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Asus EeePad Transformer – tablet, netbook or hybrid?

So why did Asus decided to launch a tablet which sounds more like a movie tie-in? Well, because the slate can actually do some transforming and by this to help you through the day. Especially if you don’t have a netbook or laptop or you just forgot it or something.

The 10 inch tablet can connect to a full size keyboard and work perfectly as a mini laptop when you have some serious typing to do and the on screen keyboard just won’t cut it. But first, let’s see what the tablet can do. The 10 inch slate will be powered by Android 3.0 and comes with a Tegra 2 dual core processor. That’s all sweet and performance driven, as Honeycomb requires a big screen and a snappy processor in order to work properly and the Transformer (sounds cool just saying it) delivers just that.

The capacitive touch screen has a 1280 x 800 resolution, while the camera system consists of two fellows- a 5 MP camera in the back and a 1.3 MP one in front, for video calling (the same setup we’ve seen on more tablets than we can count). The tablet can support 1080p playback without a problem, while Adobe Flash 10.1 is also supported.

There’s also a HDMI port if you want to outsource videos on a bigger screen, Wireless N, blue tooth, card reader and USB support. Surprisingly, there’s no info about storage, but my guess is that the cheapest version will come with 16 GB of storage, and it will grow progressively to 64. Anyway, you can upgrade also via the SD card slot. In terms of design, the slate has a rugged finish on the back and looks very solid, also it’s made entirely out of plastic- something we’re used to from Asus by now.

The tablet and the keyboard fit also in terms of design

The tablet and the keyboard fit also in terms of design

But the trick with the Transformer is the removable keyboard dock. Anytime you want to type a lot or just looking for a netbook experience, you can connect the tablet to the keyboard and that’s it! The keyboard is pretty much a perfect replica of the ones on netbooks, coming with touch pad and mouse buttons. And the keyboard also helps you save power- using it, you’re cutting the screen some slack, which takes in the largest amount of energy from all tablet components.

Asus says that the tablet can run as long as 16 hours on a charge when using the keyboard, which is more than most tablets and netbooks can do. The tablet can also collapse over the keyboard, the setup being identical to one of a netbook, both in terms of functionality and looks.

The tablet and keyboard can connect in more than one way

The tablet and keyboard can connect in more than one way

In terms of pricing, the tablet is said to come for a minimum of $399, which will probably have the least amount of storage and possibly other limitations. The top model is said to cost as much as $699, which might have even a 3G module.

Be aware that the keyboard is sold separately, so keep some money stashed away for that also. For that money, the Transformer looks like a decent buy, considering you can use it both as a tablet or netbook and the performance it can deliver is top notch.

Can you tell it's not a netbook?

Can you tell it's not a netbook?

The high resolution screen and processor will deliver great entertainment performance- videos, games, you name it, the Transformer can do it.

However, if you also have to work for a living, just connect the keyboard and you can do all you need to do without using another computer in the house. There’s the question if Android can support all the productivity tools you might need when in netbook mode, but I’m pretty sure Asus was not taking shots in the dark with this one.

About the Author
Mark is an Editor here at Based in London where he studies Screenwriting and Production, he blogs about technology as a hobby. He's mainly in charge with news here on the site, but he doesn't mind publishing some guides, tests and editorials from time to time as well.

Last updated: May 9, 2011 | Published: March 10th, 2011
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