ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Review
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Tablet Strengths
- 10.1-inch capacitive multi-touch screen with IPS – this means you have a highly responsive screen that is bright and colourful and reacts to swipes and taps. It also has very good viewing angles so it’s vibrant and there’s no drop off in contrast when you’re looking at it from an angle. This is comparable to the best screens on the market for tablets.
- Screen pixel resolution is strong with 1280 by 800 pixels. This means the images are sharp.
- Powerful processor with 1GB or RAM so happily runs Android 3.0 and can deal with high-definition video and decent web browsing.
- Runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the latest tablet-optimised operating system from Google. The processor is strong enough to run this and will run more than one app simultaneously without a marked drop in performance.
- Mini-HDMI port allows you to get a HDMI cable and connect the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer to your high-definition TV so you can watch what’s on your tablet’s screen but on the big screen too. This is particularly good for watching web TV such as YouTube videos or other Internet TV services.
- 1.2-Megapixel front facing WebCam allows you to video chat and 5-Megapixel camera on the rear allows you to take high-definition home movies and stills. Video quality is pretty good but don’t expect the stills to be comparable to your own camera.
- GPS and E-Compass allow you to use mapping applications along the lines of SatNav.
- Excellent battery life – rates at 9 hours playing HD video on a single charge. You can buy the additional docking station/keyboard which provides a further 6.5 hours of battery life.
- 16GB memory allows you to store a reasonable level of files on the tablet but you can also extend the memory by an additional 32GB if you buy a MicroSD card. The MicroSD card will slot into the Eee Pad Transformer and you can then store even more files on this such as music, video and documents.
- Option to buy the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer with a detachable keyboard/docking station. This allows you to effectively transform it into a netbook PC. Having a physical keyboard makes writing long documents much easier than tapping away at the virtual on-screen keyboard. When you want the flexibility of a tablet this keyboard can be removed and you have a light-weight mobile tablet again. You can buy the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer as just a tablet and buy the keyboard later if you want.
- Optional detachable keyboard dock also comes with 2 USB ports (for loading/saving files to a memory stick or attaching peripheral devices such as a mouse) and a SD card reader so you can load your photos directly from your camera SD memory card.
- Range of sensors included such as an accelerometer and gyroscope will react to each twist and turn of the tablet. This makes the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer a great gaming device as you’ll be able to control the on-screen action by moving the tablet.
- Full Adobe Flash compatibility so you can access content on the web that is created using the Flash technology so this included videos, animation and games. When you maximise YouTube high-definition video to the full screen it can stutter – this is more of a Android 3.0 issue than the Eee Pad Transformer.
- Price is cheap for a premium tablet compared with other Android 3.0 tablets.
- Android Market is available directly on the Eee Pad Transformer. This means you can access the range of apps that are on offer directly from the tablet.
- Pre-installed remote desktop app allows you to connect to your PC if both the Eee Pad Transformer and your PC are connected on your home Wi-Fi network. Install the app on your PC and you can then access all the features and files on your desktop PC from the tablet. There is also a Polaris Office application pre-installed that allows you to edit Microsoft Office files – MS Word, MS Excel etc.
- Other apps that come pre-installed cover email, streaming video, eBooks, video chat, music, playing video, mapping and photos. You can also store your own files on the web using the a ‘cloud’ based online storage app.
- Stereo speakers deliver pretty decent audio quality for playing music and films.
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Tablet Weaknesses
- Android 3.0 – Honeycomb – works well but feels unfinished, lags from time-to-time and is generally a bit buggy. The virtual keyboard and predictive text input doesn’t work as well as the iOS operating system on the iPad. It’s just a bit clumsier than the slick and simple user interface of the iPad. Android is highly customisable but that also makes it complicated for a user. It gives you screens where it wants you to put apps, but if you don’t have these loaded yet, then they’re just blank empty screens. Also, videos and pictures get thrown together under the “Gallery” app – it needs more finesse.
- Android Market app store is still growing so tablet-optimised apps are limited currently. We expect this to change as developers adopt Android Honeycomb but for the time being, if you want to download apps, you’ll have to make-do with Smartphone orientated apps that don’t translate perfectly to a larger tablet.
- No USB ports unless you buy the keyboard accessory.
- Currently Wi-Fi only so no option to upgrade to a 3G version that will allow you to connect to the Internet or download email when you’re out of range of a Wi-Fi signal.
- The charging connector is short so can be annoying if you want to charge the tablet at the same time as using it.
Tablet Review – ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 has managed to get a unique place in the overcrowded Android tablet market by offering a low price for a high spec, and a keyboard dock that turns it into a netbook. It undercuts the Motorola Xoom on price with a near identical spec and more flexibility – it’s likely to push prices down across the range of Android 3.0 slates. The screen is comparable to an iPad but with this tablet you also get a range of ports, better cameras and Adobe Flash compatibility. Battery life is also impressive. The flaws that let it down are really related to Android 3.0 which generally lacks the slickness and style of the iOS iPad operating system. However at a price that’s substantially cheaper, the Eee Pad Transformer tablet is hard not to like and it’s the top of the Android slate to date.
Image Source: ASUS