ASUS Eee Pad Transformer now on pre-order. Could’ve been done better we think

The Malaysian launch of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is certainly out of the ordinary to say the least.

After creating some considerable buzz about its Honeycomb tablet with a countdown page on Facebook, ASUS Malaysian had gone and shoot themselves in the foot with a lackluster launch event that wasn’t a launch at all. The event was more of an announcement as no units were immediately available for purchase.

As if that wasn’t weird enough, ASUS opened pre-orders for the Eee Pad a day after the product was announced. We felt that it would be better to do pre-orders before you actually launch the product and have the product ready for purchase on the day of launch. It’s so much more conducive that way.

Then pre-order itself is messy. Firstly, instead of having a proper website to capture customer information for better management of stocks etc., ASUS Malaysia organised the pre-order on its Facebook fan page. To pre-order you need to type the following: “I Love Eee Pad Transformer! I want to pre-order the tablet now”.

There is no mention if variations of this sentence will be accepted as a legit pre-order or not and we’re not sure if it will be.

To pre-order head on over to this page. It’s no surprise to see that the page has more questions than actual pre-orders. The whole process is very confusing to a lot of people and it’s poorly executed.

The first 150 to pre-order will get a free Eee Pad Leather sleeve, though it does not state if ASUS will still take pre-orders after the first 150 units have been taken up.

A customer is only allowed to purchase one tablet at RM1,498 for the 16GB WiFi version. There is no mention of the availability of the keyboard dock which odd as it is the dock that makes the Eee Pad Transformer…a transformer in the first place. So no word on when the keyboard dock will be available.

Confirmation of the pre-order is done via Facebook private message and email. Customers are required to give their IC number to validate the pre-order.

You can only collect your Eee Pad on Saturday May 28 at Mid Valley (yes, there’s only ONE collection point) To add to that, collection can only be done from 11am -12PM. Yes, you have ONE hour to collect your pre-ordered Eee Pad. If you miss this one hour window your Eee Pad will be put up for sale to the public. Payment can be made via card or cash payment.

The thing is, having just one collection point is going to pose a problem for those who are interested in the device but are staying outside of the Klang Valley.

So what are the advantages of the pre-order then? A part form the free leather sleeve, we don’t much benefits. If you are interested in the Eee Pad, you might as well just skip the pre-order and go to Mid Valley on May 28 and take your chances there.

Not to mention there are roadshows or demo stations for people to try out the Eee Pad. This is ASUS’ first Android tablet and for most people it’s a big gamble plonking RM1,499 for a device they have not seen in real life let alone try out.

So after all this will you still go through the pre-order process to get the device?

For us, we were actually looking forward the Eee Pad. We even sold off one of our iPad 2s to make room for this device but after all this. We’re not to sure anymore. And it’s sad really. The Eee Pad Transformer has been getting some great review. The specs of the device are good and the price is right, but if ASUS Malaysia is doing such a piss poor job at marketing the device we’re not too sure if the after sales support is any better.