Asus Tablets Get April UK Launch Date

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Asus is to launch a Windows 7 tablet and two Android slates in April, but these may not have 3G support

Asus has announced the UK launch of a line-up of Android and Windows 7 tablet devices for the beginning of April, including the Windows 7-powered EP121 tablet, which is to be stocked by PC World and Currys.

The EP121 will include 2GB or 4GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB or 64GB of SSD storage, a 12.1-inch 1280×800 LED touch display and Bluetooth.

Android tablets

It will use an Intel Core i5 chip and will support 802.11n wireless, along with a mini-HDMI port, two USB ports, a card reader and a 2MP dual webcam, according to Asus.

The company will also launch two Android-powered slates, the Eee Pad Slider, with a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, and the Eee Pad Transformer, which will include a removable keyboard.

Both will use a 10-inch screen, an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and an Nvidia graphics chip. The Slider will also include a 1.2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing camera. Both will support Wi-Fi.

Asus hasn’t specified what version of the Android operating system the tablets will use and whether they will support 3G at launch, but reports said 3G may not be supported until July at the earliest.

Asus also said it would launch the Eee MeMo in the UK, with a seven-inch screen, in the third quarter of this year. Reports suggested the initial MeMo might support Wi-Fi only, with 3G coming in the autumn.

Crowded market

Asus first showed the tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and the fast-growing tablet space is filling with competitors well known from the PC market.

Toshiba also showed an Android 2.4-running tablet with a 10-inch display at CES. In the PC market, Asus beat out Toshiba during the third quarter of 2010, claiming the last seat in the Top 5 and pushing Toshiba to sixth position.

Hewlett-Packard and Dell, other PC competitors, are also joining the space, and smartphone maker Research In Motion is also reportedly fine-tuning an offering, the PlayBook. Even leading television maker Vizio is getting in on the act.

On 3 January Vizio introduce an 8-inch tablet, the Via Tablet, and a smartphone, the Via Phone, with a 4-inch display. Both will run the Android operating system.

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