ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and Slider: another look

Remember those eccentric ASUS Android tablets at CES? Yeah, it's all a bit of a blur for us as well, but turns out both the Eee Pad Transformer and Slider prototypes just made it to the BETT (British Educational Training and Technology) Show in London this morning, so we decided to wander along to get our hands dirty again. Sadly, the Transformer had a bit of a rough ride from Vegas and remained dormant, but we were still able to admire its sturdy keyboard dock with great key press travel. And in case you've forgotten, said dock is also an external battery that doubles the juice up to 16 hours. UK shoppers will see this slate popping up in the stores around May or June for £379 ($597), and its docking kit for £100 ($158).

We were more fortunate with the functioning Slider prototype, even though it had the same sliding issue we saw at CES. But fear not, as we were told that the engineers are already reworking the mechanism, and here's hoping that they'll do something about the flexing keyboard as well. As for software, we didn't have time to test everything, but we were surprised by the general snappiness of the current Froyo test build. And speaking of which, we're not too sure what the plan is with ASUS' Android roadmap -- even though we were told at CES that Honeycomb will be on these tablets at launch, the folks we met today said that they'll be shipped with Gingerbread instead; and even then, there's no time frame for the 3.0 upgrade just yet. Anyhow, this is less of a concern for the Slider given its July or August launch, but it'll cost you a hefty £429 ($676).

Additionally, both tablets will see their 3G variants in the UK a quarter after their respective launches, but regardless, it's never too soon to start a petition for your carrier to spread the ASUS tablet fever.