ASUS Making Windows and Google Tablets
ASUS Chairman Johnny Shih has confirmed the company is indeed working on tablet computers, saying that ASUS plans to release two different tablets "in the coming months."
Shih told Forbes that the company planned to release one tablet running the Windows operating system and another running the Google Chrome OS, which is basically a Web browser that relies on online applications for functionality.
Previously, ASUS only had plans for one tablet to be released this year, which it announced on the same day the Apple iPad was unveiled. But strong interest in the iPad may have caused the company to expand the scope of its tablet manufacturing. The company is not set on using Chrome OS, which comes out later this year, but if it doesn't it will still make a second tablet and use the Android operating system currently popular in many smartphones.
ASUS is well known for making affordable laptops and netbooks . Shih said that there is still room in the product lineup for tablets.
"Netbooks are the best combination of personal computing and cloud computing," Shih said. "But between netbooks and smartphones and e-readers, we think there will be a space for something like a tablet or slate PC."
Shih also acknowledged that content is important for selling a device, as Apple has shown with the App Store for the iPhone and iPad. Shih indicated that the company plans to have media ready for the tablets.
"Content will play a very important role on tablets," Shih said. "The Google tablet will have a lot of media."
ASUS' advantage may be in making a tablet that can compete with the iPad pricing. The base model of the iPad was unexpectedly cheap and many other tablet makers have struggled to beat the iPad's $500 price point. With ASUS' experience in making low-cost laptops and netbooks, the company may be able to challenge the iPad.