We get up close and personal with the 12'' Eee Pad

COMPUTEX — No doubt about it, one of the most interesting product announcements at this year's Computex was that of the Asus Eee Pad EP121, a 12" slate with a Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage Core 2 Duo processor and Windows 7 Home Premium. This morning, we got a closer peek at the device, and we got Asus to fill us in on a few more details.

Asus has shown the 12" Eee Pad with a docking station that effectively turns it into an inconspicuous-looking notebook. This docking station will include an extra battery, which will bump total rated longevity to over 10 hours, as well as a 2.5" mechanical hard drive, USB 2.0, Ethernet, and HDMI connectivity. On its own, the slate is about 12-mm thick; we're told the docking station adds an extra 14 mm or so. Total: about an inch.

The company is still having an "internal discussion" about whether to ship the 12" Eee Pad with that docking station or to offer it as a separate accessory. There's a desktop docking station, too, but that will definitely be sold separately.

Despite its announcement yesterday, the 12" Eee Pad won't be out until around the next CES—that's January 2011 or thereabouts. That gives Asus an interesting choice: it could stick with the Core 2 Duo in the current spec sheet, or it could try to throw in one of those Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage Core i3 and i5 CPUs Intel announced recently. No decision has been made yet on that front.

We tried to get a price tag out of Asus, but there, too, nothing is yet set in stone. However, the 12" slate will cost more than the 10" Eee Pad, and Asus quoted a price tag of $399-449 for that product.

Check out our image gallery below for more shots of the 12" Eee Pad.

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