Asus has pretty much always been an important tablet player, but ever since the Google co-branded Nexus 7 got out the bar of expectations got a huge bump. Now we’re all eyes on the Taiwan-based electronics company, which is seen by some as one of the only hopes of Android ever overthrowing Apple’s iPads from their leadership positions.
But does Asus have enough fire to come up with awesome tabs without Google’s direct help? We shall probably see about that in only a few short weeks, when, according to piling rumors, several new Asus devices will be thrown to the lions.
A $99 7-incher should carry the Nexus 7 torch further ahead, an ME172V will most likely up the spec and price ante a bit, while business consumers will have a 10-incher designed specifically for them. This last slate has just been leaked, and, although it’s far from official, we’re ready to bet it’ll be on display at CES in Vegas next week.
The 10-incher is known right now as the ME301T MemoPad 10, but we surely hope to see it marketed under a different and “cleaner” name. As for the specs, Asus has definitely stepped things up a notch, although the ME301T will still be unable to battle it out with the iPad hardware-wise.
The 10.1-inch display is expected to boast a run of the mill 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution, while under the hood there’ll be an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor (unknown clock speed) and 1 GB of RAM. The best news is probably the running of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, while the 16 GB of on-board memory and existence of both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi and 3G connected models doesn’t surprise us too much.
What kind of shocks us however is the rumored price across Europe. According to online listings, retailers in Spain and Denmark could charge up to €322 for the tab, which is around $422 and definitely way too much for a 10-incher with not a whole lot of oomph.
It’s true, the rumor that this will be targeted towards business users tells us that there might be a few premium features and functions there, which could explain this apparent price bump. Also, if Europeans will get it for a little over €300, Americans should have it up for grabs for around $300 and that’s not quite prohibitive.
But enough with the guesses and let's just mention that the Asus ME301T MemoPad 10 is expected to land on the Old Continent around mid-February in white, blue and fuchsia. Before that, we'll be on the ground in Vegas next week to bring you all that's new and exciting in the Android world, so stay tuned.