Tablets with keyboards are all the rage these days, with high-profile devices like the Microsoft Surface and maybe even Apple's iPad gaining keyboards in on way or another.

But Asus was one of the original OEMs to experiment with keyboard peripherals for tablets, and on Friday the Taiwanese company announced that the Transformer Pad TF300TL, a new addition to its arsenal of keyboard-equipped tablets, would be coming to the U.S.

The Transformer Pad TF300TL is the obvious successor to the Transformer Pad TF300T, which itself followed closely in the Transformer Pad 300's footsteps.

The TF300TL is coming to the U.S. for the first time after launching first in Germany and Austria in August.

Asus's new Transformer Pad TF300TL will launch with Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich, despite its predecessor the TF300T already running on Android 4.1: Jelly Bean.

Besides that minor disappointment, though, the just-announced tablet is an impressive specimen from Asus, most notably adding LTE support to the Transformer Pad line's solid design.

Lablet? Taptop? Here are the specs

The Asus Transformer Pad TF300TL is, like its predecessors, what we like to call a "lablet" or "taptop."

In other words, it's a tablet/laptop hybrid; it starts as a tablet but can be easily transformed into a laptop with the addition of an optional keyboard peripheral.

Equipped with Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the TF300TL should have more than decent horsepower.

That's augmented by a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display, 8- and 1.2-megapixel rear and front cameras, respectively, a reported nine hours of battery life, LTE capabilities (with an AT&T data plan), a microSD slot, Bluetooth, a microHDMI port, and either 16GB or 32GB of storage.

Pricing and release

Asus revealed that the Transformer Pad TF300TL will cost $449 for the 16GB model and $499 for 32GB.

In addition, the optional mobile dock accessory adds the keyboard and another five hours of battery life for an extra $149.

Both the tablet and the mobile dock come in the patriotic hues of "royal blue," "iceberg white," and "torch red."

And Asus has confirmed to TechRadar that the Transformer Pad TF300TL is available now in the US.

Via TechHive, Asus