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The world's love affair with tablets may have been bubbling along under the surface for a while, but it really got started in earnest during CES 2010. Back in those wild days, you could see 15-inch jumbo screens, TV tuners, and even hybrid pseudo-laptops stalking the tablet area of your favorite trade show. ASUS was there too, of course, though it still believed in the upstart smartbook category -- a modernized take on the netbook that relied on an ARM CPU and a mobile OS to extract more battery life out of a lighter, thinner device -- and was busy showing off a seductively slim prototype of just such a machine. Alas, nothing came of that Neo concept, most likely because it was relying on Android 1.6 and a Tegra 2 system-on-chip that was then still months away from hitting the market.


Today, however, is a different day. The 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 is finally being produced in volume, Google has evolved Android to version 3.0, specifically targeting higher-resolution displays, and ASUS has abandoned the idea that a keyboard is crucial to mobile computing. No, wait, that last bit's still there. The Eee Pad Transformer is a 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet very much in keeping with the current trend, but it also has an optional keyboard dock that turns it into a, you guessed it, instant smartbook. So, does that mean you'll get two devices in one or has ASUS been overly ambitious and compromised too much? We got to grips with the £380 16GB WiFi-only model and its keyboard buddy (£430 when bought as a pair) in an effort to find out. Answers await just past the break.
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I love the part during the pinch to zoom where he is clearly using a third and fourth finger during it and says it stuttering. Cannot decide whether hes doing it on purpose or is just really uncoordinated.