ASUS' Jonney Shih talks tablets, Chrome OS and the (eventual) demise of netbooks

We've gotta say: after witnessing the ASUS press event at CES this year, we have a whole new love for the company and its outspoken Chairman, Jonney "megatrend" Shih. The man, myth, legend recently sat down with and talked a bit about his own brand of the future. Apparently ASUS has slate PC prototypes in its labs, along with netbooks running Android and Chrome OS, but there's nothing he's convinced is ready for market yet. For slates specifically, "Content is still not attractive enough today to the customer," according to Shih. He expects there to be content stores from Apple, Google and Microsoft to obtain content tailored to touchscreen tablets, and plans on waiting until there is such a compelling use case before bringing something to market (though those color e-books sure look raring to go). Another potential category that ASUS is hedging its bets on is the smartbook. He likes the price advantage, but isn't sure users are ready to abandon Windows yet. "When people talk about cloud computing, unfortunately it's still not there yet," he says, but: "as time goes on you will see more advantage of being always connected." The solution to all of this madness? WaveFace, naturally. A post-netbook era, perhaps five years from now, will diverge from the "regular, dull PC roadmap" and put more emphasis on portability, wearability and intuitive use. A couple of concept renders doesn't have us convinced ASUS is positioned to deliver this, but we're happy to watch and find out.