Today they unleased a first video teaser for the Transformer 2 EEE Pad and from what I’ve seen, the final product is identical to the Engineering Sample I’ve got my eyes on a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, it was a dummy version, thus the hardware inside was missing, but I can still tell you a couple of things about the case, on top of the ones available in the clip.
But first, follow the video below.
From it, you can see that the new Transformer looks like a 10 inch ultrabook, borrowing design elements from the bigger Asus UX21 and Asus U31 ultra-portables. It’s slimmer than before, it’s made from brushed aluminum and the camera on the back comes with LED Flash. Also, they’ve redone the docking station to match the new upper part.
Besides these, I could also add:
- the new body is incredibly light, probably about 100 g under the current Transformer;
- the aluminum Shell looks solid and feels nice, but overall I’d say it provides less grip;
- not a big fan of the edges, as they are now sharp like on the iPad 2, thus uncomfortable to hold without a proper case;
- it seems to offer just the same ports you find on the first Transformer, still without any kind of USB;
- the new docking is slimmer and lighter as well and when together, the two really make for a 10 inch ultrabook;
- the docking offers the pretty much the same ports as well, but, there’s only one USB 2.0 port now (if I remember correctly);
- the new keyboad is amazing; buttons are softer and feel less like plastic, the trackpad is a bit bigger and comes with a button-less design; also, from the clip, the buttons seem illuminated, but I can’t confirm that;
- attaching the tablet to the docking is a lot smoother, as they changed a bit that latching mechanism they used on the first generation.
Nothing to say about the screen, but I’d reckon it’s the same IPS panel we have on most Android tablets these days.
So overall, the new Transformer is definitely stylish and now plays in another class, a class were the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 didn’t have any real competition before.
Now, I can’t offer nothing official on prices and availability, but the Transformer 2 is most surely going to hit the stores by December. It will run on a Tegra 3 Kal-El hardware platform and should ship with Android 4.0
HoneyComb IceCream Sandwich.
Early rumors reported $499 starting price, but I’m confident it will be a bit cheaper than that and the tablet + docking will be offered on a slightly discounted bundle that would make a lot of sense if you need a tablet that allows productivity, but is also slim , light and astonishing looking. Plus, we might see it discounted for Cyber Monday 2011, if available in time.
That’s it for now and as always, take these with grain and salt; my observation are based on a an non-functional engineering sample and things might indeed change on the final product, which I reckon we’ll see quite soon, since Asus already released the first teasers.
So stay tuned, I’ll be adding more details on the Asus EEE Pad Transformer 2 in the near future.