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E-reader doubles as digital notepad

Jun 1, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Asus announced a tablet combining a monochrome e-reader with Wacom stylus input and notepad support. The Eee Tablet offers input sensitivity of 2400 dots per inch (dpi), as well as a back-facing two-megapixel camera and 0.1-second text file page turns, says the company.

The Eee Tablet is designed primarily for students and mobile business professionals, says Asus. In addition to acting as an e-reader device, the tablet is designed as a digital notepad.

The device ships with a number of notepad templates, offering options to store, sort, tag, organize, and browse text data. It also supports on-the-fly, real-time text annotations, says the company.

Asus did not list the operating system used by the Eee Tablet, but a Laptop hands-on story claims the device runs a proprietary version of Linux on an ARM processor. In April, Asus and Acer both said they would support the Linux-based MeeGo operating system, with both netbooks and tablets speculated as potential products. However, the Eee Tablet, which does not appear to offer generic tablet features such as web browsing, does not appear to be based on MeeGo.

Eee Tablet
(Click to enlarge)

Pricing or availability were not mentioned, but according to Laptop, as well as an Asus spokesperson demoing the product in a video posted by the publication, the tablet will go on sale in September for $200. The tablet was announced at the Computex show in Taiwan yesterday along with the Windows 7-based 12-inch Eee Pad EP121 and 10-inch Eee Pad EP101TC color tablets.

The Eee Tablet is a grayscale display, but does not use the E Ink VixPlex display controller typically found on e-readers, according to Laptop. Instead it offers a Wacom-enabled technology claimed to provide 2450dpi stylus input sensitivity. According to an Engadget story, the "backlight-less" TFT-LCD display measures eight inches on the diagonal, and offers 1024 x 768 resolution and 64 levels of grey.

The Eee Tablet is further equipped with a two-megapixel camera, a USB port, and a MicroSD slot, says Asus. According to Laptop, meanwhile, WiFi is also provided, along with a microphone, and the device is said to support ePUB text files.


Eee Tablet at Computex
(Source: Laptop)

The tablet features 10-hour battery life, says Asus. By comparison, the E Ink based Amazon Kindle is touted as offering four to five days of battery life with wireless enabled.

The Eee Tablet's claimed 0.1-second text file page turn performance is said to be nine times faster than the page turns of typical e-readers, claims Asus. The speed claims appear to be partially confirmed by Engadget which says the tablet is "deliciously quick at changing screens." The Laptop hands-on, meanwhile, praises the device for its "incredibly smooth drawing / hand writing experience." Video posted by both publications also show very responsive interactivity and refresh rates.

Availability

The Asus Eee Tablet will go on sale for $200 in September, according to Laptop. Asus' Computex announcements may be found here.

The Laptop story on the Eee Tablet may be found here, and the Engadget story should be here.


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