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Asus intensifies Android tablet price war with $129 Memo Pad HD7

Asus also introduces the Transform

Asustek Computer has fired another shot in the Android tablet price war, putting the starting price for the Asus Memo Pad FHD7 at $129.

The MemoPad weighs 302 grams and has a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, a 1.2-megapixel front camera and a 5-megapixel rear camera. It has a low-power Cortex-A7 quad-core processor, the company announced at the Computex trade show in Taiwan.

It will be available in emerging markets for $129 with 8GB of storage, but elsewhere the entry-level model will have 16GB of storage and cost $149.

"I'm using it every day," said Asus chairman Jonney Shih during a news conference.

Tablet makers have been dropping the prices of Android tablets with small screens. Earlier this year, Acer introduced the $169 Iconia A1 tablet, while Hewlett-Packard launched the $149 Slate 7. Google's popular Nexus 7 and Amazon's 8-inch Kindle Fire HD sell for $199.

Asus also introduced the 10.1-inch Transformer Pad Infinity, which has a gaggle of new technologies that make it stand out in an already crowded Android tablet market.

The tablet runs Android 4.2.2 and has a quad-core Tegra 4 chip, which includes a Cortex-A15 CPU and 72 graphics cores. This is the second tablet based on the Tegra 4 chip: the first was HP's Slatebook X2.

The Transformer Pad Infinity has a 2560 x 1600 pixel display, a higher resolution than the 2048 x 1536 pixel screen on Apple's latest iPad. It is the same resolution as Google's Nexus 10 tablet.

The Asus tablet's USB 3.0 port makes it stand out from the crowd: Most tablets today have micro-USB 2.0 ports, handy for charging devices.

The Transformer tablet has a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front camera. An optional keyboard dock with an integrated battery turns the tablet into a laptop with more than 12 hours of battery life. The price for the tablet was not immediately available.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com


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