ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer gives Android tablet users the option of attaching a separate physical keyboard, but what if you simply can't live without a keyboard at all? Enter the ASUS Eee Pad Slider: a 10.1in Android tablet with a built-in slide-out keyboard.
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The ASUS Eee Pad Slider is technically a tablet with a slider form factor, but the action of sliding open the screen is slightly different to what you would find on a slider smartphone. The Eee Pad Slider's screen is lifted from the top, and will then slide open to reveal a physical QWERTY keyboard. This flip-up screen design isn't new — it's been used before on older HTC smartphones like the TyTN II and more recently the Nokia N97 mini, and Nokia E7 smartphones. However, this is the first Android tablet we've seen to use this form factor.
We'll be interested to see exactly how this affects the Eee Pad Slider's size and weight for general day to day use. At 886g, the ASUS Eee Pad Slider is significantly heavier than comparable slate-style Android tablets.
Form factor aside, the ASUS Eee Pad Slider offers all the features and functions of most other Honeycomb Android tablets. It runs the latest version of Google's Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' software, which has specifically been designed for tablet devices. Key features of Android 3.0 Honeycomb include tabbed Web browsing, support for 3D graphics, added enterprise features like encrypted storage, a redesigned keyboard, and a new interface that aims to take advantage of the larger sized tablet screen. The Eee Pad Slider also supports Adobe Flash Player for viewing Web video and will be upgradeable to future versions of the Android platform.
The ASUS Eee Pad Slider conveniently has full a sized USB port and a mini HDMI-out port for direct connection to a television, along with a standard headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. The tablet also comes with a proprietary docking port that will work with a range of ASUS accessories.
The ASUS Eee Pad Slider will be powered by a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, has 1GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal memory and also has two digital cameras on board: a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera that acts as a webcam for video calling, and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear that takes still photos and records standard definition video. The ASUS Eee Pad Slider is initially a Wi-Fi only tablet, though a version with 3G connectivity may come at a later date.
Australian pricing and availability of the ASUS Eee Pad Slider is yet to be announced, though it is currently sold in the US starting at US$499.