ASUS unveils the Eee Pad

Apple has swung open the commercial door when it comes to mobile tablets with the iPad, so it's no surprise to see rivals bringing out cut-price alternatives, headed up by ASUS and the similarly-named Eee Pad.

According to TechRadar, ASUS has been showing off the new tablet at the Computex show in Taiwan, but it's safe to say that we'll be seeing it on British shelves in a matter of months.

It's a tasty package for what looks like a tasty price, offering up a 12-inch touchscreen device that hosts Intel's Core 2 Duo CULV processors, Windows 7 for the operating system and an impressive 10-hour battery life. There's also an integrated webcam and Skype for making calls, USB connectivity and like Apple's offering, the option of purchasing a separate dock and keyboard to replicate a regular laptop.

With the Windows OS, it's likely to be more like a regular PC anyway rather than something like Apple's app-driven model, so you'll be buying something in the same ball park as the iPad rather than an Apple clone. But you'll also be buying something with a much cheaper price tag. Early estimates for the US market claim the equivalent of £275 is the starting price point, with early 2011 pitched as a launch date.

Will ASUS do for tablets what it did for netbooks or has Apple already got the market sewn up? Only time will tell.

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