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Asus Eee Pad Slider

Asus Eee Pad Slider

Tablet meets netbook - becomes smartbook

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Hands On The smartbook is the great 'might have been' of mobile computing. Something thin and light, with solid-state storage, a keyboard, a day-long battery life and the ARM CPU that makes such a quality possible, and a price in keeping with the Small, Cheap Computer ethic.

Killed by the iPad? Killed the absence of the right chips and operating systems? All the above?

Asus Eee Pad Slider

Asus' Eee Pad Slider: starts off as a tablet...

Maybe not, because Asus may have hit the sweet spot with its Eee Pad Slider, an interesting box of tricks I recently managed to spend a brief time with.

Folded flat, the slider looks like any other tablet - even if, at 17.7mm thick, it's a wee bit more portly than the 13.4mm iPad and almost double the iPad 2's 8.8mm front-to-back dimension.

But hold the front and lever the back up, and Slider expands to reveal a full Qwerty keyboard. That's a trick that makes the 17.7mm thickness more of an achievement.

Asus Eee Pad Slider

...becomes a smartbook at the flip of a switch

At just under 900g, the Slider weighs a little more than an iPad too, but the extra 170-odd grams is hardly a killer. And, let's not forget, the slider has a larger screen, a 10.1in, 1280 x 800 IPS LCD capacitive panel, to be exact.

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