iPad 2 Rival Alert : Asus Eee Pad Slider goes on Preorder

The Eee Pad Slider, the hybrid tablet notebook, has gone on preorder at Expansys for £445 and reportedly at Currys and PCWorld as well for as little as £430.

The device comes with an integrated slide-out keyboard and can be considered to be an upgrade to the popular Asus EEE Pad Transformer with which it shares a few common traits.

Launched in January 2011 at CES, the Slider has a dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 clocked at 1.2GHz (up from 1GHz on the Transformer), 1GB RAM, 32GB internal storage (up from 16GB on the Transformer), a front facing camera and a rear five megapixel one, a 10.1-inch 1280x800 pixel LCD touchscreen, a 2260mAh battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mini USB, mini HDMI and a microSD card slot.

At 886g and measuring 17.7mm thick, it is significantly heavier and chubbier than normal tablets but then, none of the others come with a keyboard. We don't know whether Asus will release a 3G version of the device soon (although you'd be better off getting a Mi-Fi device instead) or if there will be an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in the near future.

It will be interesting to see whether Asus brings out an ultrabook version of this tablet, one that doesn't necessarily have the clever hinged keyboard or the capacitive touchscreen but keeps the rest of the hardware intact.