro so it still sounds like a good deal.

    As for the fingerprints, sorry about that - it was a scrum at the stand and trying to get any shots was hard work. Giving one of the devices a polish and getting all Lord Lichfield on it was a non-starter.

  24. jai

    deja vu

    it's a Psion Series7!!!!

    god i loved my Series5

    but that was because it would fit in my jacket pocket and was very easy to type and navigate both while holding in the hands and lying on a table.

    I'm pretty sure the Series7 didn't work because it was too big to work well as a hand held unit, just not portable enough.

    and i wonder if that will be the same problem with this Asus. Just too big to be a portable tablet, so why not just get a netbook instead, and have the easy of a full OS and a mouse pointer?

  25. HFoster

    Oh dear, I think I've turned into an actual Android Fanboi

    I don't give a proverbial about the price, I just want one. Actually, two.

    Mind you, if you can root it and either replace Android with the OS of your choosing (some work may be required), or dual boot boot it, the cat will have to make a new noise, as this will be its meow!

  26. Mark .

    Tablets and netbooks should be considered the same market

    And this is exactly why separating "tablets" and "netbooks" into different markets makes no sense (other than to make Apple look better than they are).

    It was obvious that we'd get devices like this - they run Android and have a touchscreen, but also have a physical keyboard, and can be positioned with the screen angled like a netbook.

    With Windows 8, I suspect we'll also see more touchscreen netbooks (I believe some do already exist). I also *hope* we'll have some netbooks that finally give a higher resolution (more than 600 depth) - possibly with a physically taller screen, but even at the same size, a higher resolution would be good.

    And just to add more to the netbook/tablet confusion, you can already get Android netbooks.

    Nor is it clear why ARM versus Intel makes a difference. Android runs on x86; and there's no reason why you couldn't have an Intel Atom tablet.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Look at the price of current atom tablets

      Even taking any windows tax into account the Intel Atom tax and its weakness in the power saving stakes compared to Arm makes it very hard for an atom tablet competitive with an Arm one.

  27. Andy 73

    'Stick Linux on it'

    I find it increasingly hard to understand why someone would take a piece of consumer electronics which is almost certainly going to have some combination of custom hardware, and try to shoe-horn Linux into it. This isn't a server - you're only going to be running a browser, an editor or two and a few media widgets. So why make your life miserable trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot when there's an OS already optimised to run on that hardware?

    Surely the answer is to have your server (at home/work/in the cloud) set up with your hardcore dev tools that you cannot live without, and use a device like this as a terminal, browser and code-editor. These are jobs it would be good at, which won't require constant fiddling with Linux releases, obscure badly supported drivers and would allow you to get on with your job....

    .... oh, hold on, I see what you did there.

    Anyway, personally this looks like a cracking bit of kit. And, @Spencer - ARM based portable devices with keypads are very old history.. The Psion 5 came out ~13 years ago and was a great device.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: 'Stick Linux on it'

      Android is Linux, just not GNU/Linux.

      "These are jobs it would be good at, which won't require constant fiddling with Linux releases, obscure badly supported drivers and would allow you to get on with your job.... The Psion 5 came out ~13 years ago and was a great device."

      Around the time you last looked at Linux with its supposed "constant fiddling", I imagine.

      1. Andy 73

        Re: Re: 'Stick Linux on it'

        I thought that might touch a nerve.

        I have a handful of machines running recent linux distributions, a couple of Macs, a few net/laptops running various flavours of Windows, and sitting on my desk are two blackberries, a couple of iPhones, and an Android tablet. Of all of them, the ones that best and most consistently support the hardware they run on are NOT GNU/Linux unless they are bare metal servers that have standard commodity IO. In fact, I'll quote the other Anonymous Coward (or was it you) who said: "nVidia's linux support for tegra2 has been significantly worse than for their GPUs".

        Don't get me wrong, I like Linux. I just don't see the point of taking _consumer_ electronics and putting a different and slightly incompatible O/S on it.

        1. Bruno Girin

          @Andy 73

          "I just don't see the point of taking _consumer_ electronics and putting a different and slightly incompatible O/S on it"

          Because you can?

        2. Greg J Preece

          The answer is obvious

          My phone runs Debian. Sorry, Maemo, but come on, it's Debian. Why is that awesome, pray tell? Well, aside from the obvious bonus of not having an arbitrary abstraction layer keeping me away from my own hardware and sucking resources in the process, it means I don't have to do anything half-arsed.

          I don't have to download some God-awful SSH client from the Market that will forget everything it was doing the minute I try to check my e-mail at the same time, and doesn't support landscape mode. I just hold a couple of buttons and up pops Bash, with ssh, grep, tail etc all ready to go. (Trying to do remote server admin on any portable device that isn't Linux-based is just PAINFUL, and potentially costly.)

          I don't have to piss around with Opera Mini and Firefox Home, when Opera Mobile and Fennec are available.

          I don't have to pay over the odds to get overly expensive shitty touchscreen remakes of games I never liked. My phone runs DOSbox!

          I can edit code on my device without feeling like I've lost several fingers and my colour perception. What's Android got? SilverEdit? Give me a bloody break.

          I can dick about with my device as much as I like, binding PS3 controllers to it and playing Mario World on the projector at work in my lunchbreak, and no-one will tell me I'm not allowed to, nor do I have to re-flash the device to pull that off.

          *That's* why you put Linux on the device. Not because it's supposedly not as polished, not because it takes some tweaks to get working, but because it means you can do more with the device, with less interference, for no cash.

