Oct 04 AT 2:06 PM Edgar Cervantes 36 Comments

ASUS: The “Fire” isn’t hot enough, Transformer 2 going for $499

Asus tablet with Tegra 3 and Intel processor

ASUS has been one of the toughest competitors in the tablet wars this year. Bringing one of the best Honeycomb tablets in the market at one of the cheapest prices has made quite a commotion within the Android community. And let’s not forget that software updates for the ASUS devices are coming in a constant, speedy manner.

A recent announcement has all manufacturers trembling, though. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is offering some great features at the low price of $200. This beats almost every major Android tablet out there, and manufacturers are hyper-aware of this threat. Both HTC and RIM have already dropped their prices for the HTC Flyer and the Blackberry Playbook. But, while ASUS is very proud of its affordability, it’s not letting the “Fire” burn their price tags.

Asustek CEO Jerry Shen has confirmed that ASUS does not plan to lower the price of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer anytime soon. In fact, ASUS is raising the price of the Transformer’s successor to $499. The Transformer 2 would cost $100 more than the current Transformer, which goes for $399.

ASUS is not scared of the competition that the Kindle Fire could bring. While the Kindle Fire offers a great product at its price, those who want a full tablet experience will go for a device like the Transformer 2. The 10-inch form-factor, full tablet OS (which will probably be Ice Cream Sandwich) and superior specs will have hardcore Android fans coming to manufacturers like ASUS.

Not only will this tablet probably be sporting the new Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, but rumors say it will also feature NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Hard core gamers will definitely want that processing power.

With the original ASUS Transformer’s success, the company is still planning to ship 1.5-2 million tablets. It seems ASUS is very sure of itself, right? With the Kindle Fire panicking every Android manufacturer out there, we’d like to know how you guys feel about this. Do you think manufacturers have something to worry about? Will Amazon’s $200 tablet satisfy your needs? Would you rather go for a Tegra 3, ICS, 10-inch device? Anyone planning to buy a Transformer 2? Heads up, we could be hearing about it during CTIA!

Via: Droid Life

Source: DigiTimes

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • Slith

    If they would have held the prices to $399, the Kindle would not have been as big an issue. Now, I am not so sure.

  • SoDark

    I am with asus on this one. ICS + tegra 3 + below 500 price tag will get my money for sure. Kindle fire seems to be a striped down android experience to me, and definitely not a full fledged tablet.

    • kazahani

      Stripped down experience? I bet they will have Cyanogen mod up and running on the Kindle Fire within a week of it’s launch…

      • SoDark

        oh thats true…wasn’t thinking about that…NOW that’s different!
        For me personally, I still prefer Kal-El tho.

      • daveloft

        Yeah with only 8GB of storage, only 512MB of RAM, no camera, no GPS, no microSD and no physical volume buttons.

        • kazahani

          For $200.

          I can’t afford to pay $500 – $800 for ANYTHING right now.

  • BiGMERF

    Epic mistake…

    • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

      i disagree and that doesnt happen often with you merf :D

      the new transformer cannot be compared to the fire. by no measure are they similar.

      the fire is to all intents and purposes a colour e-reader with apps. cool? yes. a threat toasus? i dont think so.

      the transformer is a highend machine. it’s the difference between buying a netbook for occasional browsing and buying an alienware laptop for gaming. two different markets.

  • poupoune

    Asus > Amazon
    I feel more confident putting my trust in AsusTek instead of Amazon for a tablet. AsusTek has experience and is known for its high quality product. Amazon might be cheap, but will it be as reliable as AsusTek ?

  • Interpol91

    I’ve been wanting a Tegra 3 tablet and this one could be it. I didn’t expect it to be $100 more than the original but it is an extremely nice upgrade. I’ll probably wait to see what other Tegra 3 tablets come out before I go rush out to buy it.

  • http://nickedynick.blogspot.com Nickedynick

    Couldn’t afford an original Transformer (despite almost convincing myself to the contrary) since I’d just started full time work. I’ll be very, very tempted by its big brother when it’s released though…

  • SliestDragon

    I’ve been waiting for this tablet, since I saw the first ASUS Transformer. This tablet is going to be amazing! :O

  • M0nk

    If the $500 price tag includes the keyboard, the price is good.
    If the keyboard will add $150 more to the price… Im going to pass

    I think that the combination of price and keyboard (Plus Asus good reputation) is what made the transformer a big seller. Even if you dont buy the keyboard at launch, you know that you have the option to add it later, and for me this was a BIG selling point

    • acupunc

      I agree. . . maybe I should pick up a transformer now while they are having good sales of the combo.
      I was waiting for the transformer 2 with tegra 3 but is that worth an extra $100 (now over $150 more with all the sales), cause what else are they going to add to make up for that price difference?

    • Edgar Cervantes

      We do not know the details, so don’t take my word for it. But the keyboard being included at that price seems unlikely. That keyboard is a pricey accessory. Unless ASUS is really trying to go all out, it does not seem likely that they will bring all the upgrades, as well as giving you a $150 accessory included.

      Who knows, though? ASUS is all about those more affordable prices…

    • Darkseider

      $500 too much for a 16 Gig Tegra 3 device? Are you serious? Where a base model iPad2 with a dual core A5 costs $499 you’re going to gripe about the price of a Transformer 2? You really need to re-examine things,

      • AppleFUD

        comparing to apple isn’t the wisest thing–they have THE highest markup on hardware.

        Asus is getting a free OS. They only need to tweak it. That saves them a lot, even if they dish a little to MS for IP BS.

        There is no reason Asus’ tablet should be the same price as the ipad. . . unless I feel like paying the apple tax.

