ASUS Eee Pad Transformer to cost $599

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer will start at $599 or $799 with keyboard dock included
ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet will start at $599

ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet will start at $599

ASUS has today announced local pricing details for its Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet, pricing it significantly higher in Australia than in the US.

Read our detailed preview of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, and check out our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

Available from tomorrow through mass retailers including Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer will set Aussies back $599 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, and $799 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model with optional keyboard dock included. The keyboard dock accessory is yet to be priced locally, but is likely to sell for $199, an ASUS spokesperson said this morning.

The ASUS Eee Pad launched in the US in late-April starting at US$399 for the 16GB model without the keyboard dock. The same model will sell for $599 in Australia.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is targeted at tablet users who "want the flexibility of easier typing". Its unique, detachable keyboard dock accessory turns the tablet into a traditional notebook-style device. The Eee Pad Transformer's keyboard dock has two USB ports, an SD card slot and a trackpad, as well as its own built-in battery that ASUS says offers an additional six and half hours of use. If both the tablet and the keyboard dock batteries are fully charged, the Eee Pad Transformer will draw power from the keyboard dock first.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer has a 10.1in screen manufactured from "gorilla glass" that ASUS says makes it scratch resistant. The device runs the latest version of Google's Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' software, which has specifically been designed for tablets. Key features of Android 3.0 Honeycomb include tabbed Web browsing, support for 3D graphics, added enterprise features like encrypted storage, a redesigned on-screen keyboard, and a new interface that aims to take advantage of the larger-sized tablet screen. The Eee Pad Transformer also supports Adobe Flash Player for viewing Web video.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is powered by a 1GHz dual-core, NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, has 1GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of internal memory. It also has two digital cameras on board: a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera that acts as a webcam for video calls, and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear that takes still photos and records standard definition video.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is initially a Wi-Fi-only tablet, though ASUS says a version with 3G connectivity is likely to come at a later, unannounced date in Q3 of this year.