Eee Pad launches in June, may hit stores in late July

Asus executive Eric Chen made it official in January: Asus is cooking up a slate device called the Eee Pad. The folks over at DigiTimes have now gathered some fresh details from none other than Asus chairman Jerry Shen, who said the Eee Pad will debut at the Computex trade show in Tapei, Taiwan this June.

The show will run from June 1 to June 5, so Asus has a small window to unveil its slate device to the world. Don't expect to be able to pick up the Eee Pad immediately afterward, though. DigiTimes says Asus' roadmap calls for the Eee Pad to hit the retail channel in the third quarter of the year, and "sources from component makers" point to a late-July retail release.

Shen reportedly added that the Eee Pad will run Google's Android mobile operating system and feature USB connectivity, a webcam, and Adobe Flash support. Also, according to DigiTimes, Asus has chosen Nvidia's Tegra system-on-a-chip (perhaps the new, second-generation model) to power the machine, and it "has strengthened the Eee Pad's industrial design" in order to better compete with Apple's iPad.

Asus looks poised to compete directly with the Apple product on price, too. Quoting the same sources at component manufacturers, DigiTimes goes on to say the Eee Pad will set you back $15,000-16,000 TWD in Taiwan "after bundling with telecom carrier services." That works out to about $478-510 in greenbacks, not far from the iPad's $499 starting price.

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