Asus, the company that revolutionised portable computing with its Eee PC series, is now eyeing the tablet computer, or pads, market pioneered by Apple.
But instead of undercutting the market in price with scaled down features like the Eee PC did, the Taiwanese firm's new Eee Pad comes with some cutting-edge features that put it on par with the iPad and iPad2.
The downside is that it will cost roughly as much as the Apple product.
The Eee Pad is a 10.1-inch tablet that runs the latest version of the Android platform, dubbed 'honeycomb'. There are plenty of similarities to the iPad2, including a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and two cameras - a 1.2-megapixel unit on the front for video calls and a 5-megapixel unit on the back for taking photos and videos.
You also get integrated 802.11n wireless connectivity, 16GB of storage memory - expandable with a microSD card slot - and a mini-HDMI 1.3a output port.
At 13mm, the Eee Pad isn't as thin as the iPad2, but the extra thickness has its benefits. There's an optional docking station which includes 2 USB ports, an extra SD card slot, and more importantly, a second battery for an extra 8 hours of juice - that's more than 16 hours of continuous use.
The Asus Eee Pad costs HK$3,998 on its own, and HK$4,789 with the docking station.
Pros: dual core chip, Android 3.0, docking station expansion, extra battery
Cons: nearly 50 per cent thicker than iPad2, costs more than a netbook