ASUS Transformer Review: Buy ASUS Eee Pad, iPad, Xoom or Galaxy?

ASUS Transformer Review: Buy ASUS Eee Pad or Xoom or Galaxy?
ASUS Transformer is is a quite good, brown color and texturized surface Android 3.0 Tablet, despite of its Laptop Like Looks. It has 1024px 10 inches display with an nVidia Tegra 2 Processor inside. It has almost 10hrs Battery Life.

ASUS Eee Pad lacks the 3G connectivity at the moment which will be available in next coming model. It has a built in HDMI port. This hybrid gadget can rightfully claim to be one of the best tablets in the market so far, with far beutiful looks than the bulky Xoom and a price cheaper than Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

The tablet computers that compete with the iPad have mostly been uninspiring. The Eee Pad Transformer stands out with a design that isn't just copied from the iPad: It's a tablet that turns into a laptop.

ASUS Transformer Review: Buy ASUS Eee Pad or Xoom or Galaxy?

For $399, $100 cheapest than iPad, you get a tablet computer with a 10-inch screen and hardware that doesn't cut corners. It's fully usable on its own. For another $149, you can buy a keyboard that connects to the tablet. Together, they look and open like a small laptop.

The Transformer is made by Asustek Computer Inc, the Taiwanese company that started the brief "netbook" craze a few years ago by selling small, inexpensive laptops. With the keyboard attached, the Transformer is nearly indistinguishable from a netbook

With around 150$ you can get a nice keyboard for your Asus tablet and really transform it! The keyboard is complete, having 'Back', 'Home', 'Search', 'Menu', volume buttons, Wi-fi. You also have a trackpad with scroll via multitouch and an USB port to connect other devices.

ASUS Transformer Review: Buy ASUS Eee Pad or Xoom or Galaxy?

The ASUS Transformer  Eee Pad keyboard may sound a bit expensive for $149, but it does more than help with typing. It has a track pad with "mouse buttons," just as you'd find on a laptop. It also contains an extra battery that charges the tablet's battery, two USB ports for connecting peripherals and a slot for SD memory cards, used in most digital cameras.

The Transformer has two slots for the keyboard to lock into, forming a sturdy whole that's easy to use on a lap or tummy, for those really lazy moments on the couch.

There's another nice thing about the Transformer keyboard: The keys are designed for the software. There are keys that bring you to the Home screen and Settings. Others control screen brightness, volume and media playback. There are buttons for the Back and Menu functions of Google's Android software.

In comparison with ASUS Transformer, The iPad doesn't make any particular accommodation for a keyboard. The accessory ones connect using short-range Bluetooth wireless technology, which can be a hassle to connect and troubleshoot. It also means the keyboards need separate batteries - Apple's own model uses two AAs. The battery in the Asus keyboard doesn't need to be charged for the keyboard to work, and in any case, it uses the same charger as the tablet.

Most iPad keyboards don't attach to the tablet itself, because there's nothing to hang on to. This is fine if you're at a table, but juggling an iPad and a separate keyboard on your lap can be difficult. Some iPad keyboards are built into a case, which covers the tablet and forms a laptop-like unit, though an inelegant one.

ASUS Transformer Review: Buy ASUS Eee Pad or Xoom or Galaxy?

The ASUS Transformer Battery Life has been tested by playing a high-definition video over and over again, with the screen set to medium brightness. It gave almost 9+ hours from the tablet alone and 13 hours with the keyboard attached. That compares with 10 hours for the iPad 2.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Display Screen uses the same technology as the iPad's, making it easy to read from any angle and in any orientation. It is slightly larger than the iPad's and has a slightly higher resolution.

The ASUS Transformer tablet weighs 0.68 kg and has a rear 5MP camera that allows you to take picture with it, even if for some this can be quite uncomfortable. You can get the 16 GB version for 399$.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Camera quality is so-so but more than adequate for videoconferencing through Google Talk. The Transformer has two cameras, as we expect from this year's tablets.

ASUS Transformer Review: Buy ASUS Eee Pad or Xoom or Galaxy?

But before you get too excited about the prospect of a Laptop-Tablet Hybrid that combines the best of both worlds, please bear in mind that it runs Google Android software, originally designed for smartphones. That means it doesn't run full-blown Windows programs or connect to peripherals such as scanners. This isn't all a bad thing, as Android comes with important advantages, such as a long battery life, programs designed for touch input and a computer that comes to life almost immediately when you open the lid.

This isn't the first time we've seen small laptops running Android, but it is the first time ASUS Transformer  runs Honeycomb, the first Android version specifically designed for tablets rather than smartphones. The update makes Android much better at taking advantage of a 10-inch screen.
But as tablet software, Android is still far behind Apple's iOS software for the iPad. The biggest problem is the low quality and poor selection of applications from outside companies. Many of my favorite iPad apps, including Netflix and The Wall Street Journal are not available at all. Others, such as The New York Times, are available only in inferior versions, designed for the smartphone screen rather than the tablet.

I also had frequent crashes when using the applications. The Transformer is perhaps the best Android tablet out there, especially considering the price, but the software is still a major weakness. Still, the beautifully integrated keyboard should tempt people who don't want to decide between a tablet and a laptop.
10:42 PM

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