Word around the web suggests Asus has a consumer tablet device in the works, and according to Netbooknews.de, Asus will base this "Eee Pad" on an Nvidia Tegra system-on-a-chip. The site expects to see the Eee Pad debut in March 2010, and it adds that Asus could use a next-gen Tegra 2 SoC rather than current silicon.
We first heard about this Eee tablet a couple of weeks ago. The story then was that the Eee Pad would have a 4" or 7" display, a mix of tablet PC and mobile Internet device features, and a design inspired by rumors of the upcoming Apple tablet. You know the one.
Netbooknews.de believes the Eee Pad will most likely have a multi-touch display, and Asus probably won't pick Windows CE as the device's operating system. (Tegra's ARM CPU core rules out Windows 7, Vista, or XP.) Instead, the report says Asus could use Jolicloud or Chrome OS. Google doesn't intend to launch its Chrome OS publicly until late next year, though, which leaves Android as the only ARM-friendly Google OS that would be available in March.
As far as we're aware, Nvidia has made no announcements about Tegra 2 to date. However, Fudzilla wrote in November that the future SoC will have two ARM Cortex microprocessor cores and "twice the computational and graphics power of its predecessor." The current Tegra can run 3D games and decode high-definition video, but it seemed a little sluggish when we tried it in some smartbook prototypes in June.