Sneak peak at Asus Eee Pad EP121 12 inch iPad rival

If you weren’t impressed by the Eee Tablet, how about an Eee Pad? In fact, Asus has announced a pair of different models (also including the EP101TC). And the larger of the two, the Eee Pad EP121, is a rather unique product in as much as it’s three devices in one.

It has a large - at least for a tablet - 12-inch “high resolution” screen (although Asus hasn’t specified the resolution yet) and yet it remains quite thin. It’s based on the same hardware that you’ll find in many of the CULV - or thin and light, as they’re also known - notebooks, but again, the manufacturer hasn’t given away too much in terms of details.

We do know that the Eee Pad EP121 is running a full fat version of Windows 7 Home premium, rather than some “cut down” version of an OS. And, as with the UMPC’s of a few years ago, it features a virtual keyboard. It also comes with two different accessories that add a real keyboard.

The first option is that you place it in a dock that kind of turns it into a notebook, which closes book-style. This solution is meant as the on-the-go option, while the home solution is slightly different.

The second dock option offers a full set of ports, which more or less turn the EP121 into a desktop PC. There's also a wireless keyboard with this option, although Asus isn’t planning on supplying a mouse; after all, it is a touchscreen.

No word was given on when we can expect this product to appear in retail, but it should turn up later this year. We’re not sure this is the tablet everyone has been waiting for, but it’s certainly an interesting take on things.



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