I have something to confess. I bought my Grandma an iPad yesterday. I know, I know. But seriously, it’s perfect for her. I mean, who doesn’t love being able to do one simplistic activity for hours on end? Multitasking? No thanks. Scrabble for hours? Yes please.

But onto more serious things folks – 2011 is the year of the Tablet. I’m not talking about a giant phone kind of tablet either. What i’m talking about is a serious productivity powerhouse, in a form factor that’s sure to please.

Even the most ardent iPad fans will tell you that it falls short in several key areas, and is often relegated to an object of novelty, usually gathering dust in some obscure place around the home, begging for attention. The truth is, all tablets fear your neglect. For the 50-70 million of you out there that are going to buy a tablet this year – have you actually considered what it would be like to have the tablet in your life? Have you thought about the various postures and positions you would adopt to use your shiny, new tablet?

This is where a novel form factor like the tablet with snap in keyboard comes in. It seems people are quite excited about this particular form factor – and for good reason. You can easily switch between a slate tablet for web browsing, email reading, et al, and when you get motivated and want to actually get some real work done, click the keyboard in place, and voila – productivity powerhouse that doesn’t require you to lurch over an accelerate onset Scoliosis in order to get an hours work done.

Adding to the fire is Best Buys genius marketing department. Check out the hilarious ad below:

In all seriousness, my grandma loves her iPad. I mean, this is a woman that has never owned a computer, and can only begin to understand the magic behind lightbulbs, the microwave, and so forth. For those of us that have grown up using technology, and who require a device that blends the best of productivity and passive, more relaxed computing, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer seems well positioned to take the crown.

Release and Price:

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is set to be released on April 26th in the USA and Canada, and in early May elsewhere around the world.

Early reviews have been quite positive – and the Transformer’s battery life is further extended by up to 16 hours when the Keyboard dock is mated with the tablet itself. The keyboard is quite responsive, and makes input a joy.

Also, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer employs the delightful IPS display technology, which makes colors, contrast and viewing angles vastly superior to its rivals, and perhaps even better than the display on the iPad 2.

Thankfully, early reports and leaks from Best Buys website are indicating that this particular gem will be going for around $400, while the Keyboard dock itself will be  sold separately for $149.99. With the original debut of the Motorola Xoom at $799.99, ($600 on contract), we heard tons of negative comments that this price was simply ridiculous. Thankfully, it’s looking like Asus will be pricing the Transformer quite aggressively, so will likely caused other manufacturers to lower the price of their Android Honeycomb tablets in the soon to be crowded Android tablet market soon.

Thoughts? Would you buy a tablet for casual usage, or would you want it to be capable of more?

Check out the great hands-on video below

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