Word all over the Web this morning is that Asus
is planning a $300 tablet for the back to school crowd. It will run a special version of Linux
, and barring an unforeseen hiccups, you can expect the device to hit the retail segment in October.
Make no mistake though, this thing isn't being designed to take on the iPad
. A more likely rival is Amazon's Kindle
or Barnes & Noble's Nook
. The upcoming tablet will sport an 8-inch touchscreen display, but those looking for color will have to look elsewhere -- this one only does 64 shades of gray. In that respect, it might be more appropriate to call this a suped-up eBook reader than a bona fide tablet.
So what's the point? For students, they'll be able to read electronic books, take notes, surf through cyberspace by way of Wi-Fi, and store up to 2GB of data out of the gate, which is expandable via a microSD memory card slot. It will also come with an integrated camera for snapping pics of the blackboard and a microphone for recording those lectures you plan on sleeping through.
It's also worth nothing that this device will come equipped with an LCD screen. That means battery life will be less that what you'd get out of a dedicated eBook reader, but the refresh rate will also be much higher, all but eliminating the page-turn lag that plagues most reader devices.