Asus has been one of the leading innovators of portable computing since it introduced the revolutionary Eee PC a few years back. Now it looks like the Taiwanese company is looking to do the same with tablet PCs, or pads, as they are called these days.
While its competitors have focused on reducing the thickness of their pad offerings, Asus is combining its computing background with the new platform.
It has already introduced one innovative tablet, called the Eee Pad Transformer - a netbook that lets you disengage the display and turn it into a pad. Now Asus is rolling out a new pad that comes equipped with a full-sized slide-out Qwerty keyboard.
With the new Eee Pad Slider, a keyboard is hidden underneath the 10.1-inch display. When you need it, you simply slide the display up and back, prop it up against the built-in latch system, and the Slider becomes a ready-to-use netbook.
Asus is obviously positioning the Slider as a productivity tool, and will preload Polaris Office with the device. Also, you'll get one year's worth of unlimited storage on Asus' online service, WebStorage.
The Pad Slider is equipped with a Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor running at 1 GHz, and runs the Android 3.1 'Honeycomb' operating system. It also comes with a USB port, MicroSD slot, two digital cameras (1.2-megapixel front, 5-megapixel rear) capable of HD video, Wi-fi and Bluetooth.
The Asus Eee Pad Slider 16GB is HK$4,498; the 32GB version will arrive soon, price TBC.
Pros: built-in slide-out Qwerty keyboard, dual-core processor, Android 3.1
Cons: no 3G option