Not to be outdone by Acer Inc (宏碁), which debuted the so-called “world’s thinnest” Ultrabook at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) and HTC Corp (宏達電) are aiming to dazzle consumers at the show by unveiling a 7-inch tablet PC and a Windows Phone that runs on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network respectively.
Asustek said it is planning for a second-quarter release for its much-delayed Eee Pad Memo, a tablet that was initially announced at last year’s CES, one of the world’s largest consumer electronics shows.
The 7-inch tablet comes with a stylus and has a display with a 1,280x800 resolution and an 8 megapixel camera.
The Memo is equipped with an Nvidia Corp Tegra quad-core processor, 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM and internal storage of up to 32GB and runs on Android 4.0 — codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich.
The retail price is US$249, according to Asustek’s statement.
HTC, meanwhile, unveiled its first Windows Phone, the Titan II, which runs on the high-speed 4G LTE.
The phone will be sold through AT&T Inc, the second-largest mobile provider in the US.
The 4.7-inch Titan II uses Qualcomm Inc’s 1.5 gigahertz Snapdragon S2 processor and a 16 megapixel camera, enabling fast Web surfing, streaming and downloading, as well as 720p HD video recording.
HTC said the new smartphone, which uses Microsoft Corp’s Windows Mango Phone operating system, would hit AT&T store shelves within several months, but it did not give any specifics on the product’s release date or pricing.
In related news, HTC yesterday said it has enforced an internal performance examination plan as part of a regular program that could lay off some staff.
“It’s called the ‘Performance Improvement Plan’ and we have run it for many years,” said Annie Lu (盧佳琪), a company spokeswoman.
“Our management can launch this plan at any time it thinks some employees need it. These employees will need to achieve several goals set by the company in three to six months to improve their performance, or they will be laid off,” Lu said.
HTC has told employees with working performance ranking in the lowest 5 to 10 percent in each department to take part in the program for further training, according to the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) yesterday.
The paper said HTC hopes to form another growth driver by getting rid of unwanted workers “in a normal and healthy way,” — a measure currently undertaken by many other high-tech firms.