Asus Eee Pad Transformer Preview

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The Asus Eee Pad Transformer tablet is one of the more interesting Android tablets on the market in that it has a keyboard docking station that essentially allows it to convert to an Android 3.0 Honeycomb-based netbook on the fly. Add to that a powerful dual core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and a reasonable MSRP of $399 (just the tablet, 16GB version) and the Transformer looks to be one of the best options currently in Honeycomb tablets, for WiFi only solutions. 

The Transformer has dual front and rear facing cameras (1.2MP and 5MP respectively), 1GB of on board memory, mini-HDMI output, a microSD card slot and a head phone/mic combo jack.  Drop it into it's $150 keyboard dock and you pick up a full-sized flash card reader slot, a pair of USB ports and of course keyboard and trackpad functionality.  It's a total ultra-portable computing solution as a result, which makes the Transformer unique versus other Honeycomb-based tablets currently.

We're prepping a full, detailed performance review here in the coming days but we thought it would be nice to offer a teaser with our video review and a cut from the benchmark suite of test numbers we're running.  Let's have a look...
 

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Table
Specifications & Features
Display:  10.1" LED Backlight WXGA (1280x800) LCD
10 finger multi-touch support
Scratch resistant glass

CPU:
  NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2

Memory: 
   1GB

Storage:
  16GB/32GB
Unlimited ASUS Webstorage (trial, one year)

Wireless Data Network:
WLAN 802.11 b/g/n@2.4GHz

Bluetooth V2.1+EDR

Camera:
1.2MP Pixel Front Camera, 5MP Pixel Rear Camera


Audio:
SRS Premium Sound Stereo Speakers

High Quality:
Mic

Interfaces:

1 x 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone/Mic-in)
1 x mini HDMI 1.3a
1 x Card Reader (Micro SD)
Sensors:
G-Sensor
Light Sensor
Gyroscope
E-Compass
GPS

Multi-Task Support :
Yes
Flash Support :
Yes

Software :

- ASUS Launcher
- MyLibrary
- MyNet
- MyCloud*4
- File manager
- PC Sync

Battery:
9.5 hours; 24.4Wh Li-Polymer Battery *5

16 hours with dock *5

Dimensions:
271 x 171 x 12.98 mm
Weight:
680g/1.499lbs.

Mobile Docking Keyboard
:
Touch Pad
2 x USB 2.0
2 x Docking port (Host + Client)
1 x Card Reader (MMC/SD/SDHC)
1 x 24.4Wh Battery

 

 



The 32GB version of the Asus Transformer is weighing in at $499, while the 16GB version has a $399 MSRP.  Motorola's Xoom is available in a WiFi-only version with 32GB of storage for $599 currently. This put the new Asus Honeycomb slate at a $100 cost advantage over Motorola's, with nearly identical platform specs (Tegra 2 and 1G of system memory).

Performance-wise, though we haven't scoped out the Transformer yet from all angles, our initial take is that Asus has also tweaked their tablet for optimal performance, as you can see here in the An3DBench XL test we ran.  Despite being built on the same NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform with 1GB of RAM, both the Transformer and ViewSonic gTablet slightly outpace the Xoom in this 3D graphics and gaming test.  Our initial testing with Linpack for Android shows similar results as well.

Stay tuned in the weeks ahead and we'll bring you a full report from the Tablet Test Track.

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