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By 5 January 2011 | Categories: news

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The first shots of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) have been fired today as Taiwanese manufacturer Asus unveiled a range of new tablets to rival Apple's iPad.

In the first major press conference of the show, Asus CEO Johnny Shih took no time to unveil a very broad range of Asus tablet offerings. 
 
According to NetworkWorld, the flagship Asus tablet was described as “the most powerful tablet in the world” by Shih, and, surprisingly, runs the Windows 7 operating system (OS). Named the Eee Slate EP121, the tablet will feature an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB SSD (solid-state drive) and a 12.1” multitouch display, definitely making it one of the most powerful we've seen yet.
 
No pricing or release details have been announced as of yet, but it is expected to be slated northwards of $1000 (upwards of R7000).
 
The other tablets unveiled at the conference are all Android running tablets and will be known as the Eee Pad range. The first of these is the Eee Pad MeMO, a 7” tablet running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and powered by a Qualcomm 8260 Snapdragon CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz. The device also features a 1.2 MP (megapixel) front-facing camera and a 5 MP rear camera for video calling purposes. A Micro-SD, Micro HDMI and Micro USB port will also be present and Asus claims the tablet will be able to display 1080p full HD video. A stylus is also included for jotting down hand-written notes.
 
The next tablet to step up to the plate is the Eee Pad Slider. This tablet is also based on Android 3.0, but this time around features a slide-out keyboard and a display which can be tilted, turning it into somewhat of a netbook/tablet hybrid. The device runs on a Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU and is available with 512 MB or 1GB of RAM and up to 32GB of flash storage space. Front and rear cameras are present once more and the 10.1” display sports a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Micro SD, USB and HDMI ports make an appearance and Asus claims the device will have a battery life of up to six hours.
 
Last but not least is the Eee Pad Transformer, quite possibly the most interesting of the tablets shown thus far. If the Slider gives you a sliding keyboard, the Transformer basically morphs from a tablet to a notebook and back again. The device features a detachable keyboard deck which houses extra USB ports and a card reader alongside an additional battery. When users attach the tablet to the keyboard base it folds down just like a typical notebook, much like last year’s Lenovo IdeaPad U1. Basically, imagine if your notebook's display could be detached and carried around as a tablet, that in a nutshell is what the Eee Pad Transformer is. The device features specs similar to that of the Eee Pad Slider and when attached to the keyboard base, the Transformer’s battery life increases from 8 to 16 hours.
 
No pricing or release details have been announced for any of the Eee Pad or Eee Slate products as of yet, but we should be seeing a bunch of Asus tablets start making the rounds in a few months.

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