Asus is known around the world for their innovation and quality, and are also known for pioneering the Netbook scene.
Now Asus is entering a completely new segment with their Eee line, being Tablets … and knowing Asus, this is definitely something to be excited about.
Asus showcased 4 Tablets, 3 of which will run Android 3.0 Honeycomb. These 3 Android Tablets are the Slider, the Transformer and the MeMo
ASUS Eee Pad Slider & ASUS EEE Pad Transformer
Both these Android Tablets are similar in most respects and have the following shared specifications:
- A 1GHz Dual-Core nVidia Tegra 2 processor which promises to pump multimedia and spleed through the ASUS’ veins
- A 10.1″ 1280×800 wide Touchscreen
- A 1.2mp Front Facing Camera and 5mp Readward Camera
- HDMI Ports with 1080p output
- 512MB Ram (With 1GB also possible – let’s see what we get locally)
- Storage variants of 16GB / 32GB and 64GB
The main difference between the Slider and Transformer are the physical traits.
The ASUS Eee Pad Slider comes with a built-in slide-out Qwert Keyboard, which slides out from under the screen while tilting the screen at an angle. This will be hugely welcome by many users who may not always want to use a touchscreen for their emails or other uses, but at the same time … don’t want to have a keyboard all the time either … such as when you are watching a movie or reading a book.
The thickness of the ASUS Eee Pad Slider is only 17.7mm thick which is not bad at all considering there is a keyboard in there. It is a tad heavy though at 886 Grams, but still not heavy enought to tire your arms.
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is an interesting design, in that on it’s own it is just a standard Tablet with no additional physical properties … but with the docking station (I am under the impression it will be optional), you will be able to plug it in and turn it into a fully fledged laptop … it can even fold closed once plugged into the dock as a normal laptop would … I haven’t seen anything like it before.
This design is sure to be a winner with users, especially if the dock is optional … as not everyone needs a keyboard (as the iPad and various other Tablets have proven) … but for those that want it some of the time, it is there.
What’s more, is that the dock will double the battery life to a whopping 16 hours thanks to a built-in battery, as well as increasing the number of connection ports.
The Eee Pad Transformer is also thinner then it’s sister ( obviously, as there is no built in keyboard ), and measures in at just 12.9mm thick and weighs just 680 grams.
ASUS Eee Pad MeMo
The third Android Tablet being launched by ASUS is the ASUS Eee Pad MeMo … which is a smaller, more portable tablet at only 7 inches with the idea being that you can store this in your handbag or Suit Pocket ( not too sure it would fit though ).
That’s not what makes the Eee Pad MeMo special though, it’s standout feature is the inclusion of a stylus … yes, a stylus. Now before you laugh, let me tell you what makes this exciting … firstly, the screen of the MeMo is capacitative, so for those who like Capacitative screens but hate the idea of not being able to use a stylus … your prayers have been answered. Secondly, what really makes the stylus exciting is the fact that it is pressure sensitive … and the Eee Pad MeMo comes with two applications that will take advantage of this … a sketchbook / notebook / memo app (hence the name), and a pressure-sensitive drawing application.
This will most likely be the next purchase for a lot of graphic designers, who will love the portability mixed together with the functionality of Graphic Tablet. And depending on how well the notebook app works, perhaps we can expect to see these little Tablets replacing diaries … something smartphones attempted but for all intents purposes, failed at.
Even though the Asus Eee Pad MeMo is smaller then it’s siblings, doesn’t mean you should underestimate it. Some of the spec’s of the Eee Pad MeMo are:
- A 1.2GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm 8260 Processor
- 7″ 1024 x 600 Display
- Android 3.0 Honeycomb
- A Micro-HDMI Port with 1080p output
- A 1.2mp Front-Facing Camera and 5mp Rearward Camera
ASUS also mentioned that you will be able to get a Bluetooth voice extender, called the MeMIC in order to use the device as a media phone as well, although I’m not to sure if this means you will use it for Voice Over IP, or insert a sim card into the device.
The worldwide launch dates of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Eee Pad Slider and Eee Pad MeMo respectively are April, May and June 2011. This launch date is apparently valid for South Africa as well.
There is no local pricing confirmed as yet, but for what it’s worth … Asus mentioned the international pricing as $400 – $700 for the Eee Pad Transformer, $500 – $800 for the Eee Pad Slider and $500 – $700 for the Eee Pad MeMo.
I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on these units for review, Asus South Africa can expect some nagging from me!