While Taiwan and the U.K. have already seen the release of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, the U.S. release has been delayed until the end of April, with supply shortages due to higher than expected demand apparently to blame. With a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS LED back-lit, capacitive multi-touch display, micro SD card slot, front- and rear-facing cameras, USB and HDMI ports, 1GB of RAM and powered by a 1Ghz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, the Eee Pad Transformer, which runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), is seen by many as the first serious Android challenger to the iPad's dominance.

But aside from the specs, it's the US$399.99 price tag of the 16GB Wi-Fi model Transformer that undercuts the price of the new 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 by $100 that could also help sway consumers away from Apple's device. Throw an optional portable docking station into the mix that provides a full QWERTY chiclet keyboard, an extra two USB ports, a touchpad, 3.5 mm audio jack, an SD card reader and ups the tablet's eight hour battery life to 16 hours, and its easy to see why the Eee Pad Transformer is generating some excitement in Android circles.

The 16GB Wi-Fi ASUS Eee Pad Transformer will be available in the U.S. through Best Buy and other retailers at the end of April for US$399.99. There's no word on the price of the optional dock that turns the tablet into a netbook or a release date for the 32GB model as yet.

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