Rumors do miss the mark sometimes. Take that story about Asus ditching Windows Embedded Compact 7 for its 10" Eee Pad. PC World has now gotten fresh details about the Eee Pad product roadmap from Asus’ CEO, and as it turns out, the truth is a little different.
Asus CEO Jerry Shen said there will actually be three Eee Pads. The 12", Windows 7-powered Eee Pad EP121 will be out first in December or January; the 10" model is coming in January with Windows Embedded Compact 7 as planned; and a third, cheaper model based Google’s Android OS will follow in March. That device will reportedly cost "less than $399," compared to $399-499 for the Windows Embedded device and a hefty $1,000 for the EP121.
Those releases aren’t exactly imminent, and according to PC World, Shen doesn’t want to rush things. The CEO noted, "If you want to compete with the iPad, you have to do more than just be less expensive. . . . You have to offer more features. We want to spend more time perfecting the [Eee Pad] before we launch. We’re looking more at Q1 to launch the devices."
The EP121 admittedly isn’t much of an iPad competitor, since it’s supposed to run Win7 Home Premium on an Intel Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage platform. We’ve been told that it might ship with a docking station that transforms the slate into a full-fledged laptop, too. The novelty factor might not justify a $1,000 price tag, but I’d certainly be interested to play with the finished product.