The Many Faces of Asus's Android Tablets

Is there a different way to design a tablet? If so, Asus is going to find it! Their new Android slabs are all special snowflakes—including the QWERTY keyboard-hiding, Tegra 2- and Android 3.0-equipped Eee Pad Slider.

There will be tablets aplenty at this year's CES, and Asus's strategy is basically trying a bunch of different stuff and seeing what sticks. Which is commendable, in a way! They've got three Android tablets in their brood.

Eee Pad Slider

The most intriguing? The Eee Pad Slider, a 10.1" tablet that hides a QWERTY keyboard a la the Dell Inspiron Duo. It'll run Android 3.0 Honeycomb and has an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. And, crucially, it's not gigantic! It's only half an inch thick, about the same as an iPad, and weighs 2.2 pounds, a bit more than the iPad. It's also got cameras on the front and back—1.2MP and 5MP with auto focus, respectively—and a mini USB port, a mini HDMI port, and a Micro SD card reader.

The Many Faces of Asus's Android Tablets

They had a little trouble sliding this apart on stage, but it looks impressively thin considering its hidden keyboard.

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Here's what their fully-skinned Android UI, which they're calling My Wave, looks like:

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Eee Pad Transformer

The Eee Pad Transformer, another presto-changeo tablet, also has the full keyboard—though instead of sliding like the Sliders, this one is detachable. The tablet part has the guts—a Tegra 2 processor, dual cameras (1.2MP and 5MP), and a 32GB SSD with 1GB of memory—though adding the keyboard doubles the battery life up to a reported 16 hours. This one, too, will have Android 3.0, though we'll see how well it pulls off the pad-mode/docked-mode balancing act.

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Here's the Transforming being yanked apart:

The Many Faces of Asus's Android Tablets

The Many Faces of Asus's Android Tablets

And that's not all!

Eee Pad Memo

The Many Faces of Asus's Android Tablets

The Eee Pad MeMO measures up at a is-it-a-phone-or-is-it-a-tablet 7 inches, it's got a Snapdragon processor, 1.2MP and 5MP front and back cameras, and can make calls and send texts with a Bluetooth MeMic accessory. It's been optimized for use with a capacitive stylus, and Asus is showing off apps that take advantage of things like handwriting and drawing.

The Many Faces of Asus's Android Tablets

And here are the prices and availability for the whole set:

The Many Faces of Asus's Android Tablets