Tablet Market Contender: Asus
Asus has begun shipping a Tegra 2-powered, Android Honeycomb OS-based convertible tablet that its Chairman, Jonney Shih, referred to as Asus' "secret weapon" aimed at Apple's iPad tablet line. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is a 0.5 inch-thick, 1.5 pound tablet that targets both consumers and enterprise users, which according to Asus, runs Asus' Waveshare user interface. It also features an optional keyboard docking station with Android Function keys, Adobe Flash 10.2 support, access to mobile apps through the Android Market, and up to 16 hours of battery life.
Originally, Asus said it was preparing a Linux-based tablet-notebook hybrid PC. The company's intention, according to Shih, is to cater to the non-Apple side of the market, where it already has built strong relationships with Google, Intel, and other partners. One area where Asus' Eee Pad Transformer, which launched in North America on April 26, appears to have an advantage over Apple and its cheaper, faster, lighter second-generation tablet is its pricing: $399, compared to Apple's still-reasonable $499.