When Asus CEO Jonney Shih took the stage this morning at AsiaD conference, he thought it would be a perfect time to unveil Asus’ next generation of Eee Pad Transformer tablet. Well, he’s right, he brought along a briefcase with some “top secret” gear in it, opened it, took the “top secret” gear out, and handed it to Walt Mossberg. Jonney really did surprise everyone, and he went on to talk about tablets, laptops and more with Mossberg onstage at AsiaD.
Asus Chairman Johnny Shih Highlights and Interview
(click here for video)
First, you may want to know more about the Transformer Prime Android tablet. According to Jonney, the upcoming 8.3mm thin Transformer tablet will ship with a 10-inch display, NVIDIA’s quad-core processor, mini-HDMI port, USB port, an SD card slot, keyboard dock, and a top lid that looks precisely like its Zenbook line. And of course, the device will ship with Android, but here’s the question, is it Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich? Well, Jonney did affirm to Walt Mossberg that he expects Ice Cream Sandwich to hit tablets by the end of the year — “perhaps earlier.” So what’s the price and availability? The device will be called the Transformer Prime, and unfortunately, a final ship date is unknown, but Jonney said folks will have to wait until the formal announcement on Nov. 9.
Interestingly, Jonney is on stage with the company’s new Ultrabook. And here’s what Shih said about it,
“As you can see it is very thin. Even with such thinness, we didn’t compromise the performance. Even with such thinness, we didn’t compromise the performance. It has an Intel core i7, a next-generation solid-state drive and USB 3.0. It weighs 1.2 kilograms.”
And Walt notes it is a good response to the MacBook Air. Next, Walt asked Jonney about laptops versus tablets, and what’s going on in the industry. Jonney made a respond by talking about the role of ubiquitous cloud computing. That means different kinds of screens, all connected to information.
Where are you putting your bets, Walt asks. Tablets? PCs? Jonney answered,
“We believe that we have to bet on both. There are places for tablets, such as on the couch or in bed, but there are other times where a keyboard is needed. The company has models with plug-in keyboards and slide-out keyboards. But the boundary between smartphone, laptop and notebooks are blurring. Netbooks are evolving, too, and they, too, will be thinner and more cloud-connected. The laptop side also has to respond to this tablet trend. Asus is trying other things to make its laptops stand out, such as Bang & Olufsen sound in its Ultrabook.
After that, Walt went on to ask what is holding things back on the tablet side. Jonney replied,
“We still think there is a great opportunity there. I still believe Android is improving very fast.”
And here’s the last part, about the Padfone that Asus first announced back in May. Just in case you forgot about it, it’s a first of its kind gadget which effectively combines phone and tablet together. So Joanna Stern, Reviews Editor at The Verge, asked Jonney about the Padfone. Here’s what Jonney said,
“The phone is already powerful enough to be a tablet. The only thing really missing is the display. That’s the whole concept of the Padfone. We still have to go through the carriers and testing. The timing is around the first quarter of next year and will run Ice Cream Sandwich. That’s our current timing.”
That’ all, and we are wondering, what was Asus thinking when they named the Transformer tablet? When we googled “Transformer Prime”, we nearly got ten times as many results for Optimus Prime as we did for Asus…
There Are Too Much Light Pollution Over at Hong Kong Apple Stores
Amazon is the First Foreign Tech Company to Offer Paid Android apps in China
You Can Buy Fresh Crocodile Meat in China Supermarket
Lenovo First MediaTek-based Smartphone Teased by Kobe Bryant (Video)