Recently I bit the bullet after much browsing and research on what PAD/Tablet to buy .. that was not an IPAD. I stumbled upon the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 at Carphone Warehouse, went for what turned out to be a SHORT walk to consider. Came back to the store and purchased. I do not regret this decision ..
The shop assistant asked me did I want a bag for my new purchase, normally I do not take bags – environmental/waste sensitive I am. However, he insisted, from a security perspective to take the bag, after all it is a Pad, just in case somebody along the street has designs on it.
The ASUS Eee Pad is boxed nicely, looks premium. I got into my car and immediately cracked open that box to remove a sleek looking piece of kit. Tried the on button and yes, it did work, some power is in the battery for us who want immediate gratification.
From the get go I was comfortable with the UI, certain familiarity because I also own a Samsung Galaxy S.
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer uses the latest iteration of ANDROID called HONEYCOMB or Android v3. I immediately added some apps I have on my Galaxy S. Particularly WORDFEUD, a scabble type app my Wife uses. With that done I drove home, my Wife arrived in from work .. unfortunately that was the end of the Transformer for me for the night. My wife is addicted to it. Loves the ease of browsing, email, Facebook and of course the “odd” game of Wordfeud.
As with most/all pads and touch screen devices you will need to clean the screen regularly. This is more noticeable on a bigger screen. Out of the box the Eee Pad Transformer DOES NOT come with a thin leather look “book cover” type protector. One might need to buy something like this, I have found most tech/phone shops DO NOT stock cases for Pads yet.
Very happy with the battery life – about 9 hours of use out of a charge. The initial charge is 8hours, something to be adhered to in order to condition the battery properly. The charger is a seperate affair, a plug into which one connects a USB cable. The other end of the USB cable connects to a feature connector at the underside of the pad. SO, connecting to the outside world is via USB. Standard, useful & not proprietry.
This device does not have 3G/4G data plan capability, at the moment it is WIFI only. However I have heard a 3G/4G capable version is in the wings for release. Personally I am happy with WIFI only in a PAD, if one needs to, one can tether your pad to your data capable phone. The caveat with this is tethering can drain battery power in your phone faster AND it can eat your data plan more.
Their are two camera’s on the Transformer. Front and Back. This puzzles me where pads are concerned. I do not see any need for a 5mp camera in a pad. They are too big a device to use as a camera proper. The only use, maybe, is to take shots/video of little joe/mary for facebook purposes, if that is your thing. The front camera, as usual, is low res and aimed at Skype type of activity.
Two interesting things come with the Eee Pad Transformer.
First their is a nice bit of software to allow you have your Laptop/Desktop computer desktop virtually displayed and accessible from the pads screen itself. I have tried this within my WIFI network, works a treat.
Second, you get unlimited storage with Asus Cloud based service, Webstorage. The pad seemlessly links to this via your WIFI connection.
Specification wise the ASUS comes with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor,16GB of storage and a microSD slot to increase this with up to 32GB MSD cards. Sound is fine, not full stereo system fantastic but not unpleasant either. Their is a jack for your headphones, as you would expect. An optional extra is the funky keyboard docking station. This turns the ASUS into a Netbook. It also increases the battery life up to 17 hours.
SO, in conclusion, as you may have guessed – so far – myself AND my wife are happy campers with this purchase. Is it an IPAD Killer? I am biased, I would say YES, at least on par with the IPAD. I cannot think of anything on the IPAD that could not be done on the ASUS. OK, some argue that ITS THE APPS that make the IPAD, but I have all the APPS I could need on the ASUS/Android Platform. Angry Birds, Facebook, Google, Sat Nav, Browsing, Virtual computer feature, Cloud access. What more could you need?
I have heard that the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is like Gold Dust in the USA. Every batch sells out. Not a bad sign at all.