ASUS Eee Slate EP121 tablet to be released in Australia on 15 April

ASUS Eee Slate to feature 12.1in screen, Core i5 CPU and plenty of ports

ASUS today announced that its 12.1in tablet, the Eee Slate EP121, will be released in Australia on 15 April at a cost of $1499. The ASUS Eee Slate EP121 will have a 1280x800, LED-backlit capacitive touchscreen and it will weigh around 1.16kg. Using WACOM technology, it will be able to support both finger touch and pen input, which will make it appeal to users who want good handwriting and drawing capabilities.

The Eee Slate will run Windows 7 Home Premium and have beefy specifications: it will run an Intel Core i5-470UM CPU, 2GB of 4GB of DDR SDRAM, integrated Intel graphics and a 64GB solid-state drive. The Eee Slate will resemble a real computer without a built-in keyboard, rather than an iPad, as it will have plenty of inputs around its edges, including two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, a 2-in1 audio jack and an SD card slot. You'll also get 802.11n W-Fi and Blutooth 3.0. It will run a 4-cell battery with a rating of 34 Watt-hours, which ASUS claims will be good for a life of four and a half hours, as tested in 3DMark Reader mode.

The screen is said to have a technology similar to IPS (in-plane switching) called Advanced Fringe Field Switching, which will help provide wide viewing angles from the sides. ASUS claims viewing angles of 178 degrees. Users who want to be productive with the ASUS Eee Slate EP121 won't have to put up with a virtual keyboard, as the tablet will ship with a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard by default.

Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice-president of the OEM division at Microsoft, said of the ASUS Eee Slate Ep121, "this unique PC provides a great combination of productivity, entertainment and social networking that we believe delivers a no-compromise mobile computing solution."

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