Eee Pad Transformer to debut in Taiwan this week

Asus' first real iPad rival is just days from release—in Asus' home country of Taiwan, at least. Netbooknews quotes an Asus press release in Chinese that teases a March 25 debut for the Eee Pad Transformer, the $399 Android slate with a detachable keyboard that was originally unveiled in January.

Judging by the press release, the tablet's key specifications haven't changed. We're still looking at an Nvidia Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip, a 10.1" capacitive touch-screen with an IPS panel, and Google's Android 3.0 operating system. The device features 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mini HDMI connectivity as well as a micro-SD card reader. Netbooknews also mentions 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 16-32GB of storage capacity.

Of course, the Eee Pad Transformer's biggest selling point might be its keyboard dock, which is supposed to increase battery life to 16 hours, according to the Asus presentation we saw in January. (As an added bonus, you don't have to deal with the awkwardness of typing on a big, flat pane of glass with no tactile feedback.)

$399 for a Tegra 2-powered Android 3.0 slate sounds like an awfully good deal no matter how you cut it. Here's hoping the U.S. release isn't far off.

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