Eee Pad Transformer begins shipping

The Transformer cometh! Asus says it has kicked off shipments of the Eee Pad Transformer, the Android 3.0 slate that can be turned into a netbook of sorts thanks to an optional keyboard dock. This latest press release doesn't mention pricing, but when Asus unveiled the device at CES in January, the company quoted a $399 price tag.

The announcement does, however, offer the most complete overview of the device to date—starting with some specifications. The half-inch-thick, 1.49-pound Eee Pad Transformer features a 10.1" IPS display with a 1280x800 resolution, Nvidia's Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip, 1GB of RAM, 16-32GB of storage capacity, 1.2-megapixel front and 5-megapixel rear cameras, built-in SRS stereo speakers, and a 24.4Wh lithium-polymer battery rated for 9.5 hours of run time. Other perks include a two-in-one audio jack, a mini-HDMI output, a micro-SD card reader, a g-sensor, a gyroscope, a compass, and a GPS.

Slap on the keyboard dock, and not only do you get a notebook-style QWERTY keyboard and touchpad, but Asus chucks in two USB 2.0 ports, an extra card reader, an audio port, and an additional battery that can purportedly increase the system's run time to 16 hours. (I'm guessing the dock blocks off the side of the tablet that plays host to the other card reader and audio port.)

Asus hasn't gone with vanilla Android 3.0 for the Eee Pad Transformer. Rather, users will be greeted by the Asus Launcher, which will let them "manage content and access online services and connect devices with a few simple taps," as well as the Asus Waveshare Interface, which serves up "unique applications such as MyNet, MyLibrary, MyCloud and more." In case you're wondering, MyNet lets the Eee Pad stream media content to your local network, MyLibrary provides access to books and newspapers, while MyCloud can be used to "remotely access and control any PC or Mac system and access applications or files."

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