Asus Eee Pad Transformer review: First Look

The first Android 3.0 tablet to reach the UK is also a netbook in disguise. The Eee Pad Transformer could be the iPad 2's first serious rival that's actually available and we take a sneak peek at the WiFi-only model.

Price
£303

Few of the tablets announced in the wake of the iPad and iPad 2 have the features, design and the low price to challenge Apple's market dominating tablet, but the Asus Eee Pad Transformer could be the first. It not only comes with Google's new tablet operating system, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, but can also turn into a netbook with an optional keyboard dock.

At 680g the Transformer is a bit heavy, so holding it single handed for even short periods of time can be a strain. The plastic casing isn't quite as rigid as the aluminium iPad 2, but it still feels sturdy and well made. The textured rear means it's unlikely to slip out of your hand. The 10.1in screen has a high resolution of 1,280x800 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The Transformer is so-named because it can effectively transform into an Android-based netbook when docked with the optional keyboard attachment. It's a netbook-style keyboard but with Android-specific keys, such as Back, Mute and keys for adjusting screen brightness. None of the keys were too small and typing was comfortable. It's tempting to use Windows-style keyboard shortcuts when using the physical keyboard, but these don't work. This is a shame since the iPad recognises Mac-style keyboard shortcuts when paired with a Bluetooth keyboard.

The keyboard dock has two full-size USB2 ports and a full-size SDHC memory card reader which are very useful in addition to the microSDHC and full-size HDMI port present on the Transformer itself. The dock also has an integrated battery which Asus claims boosts the Transformer's battery life from eight hours to 16 hours.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The dock has the same texture and appearance of the Transformer itself. When docked, the tablet and keyboard can fold together like a laptop for easy transport. The chunky hinge, which locks the Transformer into place, makes it feel unevenly weighted though while its combined weight comes in at 1.3kg.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/354468/if-not-passwords-then-what
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/31772/gdpr-and-brexit-how-will-one-affect-the-other
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020