We got a chance to spend a few minutes playing around with a couple of prototypes of Asus' Eee Pads at the Mobile World Congress and  although it was clear that these models were far from production ready units, Asus will have something on offer that none of its competitors currently has. The big selling point of both the Eee Pad Transformer and the Eee Pad Slider is the fact that they have near full size QWERTY keyboards which makes them productivity devices and not just consumption devices.

We got a chance to spend a few minutes playing around with a couple of prototypes of Asus' Eee Pads at the Mobile World Congress and  although it was clear that these models were far from production ready units, Asus will have something on offer that none of its competitors currently has. The big selling point of both the Eee Pad Transformer and the Eee Pad Slider is the fact that they have near full size QWERTY keyboards which makes them productivity devices and not just consumption devices.

In as much as we don't believe that Android will replace full-fat OSes any day soon, being able to use a tablet for proper typing without having to carry a Bluetooth keyboard around with you is a boon to us. That said, in the case of the Eee Pad Transformer, you can of course decide to leave the keyboard at home and just take the tablet part with you. The obvious advantage here is that Asus offers a battery pack that fits inside the keyboard half and which we were told will extend the battery life to about 15h.

The Eee Pad Transformer also has the largest keyboard of the two and we'd say it's on par with the best netbooks out there, even in this early hardware state and hopefully Asus will be able to further improve upon it. As for the hardware, well, we don't have a ton of details to add to what's already known, but both the Eee Pad Transformer and Slider are powered by Nvidia's Tegra 250 SoC. Asus' own UI on top of Android will be used on all of the models and Asus said that it will be using the same UI on future Android smartphones as well.

Sadly the two Eee Pad Slider units on the show that we saw were not fully operational as the first one wouldn't switch on and the second one seemed to have a broken touch screen, so it was impossible to unlock the screen. That said, the keyboard sliding mechanism might be a concern here as well, at least in its current state as it was near enough impossible to open the keyboard on one of the units. The keyboard itself is smaller than on the Eee Pad Transformer, but still perfectly usable.

The third and final Android tablet is the Eee Pad MeMO, but sadly Asus didn't have a working unit on display. This is also the model that is expected to launch last of the three models. The Eee Pad Transformer is expected to arrive sometime in April with the Eee Pad Slider set to follow in May. For those that can't wait until then, Asus should be unveiling it's 12-inchv Eee Slate EP121 with a ULV Core i3 processor within the next month or so, although this is a Windows 7 tablet/notebook rather than a low power ARM based Android tablet.