Asus on Friday began shipping the Android Honeycomb-based, Nvidia Tegra 2-powered convertible tablet that its chairman last month referred to as Asus’ “secret weapon” aimed at Apple’s iPad line.
Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer device targets both consumers and enterprise users, the company said, and offers the tablet-specific version of Google’s Android 3.0 platform, code-named Honeycomb, alongside Asus’ Waveshare user interface.
It runs on Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 mobile integrated graphics chip, and 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. It measures about 0.5 inches thick and weighs about 1.5 pounds (0.68 kilograms).
"In our own pursuit of perfection, we offer users more options," Asus CEO Jerry Shen told The Press Association on Friday.
"They can get a full range of functions including 10-finger touch, Flash supported video viewing, e-book reading, and a physical keyboard so they don't have to deal with any inconveniences.”
Asus, in a statement announcing the Eee Pad Transformer’s release, referred to Google’s Android Honeycomb platform as a “revolutionary operating system,” based on its Web-browsing experience.
In addition to Honeycomb and Waveshare, Asus’ new tablet also comes with Asus Launcher, which allows users to launch software, connect their devices to one another and to the internet, and manage content.
The Transformer tablet also comes with a pre-loaded mobile application known as Polaris Office 3.0, allowing professional users to edit a variety of files including documents, spreadsheets and presentations. In addition, enterprise customers can access the cloud for additional unlimited storage through Asus’ WebStorage, which is available on the Transformer for one year.
Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer also features a scratch-resistant IPS Panel, which according to Asus offers a 50 percent more accurate colour range compared to other tablets currently on the market.
The device comes with a 3.5-mm audio jack, two USB ports and a built-in SD Card reader. It also includes SRS 3D stereo sound technology, a mini HDMI output, and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera as well as a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera.
Next: Asus Executives Take Aim At Apple
According to The Press Association, Asus’ chief executive Shen in announcing the Eee Pad Transformer’s release said Apple's current dominant position in the red-hot tablet market is under threat from Android and Windows-based tablets.
Shen reportedly predicted that Apple’s share of the tablet market, currently estimated at 87 percent in 2010 by research firm Gartner, will fall to 50 percent by 2012. Shen reportedly also noted that Asus’ netbook sales were flat in 2010 as a result of the iPad’s emergence and subsequent cross-category PC cannibalisation.
In February, Asus Chairman Jonney Shish said that Asus had a "secret weapon" to challenge Apple’s iPad 2, which launched in the weeks since Shish’s comments. Shish specified that the device would run on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 mobile processor.
Originally, Shen in August said Asus was preparing a Linux-based tablet-notebook hybrid PC. Shen at the time said that the tablet market in 2011 will be divided into an Apple camp that claims 50 percent of the market, and a non-Apple camp with about 40 percent of the market.
Shen added that Asus' strategy is to cater to the non-Apple side of the market, where it already has built strong relationships with Google, Intel, and other partners.
This article originally appeared at crn.com
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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