Media Future: Tablet war erupts with choice

A quality low-end tablet from ASUS and the imminent arrival of Sony’s flagship Tablet Z brings compelling new choices to the market, writes Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee).

The war for the South African tablet market took a new turn last week with the unveiling of two major new contendors.

On Wednesday night, Taipei-based ASUS made their biggest foray yet into this market, unveiling not only a compelling new tablet, but also announcing distribution and marketing partnerships that signal its intentions as loudly as do its devices.

To start with, it officially launched the ASUS Fonepad, a 7” tablet designed to be used as much for apps as for making voice and video calls. Yes, you do look silly holding a 7” tablet to your ear, but ASUS has spotted a trend that silly-watchers missed: younger users are increasingly using their tablets for communication, and that communication is increasingly visual.

It means not only that they are more open to video calls than the older generation, but also that they like to look at their device and continue playing with it while making voice calls. And because music is such an integral element of the way a younger user engages with a tablet, headphones are standard gear.

Asus expected to shake up tablet market with eee Pad Transformer

The WiFI version of the Asus eee Pad Transformer sneaked into South African stores in July with little fanfare. But the high-end 3G unit arrives this month, and Asus expects it to shake up the market. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK assesses its chances.

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