Using the Eee Pad Transformer as an Enterprise Productivity Device

Posted on 14 August 2011, Last updated on 14 August 2011 by


I’ve been inspired by Jerry to make the move to using only the Asus Eeepad transformer at work. I’ll be using only my Atrix and Eee Pad Transformer for all business related activities, no PC at all. I am passing my Vaio down to my wife to replace an old netbook and the budget doesn’t stretch to a new laptop. Actually it’s pretty slim pickings trying to find a true replacement to the Vaio TT anyway at the moment.

My needs are similar to Jerry’s actually in that I have a new baby on the way, a new house, a netbook past its expiry date and recent purchases of both the Eee Pad Transformer and the Atrix + lapdock.

As I mentioned before I considered a MacBook Air, another Vaio, or perhaps a Windows tablet; cost, portability and battery life are all competing priorities for me. So following Jerry’s lead I thought: why not see if either (or better yet, both!) of us can do it.

This has partly been facilitated by work putting in some software that will allow me to access email and my work calendar on my Android devices, natively rather than having to use webmail or some remote access solution. In the wider enterprise world it’s proving hard for IT to resist the demands of business bringing in iPhones and various tablets. My workplace is no exception so we kicked off a project to put in a solution to meet the mobile needs of our workforce. One of the key requirements was to work across all platforms which was great because even though iOS products outnumber others 5 to 1, those of us with Android devices can now connect to business systems including email.

Today was day one and it was fairly successful. Polaris Office worked well for Word documents and the PowerPoint I needed to edit. Evernote is my business app of choice for meeting notes, tasking and brain dumps and I used Thinking Space and sent the mindmap to Evernote as a picture so that I can keep evrything organised and in the one place. I occassionally felt a pang for a laptop but I think this was separation anxiety as there was no actually need for it in al the work I did today. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow.

13 Comments For This Post

  1. Iain says:

    Email? Word? PowerPoint? Notes? These are “Enterprise”? Show us something cool!

  2. Damian says:

    In the Enterprise space the Office suite of products is pretty much 90% of usage. People live and breath email and excel all day. The other stuff is pretty boring really: accessing an ERP system via a web front end to enter data, intranet pages to view reports. Otherwise it’s fill in templates in Word, look at budgets in excel and email them around. That’s the brutal reality of a lot of “enterprise” unfortunately. Hence my thinking that instead of having a $2500 Thinkpad on my desk I can have a $500 tablet.

  3. Alslayer says:

    Screenshot of using apps would be good. When do you use the Transformer as a tablet and when do you use it in the laptop dock?

  4. Damian says:

    Thanks for the comment. More info coming in following posts. The polaris Office app is the one getting the most workout along with Mobile Iron for email and meeting requests. I’ll shoot some pics of some usage in a meeting and post about it. Generally at the moment it’s Evernote and occasionally Thinking Space for mind map or process maps, then send to Evernote so it can OCR the Thinking Space files. I’m using it about 50/50 tablet versus dock at the moment and am finding that at work I don’t need the dock so much as I’m not requiring the extra battery and it’s just extra weight. I think the Eeepad slider will be a better tool for me when it comes out.

  5. The Professor says:

    Be honest. Current tablet usage is a fad fueled be clever marketing. Users are buying these devices and trying to rationalize the purchase rather than buying them to fill a specific, defined need.

    Buy a Lenovo X121 and stop playing the silly tablet game. When tablet design and software has matured then PERHAPS they will be able to EFFECTIVELY replace a laptop for some business users. Until that day comes tablets remain tech toys.

  6. The Professor says:

    “… fueled BY…”

  7. Damian says:

    Lenovo X121 starts at $900 USD. Eeepad under $500. Lenovo 5-6 hours battery life, Eeepad 9-17 hours battery. Lenovo Windows 7 = anti virus, expensive software, Eeepad, no anti virus, free to maybe $10 bucks for apps that are generally easier to use than the Windows one’s. Eeepad has a touchscreen, Lenovo you can touch the screen but it just gets dirty. It’s not really an apple to apples comparison here.

  8. John in Norway says:

    I’ve just bought an ASUS Transformer hoping it would replace my Galaxy tab and my Kohjinsha SC3 while travelling. Sadly, it won’t. While it’s a good substitute for production (Office apps) it’s a total diaster for consumption. While my SC3 (with a puny 1.3MHz atom) and my Galaxy Tab will happily play 720p and 1080p videos direct from my Drift action camera, my Canon SX30 and my wife’s Nokia N8, the ASUS playback with all three is unwatchable. Dual core? Nvidia? Really? If only I could take it back to the store and get my money back.

  9. Damian says:

    I agree there’s some issues with video playback. It improved with the last software update and I find it can handle more file types now. I’m hoping the HD video issues will continue to improve with updates. Have you tried Drift player? People seem to be having some success with better 720 and 1080 playback.

  10. John in Norway says:

    I’ve tried the built in player, Mobo, Vitaplayer, Rockplayer Lite. None of them will play, smoothly, videos direct from my cameras. I couldn’t find an app called Drift player. Is this its proper name? If I can get this sorted before Saturday then I can take the ASUS with me on my next trip.

  11. John in Norway says:

    I’ve found a partial solution for my video woes. Dice player (paid app) plays my 720p without problems but won’t entertain 1080p.

    Things stopping me from using this instead of a proper computer are:
    No android equivalent for Truecrypt. In fact, I haven’t found any encryption software yet.
    Getting the ASUS to show up as a hard drive with drive letters – my sync program needs them.

  12. Damian says:

    Hi John,
    sorry my bad it was indeed Dice Player. And yes 720 is OK but I’m still disappointed by 1080. My Atrix with the same hardware has no problems at al with 1080 so hopefully Asus can fix the issues with an update. Until then we’re out of luck.

  13. Abe says:

    Great series. love it. Have you gotten over the WIFI only…have you linked it/tethered it through a cell phone? or are you ok with no connectivity at times?

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