Many in the blogosphere have been disputing whether the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the Asus Transformer has taken the crown for best sold Android tablet – so far. Either way, we know based off the earnings report from Motorola that they’ve sold close to 450,000 Xooms, but we still can’t be sure how many Galaxy Tab 10′s or Transformers have been sold to date. Either way, it matters not. What matters in the tablet space is innovation, build quality, battery life, connectivity and price. Oh and let’s not forget prompt updates either. So where does this bring us to today?
As of today, ASUS has officially announced the ASUS Eee Pad Slider, which is a tablet that will certainly appeal to productivity afficianados, and for those looking for something with a little more. Featuring virtually identical specs to the Asus Transformer and other Android Honeycomb tablets, its specs include a 10.1 inch 1280 x 800 IPS 10.1 inch display, protected with Corning’s Gorilla Glass, and comes with a 1Ghz dual core Tegra 2 SoC, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, and 16GB of memory on board.
In terms of aesthetics and form factor, it is slightly bulkier than some of the other Android tablets on the market, but carries with it a slide-out keyboard at all times, sans trackpad. Soon to be available in either pearl white or metallic brown, it features a slide-out keyboard, Android 3.1 -with Android 3.2 to come soon. It also features a highly sought after full sized USB port, where the owner will be able to pair it with a wireless mouse, or to connect it to any of the tens of thousands of USB devices available. Additionally, it comes with a Micro SD card reader, and a mini-HDMI port.
USB Host Functionality
Toshiba’s tablet was received with some acclaim for its full featured connectivity suite, with a full sized USB port, and a full sized SD Card reader that readers up o 128GB SDXC cards. Conversely, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, holder of the world’s thinnest tablet title, had to make some compromises (no HDMI, no SD card slot) to achieve its 8.9 mm profile. Today, we have the Asus Eee Pad Slider, which is arguably one of the most innovative tablets set to be on the released on the market soon. With its full sized USB port, you can plug in a wireless USB mouse and having it working in seconds. Android 3.1 comes with USB host functionality, and you can also plug in gaming controllers as well.
Other things of note
The display, as we mentioned before, is protected by a layer of scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, and supports up to 10 simultaneous touches, making it one of the best tablet displays on the market. There is also a front-facing 1.2MP camera and back-facing 5MP camera, and we believe ASUS has worked hard to resolve the subpar video/picture taking experience with the debut of the Asus Eee Pad Slider.
While not iPad 2/Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tab slim, it still manages to pack a lot into a rather svelte form factor. The sliding mechanism looks to be very well designed, and requires two hands to operate. Judging from the video below, it looks pretty sold it us.
While this might not be in English, it still gives you an excellent idea of what to expect.
Essentially what the reviewer is saying is that the Slider feels a bit more substantial in the hand, weighing in at over 2 pounds. That being said, the Transformer with keyboard dock weighs in at over 3 pounds so it really depends on your priorities. Additionally, the Asus Eee Pad Slider is lacking in a touchpad like the one found on the keyboard dock of the Transformer. The unit in the video came with Android 3.1 on board. Also, the reviewer mentioned that it felt incredibly responsive, and that he was quite pleased with how everything performed. Plus, the keyboard is actually quite useful, and works very well.
So we bring this to you today, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do physical keyboards belong on tablets? Can tablets ever become a serious platform for those with productivity in mind? It’s set to go on sale as early as September, but expect a global launch some time in the fall.