It became clear to us when using the Eee Pad Slider that Asus isn't going after quite the same market as the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It's too heavy and too thick to be in quite the same bracket, because of its keyboard.
But as an alternative to a small laptop, it really comes into its own. Suddenly it seems small, and light. Fast, too, compared many lower-powered Windows 7 machines. It even comes with a great office suite ready to go. This is a tablet for the office, the desk at home, or the briefcase, and it really works.
The screen is absolutely brilliant, which is always the first thing you want to see a tablet get right.
The same goes for the touch control and overall performance. Though smoothness in the browser and some other areas isn't quite as perfect as the iPad, this is a more than capable machine.
The way the keyboard slides out puts the screen at an ideal angle for on a desk or your lap – something that's clearly been thought through. And the keyboard itself is pretty good for a small mobile offering; good enough to write this review on.
The included apps are very useful, but quite understated, too. It's not bloatware – this is a great suite to have available from the off.
The only real disappointment with the Eee Pad Slider is the battery life. It's well below the likes of the iPad, and we'd hoped for better. As we said before, though, it holds its own against the kind of laptops it's most likely to replace, so it's not a deal breaker.
Similarly, it's chunkier and heavier than other leading tablets, which is a shame, but inevitable when you consider the extra mechanics and casing required for its two halves. And again, it compares favourably to laptops.
Our other gripes are only very minor foibles, really.
The keyboard is still harder to use than a full-size one, even if it's very good overall. Some people may never find it comfortable, but this is true of all small keyboards.
Android still needs some spit and polish here and there – hopefully Android 4.0 will bring at least some of that, and we're really looking forward to seeing the Slider with future versions of Android on.
As a tablet, this is a slightly flawed gem with a gimmick that not only makes it stand out, but makes it genuinely useful.
But as a laptop replacement, this is nippy, light, versatle and hugely desirable. As tablets increasingly become work tools, we fully expect the Eee Pad Slider to be right at the forefront of the revolution, thanks to its smooth performance, stunning screen, handy software and more-than-adequate keyboard.