Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Asus Eee Note EA-800 - Attack of the e-reader tablet

If you've seen any of the holiday electronics advertising this season, you can't throw a stick without hitting a cheapo tablet device of some kind.  They're all some flavor of Android, and they're all aiming at taking a bite out of the iPad's lunch.  Rising above this 'me too!' environment, Asus has put together a tablet aiming at being a digital piece of paper rather than an oversized smart phone: the Asus Eee Note EA-800.

Rather than using a capacitive touch screen like other tablets, this device is using Wacom technology to capture input from a stylus.  As a result, interactions with the device are more about writing and drawing (creating content) rather than typical touch screen dragging (consuming content).  In addition to the pen-based functionality, the reasonably high-res screen can be put to use as an e-reader.  The device is basically a digital version of a paper notebook.

In case it's not obvious yet, I want one.

This is the best hands-on write up I've seen so far is from the folks over at of all places:

Granted, the expected price of around $230 is a lot of money for a notebook.  By my estimation, you'd be able to buy about 13 Moleskine notebooks instead of this thing, which is an awful lot of writing potential.  It remains to be seen whether the advantages of digital writing make it worth the premium.

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