While many tablet makers don’t seem pleased with initial sales of their iPad competitors, Asus may have a hit on its hands with its Eee Pad Transformer, an Android tablet that comes with a full keyboard dock that also extends battery life to 16 hours, all for $550. The tablet debuted in April, and has been sold out at many retailers ever since. Forbes sat down with Asus Chairman Jonney Shih, who said that the company is already hard at work on a new version of the Transformer, hinting that it could incorporate Nvidia’s upcoming quad-core Kal-El processor (Tegra 3) and ship sometime later this year. At the very least, Shih confirmed that it will be publicly shown before year-end.
The current Eee Pad Transformer continues to climb in sales. In June, Asus shipped 300,000 of the tablets, and that number grew to 400,000 in July as the company continues to ramp up production to handle demand. “Other companies have cut down their [manufacturing] orders,” said Shih. “The Transformer is the only one that is increasing.”
In the meantime, the company will finally launch the Eee Pad Slider in the coming months, a 10.1-inch Android tablet with a slide-out-and-tilt keyboard–another first of its kind. It also plans to take on the 7-inch and 3D markets simultaneously with the Eee Pad MeMo. The slider will debut in August or Early September (Ads have already begun appearing), while the MeMo should hit shelves later this year.
We’ve considered buying an Eee Pad Transformer ourselves. Would you buy an Android tablet with a keyboard? Is it a feature that matters?