The Asus Eee Pad Slider is finally available for pre-order in the US, with a starting price of $479. That makes this tablet with a built-in, slide-out keyboard about $80 more expensive than the Eee Pad Transformer tablet, but about $20 less than an entry-level Apple iPad 2.
Asus first introduced the Slider at CES in January, along with the Transformer and several other tablets. But while the Transformer has been available for a few months, the Slider has yet to ship in the US.
On paper, the two tablets have nearly identical specs, including a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, and Google Android 3.2 operating system. The key difference is that Asus sells an optional keyboard accessory for the Transformer that transforms the tablet into a sort of Android laptop for $150, while the Slider has a keyboard built into the device.
But while the Transformer keyboard dock has a trackpad and an independent battery, the Slider keyboard is just a keyboard.
For $479 you can pre-order the Eee Pad Slider with 16GB of storage from Amazon. Or you can get a 32GB model for $579.