With the official launch of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer today, those looking to grab the part-tablet-part-netbook will find them delivered to stores within the week, according to Asus product specialist, Beryl Lee.Those hanging out for the Eee Pad Slider which integrates the keyboard and tablet into one solid unit could be waiting until October, and could possibly be forking out more.
The Eee Pad Slider “will generally be the same as the Transformer [in terms of tech specs] but in a slimmer form factor,” said Beryl. That includes price, which she added should be more expensive than the Transformer if not the same price.
But with an anticipated release around the beginning of October, a lot can still change.
The Eee Slate, on the other hand, which began selling in April for $1499, has been a big seller for Asus in Australia, as “sales right now are really good, even with the very high price point,” said Lee.
Asus still sees a future for netbooks despite the suggested success of these tablets and its Transformer so far overseas, with the two types of products working on “two different markets.”
“Netbooks and tablets are two different markets. The netbook is a Windows platform and our tablets are more for mobility and entertainment. So for Asus, we will still sell netbooks separately.”
One of the key differences is that the tablets are “designed for ease of use.”
“Users who haven’t used Android before are afraid of moving to a touch screen keyboard, so they need something physical. We did surveys which found that 33 percent of people were interested in buying a physical keyboard for a tablet.”
Asus is now looking to mimic Apple’s success on the content side of its technology, going with its own content service to go with its customised user interface, dubbed @Vibe, to deliver “rich media content like Apple.”
There’s also its own cloud service called MyCloud that will be free for the first year and “around $50 for 200 gigabytes after that – but we’re not sure, that might change over the next year.” Just with the Slider’s pricing and release date, everything’s still up in the air.
Back to the Transformer’s availability, the keyboard dock will begin selling on its own (for those who buy a tablet by itself and decide on going for the dock later on) this July, and should be the same price as it is in the current bundle.
The Transformer comes in two options – a 32GB and 16GB tablet. While the 32GB is only available with a dock bundled, coming to a total of $799, the 16GB can be bought as a standalone product for $599.