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The tablet computer market was brought to life last year with the introduction of the Apple iPad. In its first year the iPad saw an incredible 15 million unit sales, which is more than every tablet computer ever sold prior to 2010. Apple then followed up with the release of the iPad 2 which is to this date another tremendously popular device.
The iPad was able to outclass virtually every other tablet computer experience before it, and it's not going too far in saying that it created a market that didn't even exist. The combination of iOS on a larger screen and the momentum inherited from the iPhone helped to account for the massive tablet sales. Fast forward to the present, everybody wants in, and most are taking advantage of the Android OS.
But why have Android-based tablets been so slow to take off in comparison? Part of the reason is that Android was not designed with tablets in mind. Google has been hard at work designing and polishing the tablet version of Android known as Honeycomb, which saw the light last February when Motorola launched the Xoom. Since then a good number of Honeycomb-powered devices have arrived to the market, among the most popular you have Samsung Galaxy tablets and, of course, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer.
The Eee Pad Transformer goes beyond what most tablets are capable of by doubling as a Honeycomb-based netbook. Based on that premise and an attractive price since launch, it quickly became one of the most attractive Android tablets around. The 16GB version costs $385, making it ~$100 cheaper than the iPad 2.
The Eee Pad's TF101 docking station with keyboard and built-in battery cost an additional $120, making the total cost for a complete Eee Pad Transformer netbook more like ~$500. Still, given the added usability the docking station brings, it makes for an excellent value package. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer comes with a 10.1" screen and is powered by Nvidia's dual-core Tegra 2 1GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, typical of today's Honeycomb tablets.
If you are willing to look past the widely dominant iPad, we are paying another visit to Android Honeycomb (currently on version 3.2) along with one of the most popular and well regarded tablets under its umbrella. Read on.