Eee Pad Transformer in the Workplace, Tackling Printing and Connectivity — End of Week One

Posted on 17 August 2011, Last updated on 17 August 2011 by

As you may be aware Jerry and I are trying to get by in the Enterprise space with only our tablets and no Windows based laptops. Jerry’s using the Acer Iconia Tab and I am using my Asus Eeepad transformer with keyboard dock. Jerry has a few posts up on his experience so far. Week one using the Eeepad transformer as my only business “personal computer” was pretty successful. I had a pretty varied week which included working from home, working on the road at a conference and during site visits and of course in the office. My home setup includes a Logitech DiNovo keyboard and a Logitech traveller mouse, both bluetooth devices. I have wireless internet at home for connectivity and use a mix of apps for productivity. image My first near-stumbling block was when I had to print something. I can’t use a solution such as Google Cloud Print as it requires a PC to be turned on, connected to both the net and the printer. Since I’m trying at all costs to avoid even so much as starting up a PC, that wont work. I did a bit of searching and found the best solution to be a paid app called PrinterShare [free version here]. As it often goes, a lot of the best apps are paid ones, and while I try to get by with free apps as much as possible, sometimes there’s no choice. Something I liked about PrinterShare is that you can download the free version and run a test print to make sure it works with your setup before you part with the cash for the fully enabled version. This saves buying something, downloading it only to find it doesn’t work with your particular setup. PrinterShare installed without a hitch and is a very functional app. It printed without issue to my Epson MFD and could even print good quality photos on the various papers that my Epson can handle. image On the road I used a Mifi style portable wireless broadband device for connectivity. While I like the Mifi for being able to connect multiple devices at once, I did look on with a little envy at my iPad toting companions, who simply fired them up and got on the net (they had 3G models). I think once the Eee Pad Transformer is released with 3G I might upgrade. I did the find the extra weight of the keyboard dock a bit annoying, as most of the day I didn’t need the keyboard, and when I did at night I could have just as easily used my foldable keyboard. I did take along my bluetooth mouse as I find it easier to use than the touchpad when I’m using the tablet like a laptop. image As you can see in this photo the tablets outnumbered the laptops at this meeting. I used Evernote and my calendar for this particular presentation while the iPad user stayed in his notes application. Again I found the keyboard handy but not essential, and something like the Eee Pad Slider would be a better device for me in this situation. One failing of the Transformer is that it can only output to HDMI and when I needed to show something on the projector I couldn’t just plug in. Only one of the work projectors has HDMI so 9 times out of 10 I won’t be able to project from the tablet. I got around it on this occasion by emailing the slides to the laptop on the projector but it wasn’t pretty. The iPad had a cable which allowed it to hook up via VGA so it scored points on the Transformer this time. Jerry has shown us that it’s possible to get from HDMI to VGA-out with adapters, so that’s one possible solution to this issue. Stay tuned for more updates next week.

7 Comments For This Post

  1. alslayer says:

    Good article. I like how you overcame the printing issue. I would like to know more on how you did that.

    Sounds like you might have liked the Galaxy Tab 10 instead with the 3g ability and the video out options. But you would have to give up the usb, sd card slot, and the cool keyboard dock.

  2. Damian says:

    The printer share app is a great one. Realy simple setup as it founf my wireless printer and I was printing in seconds. You can download a free trial which enables you to send a test print so you don’t waste your money if it’s not going to work with your setup. Mine was fine and it’s even able to print on the different sized papers my Epson can use.

  3. tj-ultrabook says:

    Were you apple to test it with an external monitor (over mini hdmi)
    ..if what did you think? Looks like the keyboard and mouse setup is a WIN.
    Also I’ve heard reports that portable hard drives can work with it as well as CF card readers for photography.

    Do you think you would be able to get an external mic to work with it (like the apple ones, or a standard mic via headphone jack, or a usb mic jack)?

  4. Damian says:

    Yes it works fine with HDMI. YOu get full mirror and while the res is not full HD or anything on the monitor its quite workable. I have tested numerous hard drives, thumb drives and USB hubs and they work fine. My 500GB portable USB drive works fine and I use it for backup. I’ve had an issue with a 32GB class 6 SD card but I think that’s because it’s too big and new for the eeepad. Other SD cards work fine. Also I’ve had no issues with card readers and use a 12 in 1 card reader for all formats including memory stick. One limitation with the crd reader (an unpowered one) is that I can only read from one type of card at once.

  5. zeo says:

    Asus is coming out with accessories for the Eee Pad Transformer, including a Mini HDMI to VGA cable. Though in the meantime you could get a HDMI to VGA converter as a inter-rum solution.

    While if you’re using a Epson Printer, Epson recently came out with their Epson iPrint app for Android and it’s free.

    There’s also 4G versions of the MiFi available now, which you can upgrade to, and you don’t have to limit yourself to 3G only or even a particular provider like you do with the iPad. Along with the added benefit that you can swap batteries on the MiFi for longer use and it doesn’t lower your total usage time with the Transformer. Not to mention the MiFi can use an external antenna for when you need better signal strength.

  6. nessa says:

    When I completely power off my new eee pad, I cannot turn it back on without plugging it in as though I am charging it. Is there a way around this?

  7. Sue says:

    After I downloaded the print app for my EeePad Tablet and folloing the instructions it said to coose a printer by pressing the Menu tab. I haven’t found a Menu tab yet. I appreciate any help anyone can give me.

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