Asus 10-inch touchscreen PC meets the iPad head-on

The second of Asus' touchscreen tablet PCs to be unveiled at Computex, Taiwan (the first being the EP121) has a 10-inch screen, and is therefore called the EP101TC.

Being physically smaller than its stable mate isn’t really that remarkable in itself, but Asus was quite secretive about this 12.2mm-thin tablet.

What is being said is that it runs Windows Embedded Compact 7 which, in technical terms, is suggesting it’s using Windows CE, or at least a version of it. It's an OS specific to ARM-based processors, rather than the x86 processors you find in most desktop and notebook computers.

Peculiarly, though, Microsoft has only announced Windows Embedded Standard 7 so far, which works with x86 processors. A scoop, perhaps?

There are also some clues that the EP101TC is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor which is an ARM-based solution. And as Asus is claiming 10-hour battery life, it would pretty much have to run an ARM-based processor, or have a huge battery - which it didn’t appear to have - to be able to deliver that kind of lifespan.

Basically, when everything is added up, you can bet the house that it has an ARM-based processor.

Confirmed features are lighter on the ground, except the fact that it weighs in at 675g - less than Apple’s iPad, yet with a larger screen and potentially more powerful hardware inside.

The only two actual features we've spotted by looking at the cabinet was a front-facing camera at the top of the bezel and a micro USB port next to the connector for the charger, alongside a headphone jack.

Like with its other Pad and Eee Tablet devices, Asus hasn’t mention when the EP101TC will be available, but it should be later this year if things go according to plan.

It can’t quite compare to the iPad in terms of design, but judging by the early prototype on display, Asus has done a decent job with the EP101TC compared to what we’ve seen so far from other Asian companies.