ASUS Eee Pad Transformer official: 16hr battery in Honeycomb iPad 2 rival

ASUS has officially launched its first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, a 10.1-inch slate promising up to 16hrs runtime when used with the battery-toting keyboard dock. Running Honeycomb on NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor and fronted by a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen display, the Transformer has a pair of cameras and optional 3G connectivity.

There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3-megapixel webcam up front; meanwhile inside there's 16GB or 32GB of storage, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and all the usual sensors: accelerometer, GPS, digital compass, etc. The slate's internal battery is good for 9.5hrs alone, but ASUS has sensibly used the keyboard attachment to boost that by a further 6.5hrs; you also get a touchpad, 3.5mm audio jack, two USB ports and an SD card reader. We can't help but wish Acer had packed a battery into their Iconia Tab W500 keyboard slice too.

Unfortunately there's still no sign of official pricing, though there's the hint of a €399 ($565) sticker from a European retailer last week. We'll find out more at ASUS' official Eee Pad Transformer launch event next week, which will give us a chance to check out the differences between the prototype we played with earlier in the year and the final model.

Press Release:

ASUS Introduces the Eee Pad Transformer

– Innovation meets Versatility as ASUS launches the Eee Pad Transformer TF101 tablet with a unique expandable keyboard docking station –

Fremont, CA (March 25, 2011) – ASUS is excited to announce the launch* of the Eee Pad Transformer, the best tablet choice for users looking for media consumption and mobile productivity in an elegant yet versatile design. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer features the powerful and responsive Android 3.0 operating system, an optional expandable keyboard docking station, and ASUS' intuitive Waveshare user interface that results in an exciting portable tablet for content creation, social communication, high-definition media playback and smooth realistic game play.

Exciting mini-cinema entertainment on-the-go

Powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 dual-core processor, the Transformer browses the web at blazing speeds, providing snappier response times and excellent multi-tasking performance. An IPS (in-plane switching) Panel made from durable and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass is viewable at angles up to 178°, perfect for sharing your favorite photos, web pages, work documents and more with co-workers, friends or family next you or across the room. The 10.1" IPS panel features LED backlighting that provides brilliant and vivid colors at a 1280x800 resolution, perfect for viewing high-definition movies and other media content.

Built-in SRS Sound technology provides a dynamic 3D stereo audio experience, with maximum bass response and a wide sound field from the discrete speakers housed in a thin 0.51" thick chassis that only weighs 1.49lbs. A 1.2MP front-facing camera is perfect for video conferencing while the rear-facing 5MP camera can shoot and record HD video, which can be played back on HDTVs via the mini HDMI output port, making the Eee Pad Transformer a true mobile entertainment device.

Transform from pad to notebook mode with optional keyboard docking station

The Transformer sets itself apart from other tablets on the market by featuring an optional docking station. This unique docking station provides access to a full QWERTY keyboard along with unique Android Function keys, instantly turning the Transformer into a mobile content creation device.

A touchpad, 3.5mm audio jack, two USB ports as well as a built-in SD Card reader for easy file sharing and storage expandability makes the Transformer a versatile media hub. The docking station also extends the Transformer's 9.5 hours** of battery life up to 16 hours**, so users can use it all day for work or play. In addition, the ultra-convenient ASUS WebStorage* with one year of unlimited storage space provides worry-free cloud computing.

Android 3.0 OS melds with ASUS' Waveshare UI for a unique user experience

Google's Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is a revolutionary operating system specially designed and optimized for tablets, which enables users a rich web experience for on-the-go web browsing, social media activities, video playback and casual gaming. Supporting Adobe® Flash® 10.2*** and the ever growing Android Market, media entertainment is just a finger swipe away. The convenient ASUS Launcher also allows users to easily launch software, manage content and access online services and connect devices with a few simple taps, while ASUS' Waveshare Interface hosts a variety of unique applications* such as MyNet, MyLibrary, MyCloud and more.

MyNet easily streams digital media wirelessly within home network devices so HD videos or music can be played on devices such as an HDTV or desktop PCs for an even better experience from the Transformer. MyLibrary consolidates downloaded books, magazines and newspapers in to one easy to browse profile while MyCloud is a total cloud solution, providing access to digital content such as music, videos and files from the cloud anywhere, anytime. Users can even use MyCloud to remotely access and control any PC or Mac system and access applications or files to extend the versatility of the Eee Pad Transformer experience.