Asus is already attempting to combat the new iPad 2 with the announcement that it’s shipping its hybrid-tablet netbook, the Eee Pad Transformer
. Despite the name, however, there’s sadly no Decepticon or Autobot badge to be found on it.
The Transformer's unique design separates the tablet portion of the device from the main body, which houses a keyboard and touchpad. According to Asus, the Transformer is ‘the best tablet choice for users looking for both media consumption and mobile productivity
’ but then it would, wouldn’t it?
As if a neat keyboard docking unit wasn’t enough, both the tablet and the keyboard portion of the Transformer have batteries, with Asus claiming that it has a ‘combined battery life of up to 16 hours.*
’ The star leads to some small print stating that ‘9.5 and 16 hour battery life estimated under certain conditions.
The device uses a combination of Asus' Waveshare user interface and Android 3.0 operating systems, and Asus hopes the Transformer will be a 'trendsetting tablet experience
' due to its use of Android 3.0 with Flash support. The latter is an infamous omission on Apple’s iDevices, including the iPad 2.
The tablet/screen of the Transformer sports an IPS panel covered with scratch-resistant glass, as well as a pair of cameras, just like the iPad 2. The rear-mounted camera is a 5-megapixel unit, while the front-facing on captures only 1.2 megapixels. The keyboard unit also has two USB ports and an SD card reader, making it more flexible than the iPad’s proprietary connection.
Under the hood, the Transformer is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and GPU, so it should be capable of running high-quality 3D games. We’ve already had a look at some Asus Eee pads
and liked the minimalist design. However, the battery life in real-world use remains a mystery until we can properly test the device in our labs.
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