Microsoft showed the next version of its Windows OS at a press event in Taipei on Thursday, unveiling a completely new tile-based interface that it hopes will be better suited for the emerging world of tablet PCs.
Taiwan's Asustek has previewed a smartphone-tablet PC combo device that seeks to bring together the strengths of both without completely duplicating the hardware. The Padfone comprises a pair of devices: a smartphone and a dumb tablet. On its own, the handset functions as a conventional smartphone but it can be inserted into a dock built into the back of the tablet. The user can then access all the smartphone's features and functions through the larger screen of the tablet.
Asus didn't provide any technical specifications, pricing details or a launch date for the device.
Alongside the Padfone, Asus also launched a 7-inch tablet with glasses-free 3D display. The Eee Pad MeMO 3D comes with a companion Bluetooth handset that can be used to make calls through the tablet. No price or launch date was announced.
Intel is hoping to see a new class of thin and light laptops based around its chips. The computers, called Ultrabooks, are expected around the end of this year. The Asus UX was demonstrated by Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih, who unveiled it at a company news conference on Monday. It has an aluminium case and runs on chips form Intel's Core processor family. The battery will last up to 7 hours.
It's a tablet PC with a split personality. Taiwan's Viewsonic has developed a tablet that runs Android 2.2 and Windows 7 Professional. Tablets running both operating systems have already been shown, including a model from Viewsonic, but this computer brings something new.
James Wu, ViewSonic: "Typically, including our predecessor, you get to switch between the two OS, but you need to do it from the boot-up. But in this one, we have advanced that technology into something that with one touch of a button then you can switch between the two OS."
ViewSonic staff expect buyers to use Windows primarily for work because of the greater number of business applications available for that platform. It's based on Oak Trail, Intel's newest Atom processor, which should also bring power savings over previous Atom processors. The device will be priced between 700 and 800 dollars when it goes on sale in Taiwan this month.
As you can tell from our reports, tablets were big news at the show and Arm hopes to wrestle the dominance of the mobile PC market from Intel and have ARM-based processor in more than half of mobile PCs by 2015.
Chips based on its technology already power most of the leading tablets including Apple's iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Motorola's Xoom.
Google has created a Chrome OS center in Taipei to work with Asian laptop makers on computers running its operating system.
The new center will play a crucial role in supporting laptop computer makers as Google attempts to get more companies behind its operating system project.
Before we head out a quick update on the Playstation Network: Sony plans to restore all its PlayStation Network services by this weekend in all regions except Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. Sony will also resume its Music Unlimited service on its Qriocity audio and video streaming service for the PlayStation3 (PS3) and PlayStation Portable (PSP) gaming platforms, Vaio laptops and other PCs.