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Asus Launches Eee Pad Transformer Hybrid

Friday Asus said the first shipments of its new Eee Pad Transformer have left the building, a hybrd device that combines the mobility of a tablet with the productivity of a notebook thanks to an optional docking station keyboard. It also arrives with Google's new Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" OS and the Asus Waveshare user interface.

Under the hood, the tablet sports a 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, a front-facing 1.2MP camera, a rear-facing 5MP camera, a 10.1-inch Gorilla glass multitouch screen (1280 x 800), a combined battery life of 16 hours (9.5 hours without the dock), built-in SRS Sound technology for dynamic 3D stereo audio, and a mini HDMI output port. Additional features include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, a G-sensor, light sensor, gyroscope, e-compass and GPS

According to Asus, the full hinged QWERTY keyboard docking station provides unique Android Function keys, an SD card reader, two USB ports and the additional battery. To take advantage of the keyboard, Asus has pre-loaded the Polaris Office 3.0 professional mobile office suite for editing documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentations (.ppt). Asus has also thrown in WebStorage with one year of unlimited storage space for worry-free cloud computing.

In addition to the Honeycomb OS, Asus said its Waveshare user interface provides a set of unique applications including MyNet, MyLibrary, MyCloud and more. The MyNet app will stream HD videos and music wirelessly across a local network to devices such as HDTVs and desktop PCs. MyLibrary consolidates downloaded books, magazines and newspapers into one easy-to-browse profile while MyCloud is a total cloud solution.

"Combining Honeycomb with ASUS’ intuitive Waveshare user interface and the most powerful hardware features available makes the Transformer an exciting portable device supporting both office work and social communication," Asus said Friday.

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is expected to arrive here in the States in April. Currently pricing is unknown, but there are rumors that the tablet will sell for $500 on its own, and an additional $100 for the keyboard. The tablet will also reportedly arrive in 16 GB and 32 GB capacities, so pricing at this point is purely speculative.