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Microsoft's Eee Slate ads hope to lure away iPad 2 buyers

updated 04:40 pm EDT, Sat March 19, 2011

Microsoft, ASUS team on Eee Slate anti-iPad ads

Microsoft and ASUS on Friday ramped up a video ad campaign (below) to steer possible iPad 2 converts towards the Eee Slate. The four spots all focus on one person's use case, such an artist, a blogger, a business owner, or a mother, to show how the Windows 7 tablet helped them out. Each of them is consciously aimed at those who might consider Apple and show either an area Microsoft believed it had an edge, like Office support, or directly attack a perceived iPad flaw.

"I don't have to go to an app store," street artist Ravi said in one ad's dig at the app limits on the iPad. "I put Photoshop on this thing."

The ads have a difficult path. While a desktop OS gives Microsoft clear advantages for some creative apps and business integration, the commercials make arguments that often mirror iPad cases but don't necessarily perform as well. Beth Palmer, the mother, touts the advantage of carrying the Eee Slate around in one arm and using it to edit videos or show photos. However, the device is not only much heavier, at 2.5 pounds, but also has less features. Both can edit videos, but the Eee Slate can't actually record the videos Palmer shot, since it doesn't have a back camera, where an iPad 2 could have done both.

The ads also end up showing relatively sluggish performance despite the Core i5 processor, and omit the mention of the Eee Slate's much lower battery life. ASUS officially claims three hours of battery, about a third that of its rival, and in real-world testing typically gets about two. The Eee Slate at $1,000 is also twice as expensive as the iPad.

Microsoft again has advantages of familiarity, theoretically more powerful hardware with better expansion, and deeper software support. Many of the arguments made in the ads, however, are ones the company has so far unsuccessfully made to the public. Apple bragged about the sales gap at its iPad 2 unveiling and noted that the iPad had already outsold every Windows Tablet PC ever made in less than a year, outpacing nine years of Microsoft efforts.The Windows platform is expected to improve significantly by late 2012, when Windows 8 arrives with what should be Microsoft's first true finger-optimized tablet interface as well as support for more mobile-friendly ARM processors.

The company hasn't said whether or not the videos will reach TV or if they'll be limited to the web, making their real impact unclear.

By Electronista Staff


  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999


    No app store?

    "I don't have to go to an app store, I put Photoshop on this thing."

    Well, where did he buy Photoshop? How is that better than an app store?

  1. chas_m



    Sad and pathetic

    Two hours of real-world battery life, weighs twice as much, COSTS twice as much, and after all that you end up with ... Windows!

    I actually feel sorry for anyone who's so blinded by mindless Apple-hate (with an emphasis on the MINDLESS) that they buy one of these. Oh yeah, that'll show that Steve Jobs guy! I'm shaking my tiny fist at him right now in impotent rage!! LOL

  1. aSevie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2001


    Wait for it...

    wait, hold on, I hear it's another iPad killer!

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    I get the shivers

    to see them double-tapping (?) on small icons and fields, it would really stress me out to work on that thing.

  1. imactheknife

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2003



    I thought it was April fools today!! My God, are they serious with that thing?? Man MS has lost touch with what people want or need

  1. facebook_Dustin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2011


    Win7 NOT a tablet OS

    First off: I am a Microsoft fan boy.

    But, as much as I love Windows 7, it is definitely NOT a tablet OS, despite having multi-touch capabilities. It was designed for a desktop, using a mouse and keyboard. It supports touch as a feature, but the GUI is not suited for a touch interface.

    I prefer Android to Apple, though...

  1. knet

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2011


    apple please buy wacom

    the only appealing thing is the ability to draw (like on a wacaom), which the ipad can't.
    and I'm quite frankly tired of decentralized storage. some files in one type of app some files elsewhere. too much jumping around. now if only dropbox was the "finder" of IOS
    Steve should have followed through when he said back at the first iphone launch in 2007: "IOS is not a scaled down version of mac os x"......but is actually is. I can't do anything close to what I can on a mac.

    But still chas_m's comment is pretty funny and acurate: "and after all that you end up with ... Windows!"

    Now if only apple bought wacom

  1. tsmelker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006


    Once again...

    A PoC product has been lapped by Apple before it's even released. Hopefully this Ee Slab doesn't follow in the dismal footsteps of Microsoft's other two wanna-be successes, Zune and Kin. I mean, what are the chances of them failing yet again, right?

  1. CaribouDave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006


    Sounds like it'll be a success

    Sounds like it'll be a success to me. Just like the Zune. Oh.....opps.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Two or three hours battery life is not very good..

    I think they'd all be better served using a Dell Duo that has longer battery life, a keyboard and touchscreen. As was mentioned, Windows 7 is just not something you want to put on a thin tablet and expect it to be nimble without the battery life being short. I think it would be nice to mess around with on occasion, but I wouldn't want to use it on a daily basis and I doubt if most consumers will either. Unless you really love Windows on a tablet, I don't it being very practical. I might run Photoshop and Microsoft Office but the battery life is going to be much to short to get much work done. I'll bet it takes quite a bit of time to boot up, too.

    Not very many consumers are going to line up for this. In fact I don't think many tech professionals will, either.

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