Originally introduced in January at CES, alongside the Transformer, Asus has quietly announced the availability of the Asus Eee Pad Slider. You'll recall, the Transformer maintained the traditional tablet form factor, while the Slider had a hardware QWERTY keyboard hidden beneath the screen, with a unique sliding mechanism that tilted the screen to a comfortable position for typing. The convertible is available now at leading e-tailers for $479 and $579 for the 16GB and 32 GB models, respectively. The $80 premium over the Transformer nets buyers both the keyboard, as well as upgraded internals. The Slider features NVIDIA's Tegra 2 refresh, the Tegra 250 3D; this SoC bumps CPU speed to 1.2 GHz and GPU speed to 400 MHz  by 30% (Ed. note: As in our LG Optimus Q2 piece, NVIDIA has let us know that the refresh has no distinct model number, and declined to confirm a GPU clockspeed, merely stating that it would be 30% more than the previous model. So, 333 MHz times 1.3 equals . . . ). Maintained is the 10.1" IPS LCD screen, microSD slot and miniHDMI port. The addition of a full size USB port will be welcomed by users disinterested in carrying an Asus proprietary docking port to USB adapter. 

As productivity is the Slider's raison d'être, Polaris Office 3.0 is included on the device, along with Asus suite of cloud storage and streaming services and apps. In our review, the Transformer proved a competent Tegra 2-based Honeycomb tablet, that came alive as a productivity device when paired with the optional keyboard dock. Anand had lots of praise for the polish Asus put into making the 'Honeycomb netbook' experience appealing; far more than the Webtop experience of the Atrix. While the Slider's keyboard will not be nearly as capacious as the Transformer's dock's, the improved protability could make this the Android loving road warrior's device of choice. PR below, and we'll update when we've got our hands on the hardware.

Source: Asus

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  • JKolstad - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Probably several reasons:

    -- Everyone already expects tablets to be quite thin and light (Apple having set the goal post here), and this is always noticeably expensive than somewhat fatter and heavier devices. (Most laptops in the <$500 are still at least 1" thick, after all ... and even many netbooks, where you're closer to the $300-$400 range and don't have a CD ROM drive, are too.)
    -- Tablets are still relatively new devices, and therefore chipsets tend to be more expensive than the PC market. It's really the intense competition between AMD and Intel that has made for some very inexpensive laptops today -- otherwise I doubt you'd be seeing any of the very-low-end $300 laptops now available.
    -- Quantities for tablets are still far lower than for laptops, which raises prices as well.
    -- Margins probably are still a bit higher, with manufacturers likely keying their prices to the iPad rather than traditional laptops
  • joe_dude - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    $480 for a MBA replacement that's lighter, touchscreen, IPS display, better battery life and won't overheat? How's that expensive?
  • marvdmartian - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Same reason why a 13" notebook is magically priced higher than a 12" or 14" model. Really nothing more than, "If they want it bad enough, they'll pay for it". Apple, with it's rabid fanboys, proves this on a daily basis.

    Really the only advantage I can see of this, over the tablet & keyboard, is that it's going to be slimmer and lighter than the transformer and docking station. However, you also don't get the extra battery life you get with the docking station attached, so it's really a matter of personal preference at that point.

    I'm still disappointed that no one has made a 12 or 13 inch tablet. Older eyes don't always enjoy a small screen, ya know?
  • Filiprino - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I would like to know how does ASUS behave in the update department. Have they kept their devices updated? Will they upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich? Have they finally added 5Ghz band to their Wi-Fi cards? There's no product from them with 5Ghz while a lot of tablets have it.
  • Filiprino - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Okay, I've seen that ASUS uploads updates to their download section like they do with PC motherboards BIOS. For example the transformer shipped with honeycomb 3.1 and you can download 3.2. That's good. Other manufacturers take some months to release an update.
  • Spivonious - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Who else thinks this would be a great device for Windows 8? Too bad they haven't released the ARM version.
  • tanjo - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    if that's the highest screen tilt = fail
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    I'm inclined to agree. They haven't released their full gallery of pics, but if I have to look down all the time to use it I would get a neck cramp fast.


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