While some people argue that tablets may be detrimental towards the netbook sales, Asus doesn’t seem want to take sides. It recently releases the Asus Eee Pad Transformer , a tablet that may be powered by the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), which often can “transform” itself in to a netbook. But, does it end up being the better of all possible worlds?
When first Android 2.x tablets were released, lots of people were rather disappointed by a few aspects of their user interface, the Galaxy Tab Samsung, for example, was a nothing more than a large smartphone. And that was for a good reason: no version of Android was actually suitable for the tablets. The Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) promises to fix this issue with the interface created specifically tablets.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is certainly not the very first Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola Xoom, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and T-Mobile G-Slate were released earlier, but the Asus tablet is definitely something unique.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer features:
- OS: Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
- CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 2 (dual core)
- Internal storage: 16 or 32 GB and Micro SD slot (up to 32 GB)
- Screen: Capacitive IPS LCD 10” (1280×800)
- Camera: 1.2 megapixels (front) and 5 megapixels (rear)
- Dimensions: 271 x 177 x 12.98 mm
- Battery: Li-polymer
- Weight: 680 gr (with battery)
The tablet itself can give an overall good first impression. The design is fairly close to those of the first iPad, a glass covered display, metal edges and sharply curved corners. The weight is also similar to the original iPad, although it is a little wider. The 10” screen has 1280×800 resolution, which makes it more pleasant to watch movies, although it is a bit more cumbersome to handle than many competing tablets. The screen, unfortunately, causes significant glare and attracts fingerprints, which can’t be cleaned easily.
The connection features are pretty well supplied, besides a 3.5mm headphone jack, there are also a microphone output plus a HDMI port. At the bottom of the tablet (in panoramic mode), you’ll discover the dock connector. When the two products are assembled, the resulting weight is 1.3 kg or at the same weight with a MacBook Air 13-inch. The “Chiclet” type keyboard has rather small keys but still comfortable to use.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is powered with the Android 3.0, which offer many improvements over Android 2.x. Unlike on most Android smartphones, there is no physical home button.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Android is actually a touch optimized OS. Nevertheless, the docking station around the Asus Eee Pad Transformer opens the possibility of controlling the OS entirely using trackpad and keyboard. A physical keyboard are a wide plus for office tasks or writing emails, but certain tasks such as selecting text are much easier with the touch screen. Since the result, it is likely that users will touch the display once in awhile when they’re while using keyboard and trackpad. Trackpad is the definitely just a little cumbersome to utilize sometimes and you’ll connect a normal mouse to at least one of the USB port.
Apps and Games
Honeycomb includes a revised version in the Android Market. By browsing the different categories, you will find everything you want quickly, for example a top racing game or an encyclopedia app. All Honeycomb applications on the Market work nicely on the Eee Pad Transformer, just like what you’ll get in a Xoom and other Honeycomb tablets.
Polaris Office, for example, is a basic but relatively functional office suite, adapted to the Honeycomb interface and compatible with Microsoft Office files. It maybe a little inconvenient to use compared to full-blown Office Suites such as ‘microsoft office’ and OpenOffice.org. But, working with more difficult documents, spreadsheets and presentations is much more comfortable in comparison to other Android tablets or even the iPad 2 as you can use the keyboard, trackpad and mouse.