In 2010, Apple re-wrote the rules of gadgetry once again with the release of the iPad, its wildly successful touch-screen tablet computer. The company released the sleeker, more powerful iPad 2 a year later, but into a much more crowded field. After all, other computer makers weren't going to stand on the sidelines while Apple singlehandedly dominated the new tablet market.
One of those competitors is ASUS (pronounced ā -SOOS), a Taiwan-based tech company that made its name in motherboards before jumping into the notebook and netbook sector. Its first foray into tablet computing is the Eee Pad Transformer, a direct shot across the bow of the iPad 2. The Transformer is similar in size and functionality to the iPad 2, but at a price point that starts $100 lower than the market leader.
The results have been impressive, by non-Apple standards. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer officially became the second-best selling tablet in June 2011, selling 400,000 units in the first six months of the year [source: Poeter]. The Transformer outpaced other tablet offerings like the Motorola Xoom and the RIM PlayBook, but still fell far (far) short of Apple, which sold a ridiculous 7.5 million iPad devices in the second quarter of 2011 alone.
ASUS has already piggybacked on the early success of the Eee Pad Transformer, which runs the Android 3.0 operating system, with a higher-end tablet called the Eee Slate, a Windows 7 machine with an Intel processor that retails for $1,200 -- three times as much as the more budget-minded Transformer.
On the next page, we'll explore the specs of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer.