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Tablet turns into a netbook

Last year, at the Computex event held in Taipei, Asus previewed a tablet called the Eee Pad that could be likened to Apple’s iPad in terms of physical features and performance.

It was a pretty thin and light tablet with a 10-inch touchscreen. However the previewed product ran on Windows OS, a platform critics regard as not so touch-friendly.

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This year, Asus launched a reinvigorated Eee Pad which came with a keyboard dock that included ports for USB and SD cards. The slate literally has turned into a netbook.

Smartphones or slates that can be docked into hardware platforms to allow for sharing of files or operating the device like PCs have been around for some time.

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But slates that boast of PC-like functions, like the iPad and Motorola Xoom cannot be considered netbooks since sharing of files from one device to another will require a user to go to a website to download or upload the files. Also, you may need to purchase applications to be able to accomplish file editing tasks.

But Asus’ new device, the Eee Pad Transformer, is a different case. It can function like a netbook when you insert the device onto a keyboard dock. With the keyboard dock’s USB port (there are two USB ports), you can access files like Word documents from an external hard drive and edit them using the Polaris Office 3.0, a professional mobile office solution Office that comes preloaded in the tablet.

With the Eee Pad Transformer’s full keyboard—a 6-row chicklet type keyboard—a user need not settle with a virtual keyboard on screen, which makes for awkward typing.

Asus Philippines product specialist Ellis Chua said you could even adjust the brightness of the tablet’s screen using the keyboard, something users could not do on a stand-alone tablet.

One reason why it took a while for Asus to come out with a tablet meant for mass consumption—similar to the iPad2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab—was that it wanted to perfect the operating system and mobile CPU of the Eee Pad.

Because of its close relationship with Intel and Microsoft, Asus came out first with a Windows version of the Eee Pad—the 12-inch Eee Slate EP121 powered by Intel Core i5. But the price didn’t appeal to ordinary consumers.

Asus then fitted the Eee Pad Transformer with a combination of Android Honeycomb OS and NVIDIA Tegra2 dual core processor, which allowed the company to attach an attractive price tag of P22,995 (without the keyboard dock).

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Asus also threw in its own intuitive UI called Waveshare, offering a variety of unique applications such as MyNet, MyLibrary, MyCloud and MyDesk.

With MyNet, you can stream digital media wirelessly within a home network via DLNA.

Mydesk component allows you to manipulate a PC desktop right from the Eee Pad Transformer. Once the two devices are connected, the desktop is mirrored on the tablet, where the contents of the PC can be manipulated by touch. The tablet then becomes an extension of the PC.

The Eee Pad has a micro HDMI port allowing it to be connected to an HDTV to screen full HD videos.

MyLibrary consolidates downloaded books, magazines and newspapers into one easy-to-browse profile, while MyCloud is a total cloud solution, providing access to digital content such as music, videos and files from the cloud anywhere, anytime.

Users can even use MyCloud to remotely access and control any PC or Mac system and access applications or files, extending the versatility of the Eee Pad Transformer experience.

By the way, the Eee Pad’s keyboard dock doesn’t only extend the function of the tablet into a netbook, it also extends the battery life of the tablet.

The Eee Pad’s battery life is 9.5 hours. Placing it on the dock would extend battery life up to 16 hours.

The Eee Pad also ships with a scratch-resistant IPS panel, guaranteeing good viewing angles and image quality.

The display is at 1280 x 800, similar to Motorola Xoom’s resolution.

It has two cameras (1.2 MP front camera and 5 MP back camera) and SRS Sound technology. It weighs 680 grams and just 12.98 mm thick.

The Eee Pad Transformer, including the keyboard dock, may retail for P29,995.

TOPICS: Electronics, Netbook, Tablet, technology, Touch screen
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