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Taiwan launches tablet computers

TAIPEI, May 31 – Taiwan\’s Asustek unveiled a new tablet device Monday combining an e-notepad and e-book reader as Taipei prepares to host Asia\’s biggest information technology trade fair.

With prices starting at 199 US dollars, the Eee Tablet "allows users to write on the screen just the way people write on their notebooks," a company spokesman told a news conference.

It also "features the functions of more powerful than general electronic books," he said ahead of Computex Taipei, which opens Tuesday.

Users will be able to turn a page as if reading a book and take a picture of handwritten text using a built-in camera before transforming it into a digital note.

The device will hit stores in September.

And just days after Apple launched the much-anticipated iPad globally, Asustek also revealed the Eee Pad, which runs on Microsoft\’s Windows 7 and comes with a 10-inch or a 12-inch screen.

It expects the gadget to be available from the first quarter of next year, at up to 449 US dollars.

More than 1,700 exhibitors are taking part in the five-day Computex Taipei, featuring 4,861 booths and expected to greet around 120,000 visitors, including 35,000 international buyers, organisers say.

They expect the fair to generate around 20 billion US dollars in business.

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