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Asus slips out keyboard equipped Android tablet

Bridge to laptop land?

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CES 2011 Asus has outed its Android tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), including one that cannily solves the problem of typing quickly on a touchscreen: it has a drop-down physical Qwerty deck.

Asus Eee Pad Slider

That's the Eee Pad Slider, and it's joined by the Eee Pad Transformer and MeMO. Transformer and Slider both sport 10.1in, capacitive touchscreens, feature Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip under the bonnet and will run Android 3.0.

They also boast front- and rear-facing cameras - 1.2Mp and 5Mp, respectively - and mini HDMI portage. The Slider has on-board HSDPA 3G connectivity in addition to the Wi-FI both 10.1in tablets provide.

Asus Eee Pad Slider

All of this will be available on a host of tablets from other vendors too, but the Sliders drop-and-tilt keyboard is an interesting shift from the norm that may well see the device replacing a netbook for many users.

The Transformer has a physical keyboard too, but it's just a clip-on accessory not so very different from the Apple iPad's keyboard dock, though the Asus version sits the screen in landscape mode and comes bundled.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Why the strange mix of upper- and lower-case in its name we can't say, but we can say the MeMO is a 7in Android 3.0 tablet that comes with both a capacitive touchscreen and a stylus "for taking handwritten notes".

It's based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip.

Asus Eee Pad MeMO

Asus didn't say when we'll be able to get out mitts on these machines - it's waiting for Google to get Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb, out first.

There's no word yet on pricing, either.

Asus also showed off its Windows 7-based Eee Slate EP121 at CES. ®

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