Asustek to unveil tablet PC with sliding keyboard

Asustek Computer will introduce two tablet PCs this month, one with a detachable keyboard and another with a sliding keyboard, Taiwan’s semi-official Central News Agency reported. The products will join a tough market dominated now by giants such as Dell and Acer.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, Asustek will show a tablet with a sliding keyboard and a 10-inch screen running Android, the news agency said. Another Asustek tablet on display at the same show will have a detachable keyboard and will run Windows, the report said. Both products will belong to the Asus Eee Pad product line.

Asustek global PR manager Debby Lee declined to comment on the news report.

Detachable keyboards favor users who do a lot of typing but the devices may cost more than other tablet PCs, making sales tricky, said Eddy Tseng, a hardware researcher with SinoPac Securities in Taipei. An Acer x86 tablet released last year, for example, has struggled with costs, he said.

“If you’re doing a lot of data key-in, the keyboard is an advantage,” he said. “But the cost will be higher, so when it goes to market there’s a disadvantage.”

The company that pioneered netbooks is striving for a double-digit share of the global tablet PC market this year. 

Last month Asustek said it believed the non-Apple segment of the overall tablet market would reach 10 million to 15 million units this year.

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