The EEE Pad Transformer is perhaps the first real Honeycomb tablet to be released, if you ignore the Xoom that cheated its way to that spot by releasing without all the parts or all the software in place. Price-wise it’s been rumored to start at $400, which is an insanely low price compared to the Xoom which even now is only at $600 for the cheapest model. The Transformer is beginning to pop up here in Europe, and it seems that the rumors were true.
When you compare prices between the US and Europe you can’t just use a currency calculator as the difference in buying power is also different, meaning that everything is more expensive here because we also have more money. The important thing for Americans reading this is therefore how the tablet is priced compared to the iPad, as that is a much bigger indication of what it will cost in the US. In the UK the 16GB model (Wifi only) is priced a £379, a little less than the £399 16GB iPad 2. Here in Norway though, the 16GB model isn’t listed yet, and instead there’s a 32GB model Wifi only model going for as little as 3949 NOK, just slightly north of the pricing for the 16GB iPad 2 at $3890. In comparison, the 32GB model is £429 in the UK. The pricing for the 16GB Wifi model with the keyboard dock is £429 in the Uk and 4379 in Norway. What this means is that for the price of a 16GB Wifi iPad 2 and a Smart Cover, you can grab a Honeycomb tablet with a keyboard dock that has the same capacity, same connectivity, higher screen resolution at 1280×800, twice the RAM, an SDHC slot and a 5Mpix camera. Though the tablet’s own battery life is slightly lower at 8 hours, the dock actually has a battery too, making the battery life 16 hours in tablet mode. Not a bad deal at all!
This also means that the Transformer is likely to start at the rumored $399 (or perhaps $449) in the US, with a keyboard dock around the $499 mark. By the time you make it up to the $600 Xoom you should not only have the 32GB version and the dock, but also an SD card and a case. At these prices, I’m seriously tempted to pick up a 16GB model with a dock myself! The tablet should start shipping in Europe in April.
UPDATE: Best Buy had the 16GB Transformer listed for a short while for $400, until it got pulled. Details here.