Undercutting the iPad: ASUS Offers First $400 Honeycomb Tablet
Someone has finally managed to truly beat the iPad in the tablet price war. Rejoice Android Honeycomb fans! The upcoming ASUS Eee Pad Transformer has shown up in the Best Buy online store for $400.
So far, no manufacturer has been able to go below Apple's iPad pricing structure. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is the first 10-inch tablet to be significantly less expensive than a comparable iPad (16GB Wi-Fi-only). Samsung has promised its 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab will be $469 , but the ASUS tablet has the same size screen as an iPad and is fully $100 cheaper.
The Eee Pad Transformer is no slouch, either. It has an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Aside from the relatively small (but still adequate for many users) storage capacity, it's actually as powerful — or more so — than other Honeycomb tablets on the market. And the Transformer name comes from the keyboard dock (purchased separately) that basically turns the tablet into a netbook.
All specs aside, Honeycomb has a much smaller app market than the iPad, and the iPad has more than adequate hardware, too. But the Transformer's price makes the first solid argument for choosing an Android tablet over an iPad.
ASUS is already well-known as a manufacturer that consistently undercuts the competition in pricing, so it's not surprising to see them doing the same thing in the tablet market. The important thing here is that a manufacturer has broken through the $500 tablet barrier that has taunted Android device makers. Google's open-source mobile operating system was supposed to lower the cost of devices. Up until now, Apple was still able to undercut them. Hopefully, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer will pave the way for even better tablet prices.