Asus Eee Pad Transformer hands-on

Taking a leaf out of Lenovo’s IdeaPad solution first shown at CES in 2010, Asus has launched an Android tablet that comes with a bolt on keyboard for when you actually need to do some work.

Called the Asus Eee Pad Transformer (see what they’ve done there), the new device is solid when it comes to build quality, offering plenty of potential to nail a coffin into the netbook market once and for all.

The tablet will feature a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800, IPS touchscreen display and work on it’s own as a solo unit so you can watch movies, surf the web and do what you do with your average tablet around the home or out and about.

Although the demo unit we played with was powered by Froyo (Android 2.2) Asus has confirmed to Pocket-lint that the final version will be running Google’s new tablet optimised operating system Honeycomb.

Asus also confirmed that eitherway the OS will feature it’s WaveShare experience. WaveShare brings with it plenty of dedicated apps like an ebook reader as well as funky feature like a battery meter and accelerometer built into the wallpaper if that’s your thing.  The higher the water level the more battery power you have left. It’s clever.

With specs including dual cameras (1.2-megapixel and 5-megapixel) wireless n, USB, Bluetooth and built-in card reader it’s a very savvy multimedia device with Asus packing the Eee Pad Transformer with an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor to make sure it doesn’t run out of power.

It will also mean that you get 1080p playback and support for Adobe’s Flash 10.1.

On the keyboard side of things the Asus Eee Pad Transformer keyboard dock is also well built with Asus really thinking about how to implement the experience rather than just cashing in on the concept of a docking station.

A sliding docking locking system means the screen and keyboard become one. It’s a standard Chiclet keyboard, which we found comfortable to use in our quick test. Docking the tablet element of the combination automatically engages the keys and typing is the same as using one of the company’s netbooks.

From a design perspective when combined you would be hard pushed to notice that it wasn’t a netbook.

You’ll be able to snap up an ASUS Transformer for $399-$699 when it ships in April of this year.



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