Throwing a keyboard into a tablet defeats the whole "handheld" nature of the accessory. But what if you designed it so that the keyboard part is completely detachable? That's exactly what Asus did with their new Eee Pad Transformer, which throws in a laptop-style keyboard and trackpad on the accompanying dock.
The dock comes with a hinged mount, which lets you position the display at a convenient viewing angle as you type. You can also close it down like a regular notebook, so the screen is fully covered up while it sits on your bag . We're not sure how functional the trackpad will be for a machine that's intended for touch navigation, so it's interesting how Asus implemented the pairing.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer features standard tablet specs: dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a Gorilla Glass multi-touch display (10.1 inches), dual cameras (1.2 megapixel in the front and 5 megapixels in the rear), aGPS, WiFi and Bluetooth. Two storage options are available: 16GB and 32GB. It runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, with no word on any additional pre-installed software.
On its own, the tablet offers 9.5 hours of battery life. The dock comes with its own integrated battery, though, which can feed an additional 6.5 hours of juice when you've got your slate resting on it for a total 16 hours.
Pricing is unannounced, but it's supposed to be available in Taiwan right now. Earlier rumors suggest the set will go for around $700, however, with $100 or so shaved off if you opt for a tablet without the accompanying dock.