With the iPad 2 very much leading the way in 2011, both Samsung and Motorola have done their best to present a challenge with the Galaxy Tab and XOOM respectively.

Today, ASUS announced details of it’s contender for some Tablet market share – the EeePad Transformer.

They’re sticking with the Eee naming – which started with the EeePC which was that revolutionary tiny PC, now known as the Netbook and itself a whole market sector.

So, what does the EeePad have to offer? Click Continue Reading for details…

First up, the good news is, this EeePad is not trying to look like every other tablet.  It’s brown in colour, a metallic brown with a rough surface which makes for something different compared to the rest.

ASUS EeePad Transformer - Docking

Holding the Tablet itself – well, it’s much a muchness when compared to other Android devices.  Certainly didn’t feel as slick as the XOOM – likely down to processor power, however, performance you won’t notice in day to day use I believe.

ASUS showed of a cool ‘active desktop’ which uses all the sensors in the device to show a ‘water level’ across the screen – kinda like “that beer app” you’ve all seen by now.  However, the cool thing here is that water level is actually the battery level! Genius!

It’s running Android 3.0, with 3.1 coming soon.  The only thing I noticed in my quick look was the back/home/recent app buttons in the bottom left of screen are very different icons to the Galaxy and XOOM – so they must be customisable by the maker.

It’s WiFi only at this stage, with a 3G version coming later in the year.

So, what is on offer?  For $599 you’ll get the ASUS EeePad Transformer – an android tablet which is slick, and good looking – 16Gig of space.

But that’s no transformer!  To get the ‘transformation’ on that device, you’ll have to wait a month or two and pay somewhere up to $200 for the ‘add on keyboard’.

ASUS EeePad Transformer - Keyboard Dock

Don’t waste your time – spend $799 now and get the 32Gig EeePad Transformer, and for that price you get the keyboard attachment.

So what is this transformation?  It’s essentially the bottom half of a Netbook.  Keyboard, battery and external connectivity.  It really is quite smart.  Take the tablet, click it into place.  There are three points of contact, two are clips to hold it in place, the one in the centre is the data connectivity.

You’ll get 8 hours battery life with the Tablet alone.  Place it into the dock/keyboard and you’ll get an additional 8 hours, so as a ‘netbook’, you’re looking at 16 hours battery life.

As a netbook or tablet, it’s a touchscreen device – with full 10 point multi-touch capability.

When docked, it’s essentially a touch screen netbook.  And as far as netbooks go, this is a great device.

ASUS EeePad Transformer

However, is this a tablet market dominator?  Not likely.  I just can’t help but think that Android tablets need to be dramatically lower in price.  Like the PC has been to the Mac.  This is a battle, and don’t let anyone tell you ‘Android’ is winning, no single device is even coming near the single Apple iPad as a device.

As an operating system, they’ve made something very worthwhile, and while Google have ChroomeBook aspirations, the ASUS EeePad Transformer is a demonstration that this Android system as it stands can challenge Windows for the Netbook market – that’s what needs to happen.