Asus to ship quad-core Transformer Pad 300 tablet on April 22

Asus' Transformer Pad 300 tablet has Android 4.0 and 4G LTE

Asus' latest Transformer Pad 300 will start shipping in the U.S. on April 22, the company said Friday. The tablet is being pitched as a laptop replacement with 4G LTE network capabilities.

The new Transformer Pad will have a 10.1-inch screen and use a quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia. It will run Google's latest Android 4.0 operating system, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich.

An Asus spokeswoman said prices will be revealed April 22. However, retailer BJs is taking preorders for a US$399 model with 32GB of storage and 1GB of memory.

Asus has wiped out the "Eee" moniker from its tablets, a brand that debuted in 2007 with its pioneering Eee PC 700 netbook. The new tablet succeeds the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, which was the first tablet to ship with a quad-core processor. The new tablet brings some of the same features to users but at a lower starting price, Asus said in an email.

The tablet offers 10 hours of battery life, which can be extended to 15 hours with an additional battery in an optional keyboard dock. The dock makes the tablet a fully functional laptop, and Android-specific buttons provide quick access to certain functions.

The tablet display shows images at a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. The mobile connectivity options with the tablet include Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G LTE.

The tablet has a 1.2-megapixel front camera and an 8-megapixel rear camera. It also has a micro-HDMI port so the tablet can be connected to TVs, and one microSD card reader for expanded storage.

The Transformer Pad 300 was introduced at the Mobile World Congress show in late February. The company also introduced the Transformer Pad Infinity tablet at the show, which had similar specifications to the Pad 300, but a higher-resolution, 1920-by-1200-pixel, 10.1-inch display.

A growing number of Android 4.0 devices are becoming available. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 will be available on April 22, with a 10.1-inch model shipping on May 13. Many Android 4.0 tablets under $250 are also available.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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