The president of Asus Computers on Friday said Asus will release a number of tablet devices with varying form factors beginning in January of next year.
In addition, Asus will sell the 9-inch Eee Reader DR-900 and the 8-inch Eee Note through the channel beginning late next month.
The company plans to launch its 12-inch Eee Note tablet running Windows 7 first and follow up with two 7-inch versions and two 9-inch versions in March of next year, according to Digitimes . One of the 9-inch tablets will run Android with Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip for tablets inside, while the other will run Windows 7, likely powered by an Intel Atom chip.
One of the 7-inch tablets will reportedly include Wi-Fi capability, while the other will include 3G and phone functionality.
"Asustek is aiming to mass produce the 12-inch model featuring the Wintel platform in December and will start selling the device in the channel in January 2011," said Jerry Shen, president of Asus, in an interview with Digitimes .
Next: Asus' Broader Strategy
Tablets represent a "major battlefield" for ASUS in 2011, Shen said.
According to the report, Asus is working closely with Microsoft on improving touch control and user interface for its devices. In addition, the Taiwan-based manufacturer has transferred hundreds of technicians from its handheld device department to PC research and development, according to Digitimes .
Aside from mobile phones, Asus' products include laptops and servers, while its strongest market presence is in motherboards.
The company also produces components for other manufacturers, including HP, Dell and Apple. Over the last several years, Asus has positioned itself as a competitor to the same large OEMs whom it supplies.
As a result of its upstart status and location in Taiwan, Asus used to have to wait about six months to receive engineering samples from Intel -- well after more established hardware manufacturers received theirs. But as of 2009, the company receives prototypes from Intel before most manufacturers.