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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  • paul878 - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    why are these thing so expensive?
    for that price you can get a real laptop.
  • HibyPrime1 - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I'm just speculating here, but since tablets (and especially this one) are basically laptop computers with slimmer hardware, it probably isn't much cheaper to build one of these than it is a full fledged laptop.
  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I am pretty sure these are much cheaper to build and that margins are much higher.
    Tablet doesn't have an optical drive. the 16GB flash is of course much cheaper than a 500GB hard drive. There is less RAM. Less ports. No ethernet. Less chips on the motherboard. Smaller display. (except this one) no keyboard. A smaller PSU. A smaller battery.

    So even if the tablet SoC was more expensive than a laptop CPU + chipset (which I doubt), and despite the touchscreen, I am pretty sure that laptops cost more to build.
  • ph0masta - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Its more expensive to build a thin and light notebook because you can build a thick and heavy notebook with cheap standard otc components, while thin and light requires that you use custom components such as a special battery, mainboard, etc. The below link is to an article that explains in better detail. Additionally, a 16 GB SSD drive cost about the same as a 500GB hard drive on NewEgg. Its partially because a SSD requires a special memory controller that USB flash drives do not, and the quality of the Flash chips are probably higher as well. Apple can make high margins off of the iPad mainly because they manufacture in large quantities, and therefore have good economies of scale. If how badly android tablets sell is any sign, Asus will not have such good economies of scale for this hardware.

  • jordanclock - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    It's not quite as feature packed a netbook, but the price is similar and I imagine the performance is going to be better (As in, Android is designed for this kind of purpose, Win7 is NOT meant for netbooks.). Plus, the battery life ought to be nice and honestly, what can do you with a similarly priced netbook/laptop that you can't do with this?
  • Black1969ta - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Write on it. Handwriting recognition would make a good way to take notes for College
    Can't do that on the tiny touchpad of a netbook.

    Also the IPS multi-touch screens used in Tablets are far superior to the dinky low pixel density screens used in netbooks
  • MadMinstrel - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    You can't write on this either - no stylus.
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Why not? Just use a capacitive stylus. Not as accurate though.
  • mpschan - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I absolutely hate writing notes. I would type them in a heartbeat instead. I can actually look at someone and type, I can type probably 5 times faster, and I can easily rearrange the notes I'm taking.

    Granted, I can't draw by typing, but that's the only drawback. I'm not sure how many times people draw things while taking notes in class.

    Wait, that's all I did. Nvm, it needs a stylus.
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    "Win7 is NOT meant for netbooks."

    How so? (I've heard all the usual reasons and they all fail).

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