ASUS Eee Pad MeMO tablet takes a pen out of the Courier's book

Yeah, we're in full-on tablet overload mode, but that doesn't mean there isn't any room for innovation. In fact, ASUS's Eee Pad MeMO is surprisingly fresh in its take on this already-so-worn subject. The 7-inch, 1024 x 600 tablet runs Android 3.0 (which doesn't exist yet, but we won't tell ASUS if you won't), with a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm 8260 processor under the hood and dual cameras (1.2 megapixel front, 5 megapixel rear with LED flash). That's all very nice, but the highlight is a capacitive stylus and two included apps to make the best use of it. Media Note is a scrapbook / note taking application, while Painter allows you to use the stylus as a pressure-sensitive drawing instrument. They're probably nothing too special just now, but the prospect of pressure-sensitivity on a handheld tablet is alluring, particularly for the artists among us that thought they'd left the iPad's fingerpainting methods back in kindergarten. MeMO's other standout might not win it so many fans, but it's still worth noting. ASUS calls the device "a perfect blend of tablet and smartphone," and uses a stereo Bluetooth headset dubbed the "MeMic" media phone extender to make the experience a bit more phone-like. We'll reserve judgement for when we see more than a render of MeMic in action. No word on price or release for the MeMO right now, but hopefully we'll know more soon. Until then we can keep our eyes set on Honeycomb's supposed March timeframe -- a river of tablets will carry us there.

Update: ASUS says the Eee Pad MeMO will start at $499, and debut in June.