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Asus’ eee Pad to transform tab market

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Asus’ newly launched Asus eee Pad Transformer using Android Honeycomb is emerging as the number one selling ‘open’ tablet in a number of international markets the company says.

A new contender is emerging in the tablet market which is taking the market by surprise and by storm. The device is the Asus eee Pad Transformer: based on the Android Honeycomb 3.0 operating system, it has quickly become the number one-selling ‚open’ tablet in a number of international markets. And, says Tyrone Gr√ºner, Asus product manager at Platinum Micro, it is forging ahead on the basis of a design which delivers against the demands of a market spoilt for choice.

‚While a number of Android tablets are emerging, the eee Pad [pronounced ‚e-pad’] is winning market share owing to its battery life, performance and design. It is on these criteria that it is unbeatable,‚ he says.

In July, PC Mag (www.pcmag.com) reported that Asus has assumed the mantle of the world’s biggest non-iPad tablet maker. This is significant, says Gr√ºner, as there is no shortage of competition in this segment of the market. ‚With over 400 000 units shipped, and with the Asus device listed as the number one selling tablet on Amazon.com in April this year, consumer demand is strong.‚

Pointing to the unique selling points of the device, Gr√ºner says the standard battery life of 9.5 hours fires a salvo at a traditional challenge for the makers of mobile devices. ‚Battery life is a constant issue: in standard configuration, this pad delivers what users want.‚

It also boots faster and is lighter than many of its competitors’ products: another unique point is the Asus docking station with keyboard, which almost doubles the battery life while extending the functionality of the device by instantly turning it into a fully-functional netbook complete with two USB ports.

What is particularly noteworthy, says Gr√ºner, is that the bundle including the keyboard is the top-selling configuration. ‚This tells us that tablet users want more than touchscreen input from their device. That’s especially true as the tablet is seen not as a ‚play’ device, but one which is at home in the office or after-hours.‚

On a hardware level, the Asus eee Pad is manufactured from high-grade materials including brushed aluminum and delivers features such as a dual front and rear cameras, an SD and MicroSD card slot, embedded GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity, with a version that adds 3G available in October.

While the Google Android operating system is not unique to the Asus eee Pad, Gr√ºner says the platform represents an ecosystem which is delivering hundreds of thousands of apps to the user. Easy interoperability with compatible mobile phones is assured, which, when tethered, create a WiFi hotspot. ‚With support for Flash and supplied with the Polaris Office suite, the versatility of the device is clear,‚ he adds.

The reseller channel is recognizing demand for the product, with retailers including Hirsch’s, Look & Listen, Computer Mania and Chaos placing orders to put the Asus tablet on their shelves. ‚Consumer demand is there: it’s hard to describe the appeal of this product without seeing it for yourself, so we believe that as word of mouth gains momentum, there will be plenty of people who are looking for the advantages of great hardware design combined with Android’s appeal who will choose the Asus tablet above any other. We’ve seen it internationally: we’ll see it in South Africa, too.‚

Pricing for the Asus eee Pad Transformer is estimated at R4499 (16GB), R5499 (32GB) and R6499 (32GB dock bundle). Final pricing is reseller-determined.

For more, including specifications and demonstrations, view: http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Pad_Transformer_TF101

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