          The first person I showed this article to came out with "nice machine, but if I can't get Android off it, then knackers to it." Personally I'd love to have this thing dual boot a Linux distro and MeeGo Tablet, just for a laugh.

          1. HFoster
            Pint

            As an Android Fanboi, I'd like to be the first to

            Buy you a beer. You make excellent points all around.

            It's a shame mobile Linux hasn't fared better in the marketplace. However, you've re-fired my interest in Linuxing things that didn't come Linuxed out of the box.

            That's another beer for you!

    2. Cameron Colley

      Why stick Linux on it?

      Because, as someone has pointed out, you can then use "proper" tools and also the applicaitons you are familiar with. I had to install Linux Mint on my netbook because the default OS was too much of a hassle to learn when I already use Debian on my PC, for example. If I could have debian on a device like this, or a phone, I would be happy as it means less time pissing around learning how everything is laid out and finding out which tools do which job and more time working and playing.

    3. captain veg

      'Stick Linux on it'

      So that you know that it isn't periodically phoning home to Mountain View and transferring personally identifiable and/or behavioural data. Or any kind of data at all.

      -A.

  28. BorkedAgain

    Oh...

    HELL yeah!

    Now that looks all manner of useful. What battery life are they claiming? Or would it be best to buy two, and use the spare when the first runs out of juice? ;)

    Sorry, but even if they DO use the standard £=$ conversion technique, it'd still be tempting. At £300 it's a done deal.

  29. BorkedAgain
    Coat

    Oh, by the way...

    ...your "buy now from Amazon" link is broken. Possibly a temporal offset decouple. I'd try reversing the polarity of the neutron flow if I were you.

    The one with the funny-looking screwdriver in the pocket, thanks.

  30. johnnytruant

    looks interesting

    I want to see how the other upcoming tablet-slider things turn out before throwing down any money though.

  31. spegru
    Badgers

    Why the price excitement?

    This is Deffo a replacement for my old Psion Series 7 (yes I was one of the few), but it's expensive compared to many netbooks even at the $/£ questionable 300quid mark.

    Good netbooks start at about £220, have proper keyboards and decent hard discs that you can partition and put proper OSs on

    Nice tho....

  32. Mr Floppy
    Linux

    3G extra?

    How much extra? How come it isn't standard? Then again, I don't mind so much. There are other ways to get a 3G connection.

    My problem is with ASUS and their support. They started off the netbook craze and then failed to support the OS in anyway. Luckily a netbook community was formed and covered all the areas that ASUS should have. I hope they will work with Android better than they did with Xandros. I suspect though that another linux community will develop to really extend the use of this hardware.

    Count me interested in one of these.

    Posted from my original eeepc 701 running puppy 5.

  33. Adrian Esdaile
    Thumb Up

    Debian FTW

    I've got an old EEEPC 701, an N10 as my main(!) travelling CAD workstation (!!) - both run Debian in various flavours, the N10 dual-boots Win7.

    Get the idea? I like customizable, portable, well-made netbooks.

    Bugger the iPad(n+1), if this does Debian, I'm buying one!

    Actually two - my wife will want one too.

  34. David Cantrell
    FAIL

    Pointless title, which must contain letters and/or digits.

    So this thing is even bigger and heavier than an iPad? The iPad is alrady too big and heavy to be the magic solution to all problems that some people expect a tablet to be - it won't fit in a pocket so is inconvenient to carry, and it's too heavy and has the wrong shape to hold comfortably for any extended time.

    1. Cazzo Enorme

      Depends on your pocket size ...

      I can get an iPad into the pocket of a pair of army surplus combat trousers. And no, that's not how I got one out of the Apple Store without paying ;-)

  35. greensun

    Shiny screen -> not buying.

    I don't want to buy something I have to polish every time I use it so I can read the screen.

    When will manufacturers realise we Don't Want shiny screens ? >-(

  36. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    I am excited already and it hits the shops in time for my dismal bonous too.

    Does anyone know if there is any multi-track audio editing software (not Audacity) available thats' UI isn't dreadful ?

    1. Cazzo Enorme

      Ardour

      I use Ardour on an almost daily basis, and find it excellent. I'm familiar with Pro Tools and Ableton Live - Ardour is not yet in the same league as them, but it's certainly getting there.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Think It's Nice But...

    It's nice to see Ipad getting a lot of competition as their stuff is always way overpriced in my opinion. However, I've heard horrible things about Asus netbooks which puts me off, sadly.. Now if it was an Acer.........

    1. spencer

      Orly??

      Asus netbooks I thought were generally considered to be very good.

      "Since its launch in October 2007, the Eee PC netbook has garnered numerous awards, including Forbes Asia’s Product of the Year, Stuff Magazine’s Gadget of the Year and Computer of the Year, NBC.com’s Best Travel Gadget, Computer Shopper's Best Netbook of 2008, PC Pro's Hardware of the Year, PC World's Best Netbook, and DIME magazine’s 2008 Trend Award Winner."

      (Quoted from Wikipeidia, but still.....)

      The reg seems to quite like Asus netbooks as well, if you were to have a look a the reviews...

  38. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    "5 MP rear-facing camera"

    ...So, a 5MP desktop-facing camera when opened, then?

    Give it a really good macro mode and call it a digital microscope!

    Seriously, though, it looks interesting.

  39. Maxson

    If they can get it near as possible to £300 or lower

    Then definitely, I'll be getting one, I fancy an android tab and this sounds like a good idea.

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