        Your argument means we all should be paying $2,500 for laptops. . .

        Be serious.

  • uknowme

    Yes sir, I’m picking one up. Unless they screw it up. My biggest question is the keyboard dock going to more as well?

  • Josh

    There is a 100% chance I will buy one if the bootloader is unlocked, and they work out the screen issues that plagued early models of the original.

    If they lock or encrypt the bootloader, I’m not interested.

    • Stevo

      Those screens issues were worked out well back from today. It wont’ be an issue.

  • Wunako

    hmmm makes me wish i would have gotten that Buy Back on my Transformer back in July…. Oh well im very happy with my Transformer so im not too jealous like article says, Asus has my attn and gained another customer by their timely updates and quality product. I just hope they continue that even after the slide and TF2 comes out

  • EZC

    I think $499 price tag at this point is not going to work. The current transformer is attractive because the price are relatively cheap comparing to its competition. That is why it is flying off the shelves.

    Unless the competitors are selling the same spec at more than $499, I don’t believe Transformer 2 can fly of the shelves as quick as the first one. Don’t get me wrong though. Being the first with this spec will definitely give them the advantages. But, I just don’t think it will sell as well.

  • Vance

    As soon as the let me, I will be ordering the ASUS T2 and handing down my T1 to the Mrs. :)
    It’s a great device and has been a superb experience for me. I picked up the keyboard on Craigslist for $90 which also made me happy. I wonder if it will be compatible with the T2.. I assume it will.
    Having said all that, I also love what Kindle did with the Fire. I think it fills a nice niche for people on the cust of needing/wanting a full-featured, large form-factor tablet, and those looking for a convenient reader. I pre-ordered one for my Dad already, and I know he’ll be stoked when he unwraps it on Christmas morning :)

  • M3rc Nate

    Like always, the Tablet i get will need to hit specific specs. Which no tablet has hit yet IMO. Im talking USB port, HDMI port, Expandable memory port, a dock port would be nice, 10 inches, a good res, F/B camera, etc etc etc…

    However i think one will finally be created with the second gen tablets coming out (Xoom 2, Transformer 2, Samsung Tab 10.1 [2] )

    As for the price, like iv always said, if it has everything i want and is essentially promised future updates (aka it wont be left out in the cold after one minor OTA update) then i will pay a premium for it. Mainly because i see it like a laptop, i plan on buying it and keeping it for a long while, unlike a phone where you get a new one every 2 years so paying more than $200 feels like crap.

    • M3rc Nate

      Btw, does anyone know:

      Is the Xoom brand still going to be the “Google” employee tablet of choice? Meaning will the Xoom 2 be what the Google employees that make Android? So you would assume updates would come to the Xoom first?

  • Raptor

    $500 yea sure. Wasn’t it just one week ago when Toshiba wanted $400 for their 7″ ?

  • thaghost

    the kindle fire will make a lot of money for amazon but it will not be a top 5 tablet in my opinion.

  • mattcoz

    Makes sense, ASUS didn’t drop their gaming laptop prices to compete with netbooks, why would they charge less for a 10″ full featured Tegra 3 tablet because of a lower spec 7″ tablet with a more restrictive OS?

  • Paydrow

    If I’m buying a tablet it will be this one, or any full fledged ICS tablet, I pass on the Fire.

  • robert

    I don’t know I kind of like the fire for my wife and I like the transformer for myself . So its a win for both of them

  • jblah

    if they had only kept the $399 price point. i was really looking forward to getting the asus transformer 2 the moment it came out. does anyone know if the $499 that was mentioned was the price of the 32 GB or 16GB?

    If it is for the 16 GB then I have a debate on my hands.

  • GOMER

    asus for me. i want the complete android experience

  • LEKO

    499$ for 16Gb WITH docking would be nice!

    If it’s 499$ for 16Gb without docking and they are the only one to offer the Tegra3, this may be justifiable, but if we see a lot of Tegra3 tablets, the price will/may probably go down.

    Can’t wait to see this tablet!

    And the Amazon Kindle Fire, is not in the same league, but it’s a winner too!

  • MsrTransformer

    These two devices are not comparable. One is a color reader with apps, the other is a Transformer (read: tablet/keyboard combo). Not to mention the screen size and power. The fire is cool and all, but it’s not a compareable tablet.

    As for everyone complaining about the price tag going up. You can still get the original TF for 399. This is an upgrade (just like upgrading your laptop to a quad core), so you will pay the premium, or wait for 6 months – 1 yr for it to drop. That’s what we get for buying cutting edge.

    The keyboard will be the same keyboard I’m sure, so it will stick at the same price tag and likely be backwards compatible (or exactly the same). They won’t increase the price on it, for the same functionality (it is not an upgrade). Why change the KB specs, it rocks!

    Also, they would never include a $150 accessory (kb) with the tablet. You don’t HAVE to buy the keyboard, it’s a powerful accessory. What other tab comes with a KB?

    As for comparing the TF 2 to apple, as to “I’ll buy an iPad for the same price”. If you are an Apple fan, you will buy a iPad regardless. This is entirely preferential. iPad 3 quad core will be out by Xmas.

  • Rosh

    it makes sense if they don’t keep the 399$ price tag, but if they raised it to 449$… I wouldn’t hesitate for one moment !
    but then again,if they give it a ‘retina’ display… then asus would be defiantly the winner
    just have to wait and see i guess…

  • Kainoah

    Will be buying the transformer 2 RIGHT when I get the money!!! Been waiting for this tablet ever since it was leaked! Wanted to first transformer, didnt have the money, then heard there was gonna be a second with a tegra 3 processor and decided to wait!