304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
ASUS’ official Facebook page has been updated with more details of next week’s launch of the Eee Transformer 10.1inch Android tablet with detachable keyboard dock. And oh dear, it’s much more expensive than we’d hoped. Or is it?
Rumours doing the rounds were that ASUS would release the Transformer for less than £400. If it had done so, providing build quality was up to spec, this could very well have been the iPad killer we’ve been waiting for. Instead, though, the price on the Facebook page is £499 – £100 more and, we suspect, for a base model with WiFi only and no 3G modem.
However, all is not lost. ASUS is clearly aware of the fact that Android tablets need to compete harder on price than they have been doing so far, and the Facebook page is dominated by a big button asking if you’d like to see it available for less. The countdown appears to be a pastiche of bid-down shopping channels, promising that if people vote (which means signing up for a Facebook app) the price will drop.
Hope that means that next Wednesday ASUS will give us a big and pleasant surprise by chopping £100 off and making the Transformer a no-brainer. In the meantime, this is social media marketing doing its stuff – there’s even a viral video on the same page riffing on Big Bang Theory to encourage linkthroughs.