Asus has officially launched its Eee Pad Transformer
in Taiwan today, though US availability is still unknown. Unveiled at CeBIT 2011, the primary system is a 10.1-inch Android tablet which is accompanied by an optional chiclet-style keyboard dock that essentially transforms the device into a netbook. The slate is priced at a rough equivalent of $500 US, while the keyboard runs an extra $100.
Besides its added flexibility, the Eee Pad Transformer has a few noteworthy specifications such as its 1280x800 IPS Gorilla Glass capacitive touchscreen and Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Inside its 0.51-inch, 1.49-pound body, the tablet carries a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 SoC, 5MP rear and 1.2MP front cameras, 16GB to 64GB of storage with a Micro SD expansion slot, and 1GB of RAM.
You'll also find speakers and audio jacks, USB 2.0 and HDMI ports, 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, as well as a G-sensor, light sensor, gyroscope, e-compass, and GPS. Asus preloads the system with its "Waveshare" interface which includes MyNet (streams media to networked devices), MyLibrary (digital bookstore) and MyCloud (cloud storage and remote access tool).
The Eee Pad Transformer is somewhat reminiscent of Lenovo's IdeaPad U1 Hybrid
, except the base isn't an entirely separate $800 Windows 7 machine. Although Asus doesn't take things quite that far, the Transformer's keyboard dock does contain a second battery that nearly doubles the tablet's maximum runtime from 9.5 hours to 16 hours. That's not a bad deal for $100 if you ask us.