As we reported earlier today, Asus is said to have dramatically cut down its ultrabook sales target for 2011 due to lackluster initial sales. If true, this doesn’t augur too well for Intel and its costly ultrabook initiative, which has been conceived as an answer to both the MacBook Air and iPad (and other tablets). As for Asus, it’s pretty simple: if you can't beat them, join them. To this end, Asus is said to be readying a strong lineup of tablets.
Next year, four devices will join Asustek’s tablet lineup, which already includes the popular Eee Pad Transformer. According to reports, the first two tablets will both run Android and arrive in the first quarter of 2012. The other two, on the other hand, will be Windows 8 devices that will hit the market in the third quarter of next year. This information is based on slides from the company's Q3 2011 Investor Conference.
Nothing else is known about these devices at the moment, but one of them is widely speculated to be the highly innovative Android-running tablet-smartphone hybrid that the company unveiled back in May. Called the Padfone, it’s essentially a 4.3-inch smartphone that comes with a 10.1-inch tablet dock.
“With the phone docked, it can recharge from the tablet's larger battery and the tablet can also make use of the smartphone's 3G internet connection,” reads the press release that the company issued back when it unveiled the Padfone. “The dual interfaces for both the pad and phone ensure an enhanced user experience as the layout is automatically adjusted for all activities such as video conferencing, web browsing and emailing.”