Asus CEO Jerry Shen today revealed some further details on the company’s tablet plans at a press conference for its quarterly earnings, reports PC World. Now we finally have some firmer release dates to look forward to, as well as better pricing estimates.
The most exciting news surrounds the 10-inch Eee Pad EP101TC, which will retail under $399, and will come out in March 2011. It was initially supposed to run Windows Embedded Compact 7 (an updated version of Windows CE), but Asus announced last month that it would be focusing on Android instead for that device.
Oddly, Shen also mentioned that the company is working on another 10-inch tablet that’s running Windows Embedded Compact 7 and will be released around January for under $499. From what we can gather, Asus hasn’t mentioned this alternative 10-inch tablet before.
The 12-inch Eee Pad EP121 is still moving forward with Windows 7 as its primary operating system, and Shen expects it to ship around December or January for around $1000. It’s priced at a premium because it comes with a sleek keyboard dock that instantly turns the tablet into an ultraportable laptop.
Finally, the company’s grayscale 8-inch Eee Tablet e-reader — which aims to compete with E-Ink equipped readers like the Kindle and Nook — will retail for $300 when it ships in October. I’m still not sure what the particular point of this device is, particularly when the Kindle and Nook are both available for under $150.