According to Asustek Computer’s CEO, Jerry Shen, the company will release a tablet that’s running Google’s Android operating system sometime in March of 2011. The tablet, a part of the Eee Pad family, will cost less than $399.
The company has a team of 800 software engineers working on Android, but most are working on smartphones. Before we see the Android the Android tablet going live, Asus plans to release a Windows 7 tablet, which will cost around $1000. Having a HP Touchsmart TM2, I can safely say that Windows 7 isn’t the best OS to be putting on such a device, as it just doesn’t work well enough. Putting Android on the device, as well as giving it significant price advantage over other upcoming competitors sounds like a much better idea.
When the Android tablet is available in March, most of the competition, namely the iPad, may have surpassed the upcoming tablet’s capabilities. But according to the CEO, Asus is focused on bringing a much friendlier experience, which is the reason for the delay.
“If you want to compete with the iPad, you have to do more than just be less expensive,” Shen said. “You have to offer more features. We want to spend more time perfecting the [Eee Pad] before we launch. We’re looking more at Q1 to launch the devices.”
It’s possible that we may see a new iPad by the holiday season, if not sooner. So if Asus wants to bring the fight to Apple, the Asus tablet had best deliver an unrivaled experience, and let’s face it, that’s going to be hard to do with Apple’s keen eye for design and usability. Keep in mind that, by the time Asus does indeed bring in their upcoming device, there will be much more competition than just the iPad. Take a look at our Top 5 tablets to see what sort of competition Asus will be facing.
Hard to complain, though. And, given the March 2011 launch window, the tablet may come out swinging with Android Gingerbread in tow, and from what we’re hearing about this next-gen Android OS version, it should be a killer.