Tag Archive | "asus eee pad transformer"

Previously Leaked Asus Transformer 300 Revealed, Asus Taking the Transformer Prime Mainstream? [video]

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Asus has taken the wraps off of the Eee Pad Transformer 300 series at MWC today. This model was leaked last month, and while the series (300) name led us to believe that this would be a full upgrade from the Transformer Prime (200), it seems like Asus is actually trying to create a more affordable mainstream version of the Transformer Prime. Here’s an intro video from Chippy with his hands on the Asus Eee Pad 300 series:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogknMQfehyc

The Eee Pad Transformer 300 is based on the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 platform and running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, just like the Transformer Prime, but lacks some of the premium materials found on previous versions of the Transformer. There’s also new colors available (white, blue, and red) to spice up the look a bit. As with the other Transformers, the keyboard dock on the Transformer 300 is optional, though it isn’t clear if there is interoperability between the keyboard of previous generations and that of the 300 series.

Chippy suspected from his hands-on with the Transformer 300 that Asus is aiming for cheaper prices and mainstream adoption. I think we can conclude that this is the case; Asus specifically mentions that the Transformer 300 is “the ideal tablet for anyone buying on a budget, and for those looking to get more out of their tablet.” We’ll see just how low Asus can price the Transformer 300, but it’s great to know that they plan to offer a device with the latest Nvidia Tegra 3 platform and a mainstream price.

No word on exactly what the Transformer 300 price or release date is just yet, but Chippy has his feet on the ground in the heart of MWC and will surely relay it back to us at here Carrypad HQ if he hears anything about it. You can see Asus’ Transformer 300 mini-site here.

Here is the most detailed list of specifications for the Transformer 300 that Asus has yet released:

Operating
System
Android™ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)
CPU —————
NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 T30L Quad-Core @1.2GHz
GPU —————
GeForce® 12-core, 3D stereo (built-in)
Memory/
Storage
—————
RAM:1GB / ROM:16GB
Networking —————
Wifi/3G/4G LTE
Data rate:
a. 3G SKU: HSPA+ 21/5.76 Mbps
b. 4G LTE SKU: 100/50 Mbps
Connectivity —————
802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0
Display —————
10.1″ WXGA (1280 × 800) LED Backlight 178° wide viewing angle IPS panel,
10 finger multi-touch
Camera —————
8MP auto-focus (rear), 1.2MP ( front ) camera with F/2.2 large aperture
Interface —————
2-in-1 Audio Jack (head-out/MIC-in 2-in-1)
1 × micro-D HDMI 1.4a port / 1 × microSD Card Reader / built-in microphone /
High Quality Speakers
Battery —————
10 hours; 22Wh Li-polymer;
15 hours with mobile dock; Dock: 16.5Wh Li-polymer
Keyboard —————
Mobile dock with full QWERTY Keyboard (Optional)

Transformer Prime Shows Us What Tegra 3’s 12-core GPU Can Do [video]

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Tegra 3 is the world’s first quad-core mobile platform, Nvidia assures us, and along with those 4 CPU cores come the Tegra 3 GPU which has 12 additional cores of its own. Nvidia is happy to show off the graphical capabilities of the Tegra 3 GPU, which they claim to be up to 3x faster than the Tegra 2 GPU. A few months back (when Tegra 3 was still being called Kal-El) Nvidia demoed a game called Glowball on pre-production hardware. Now, Nvidia is showing off a new level of the game, running on a production version of the Transformer Prime:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C30ShWQm5pI

If you were already anticipating the Transformer Prime, I can only imagine you are now that much more excited; you’d be hard pressed to call that demo anything but impressive. I’ll be curious to see some benchmarks, but I’d say Tegra 3’s graphical capabilities are right up there with Apple’s A5 CPU/GPU found in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

I think it’s great to see that competition has created extremely high performance mobile computing platforms, but when it comes to gaming on tablets, casual play is still where the segment thrives. As soon as you push touchscreen gaming beyond casual, you absolutely need a controller to achieve a reasonable experience. Even though we should be able to connect Bluetooth peripherals (or even USB), it seems that there is not yet a defacto controller to suit the needs of beyond-casual gaming on mobile devices.

What say you? Do you find beyond-casual gaming on tablets impractical with only a touchscreen to control them?

Transformer Prime with Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU Now Official

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The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (aka Transformer 2) leaked last month but now it’s all been made official. Tegra 3 has been confirmed, and although the Transformer Prime will ship with Android 3.2, they are confirming that it can be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich.

celebrex costs

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Transformer without the signature attachable keyboard, and Asus is claiming that the Transformer Prime will get a whopping 18 hours of battery life from a full charge using both the tablet and the dock.

With the Tegra 3 quad-core processor (once codenamed Kal-El), Nvidia says that you can see improvements in speed up to 3x over Tegra 2, with up to 61% less power consumption. The lower power consumption is thanks to a fifth “companion cube” “companion core” that is designed to do the easy lifting, completely shutting down the quad-core CPU when it isn’t needed. Once you start doing tasks that require significant power, everything is shifted from the companion core to the quad-cores and the companion core is shut down. Nvidia calls this process Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing or vSMP.

The GPU included in Tegra 3 utilizes 12 processing cores and can automatically convert OpenGL applications and games into stereo 3D, allowing you to hook up your tablet to a 3D HDTV or 3D head mounted display (like Sony’s upcoming HMZ-T1).

The Transformer Prime itself is an impressive 8.3mm thick, which will make it the thinnest 10″ tablet available on the market (that is, until Toshiba releases their 7.7 mm thick AT200). It is also one of the lightest 10″ tablets at 586 grams, though still behind the Galaxy Tab 10.1. This is all without the keyboard of course.

The Transformer Prime screen retains the 1280 x 800 resolution and IPS technology used on the original Transformer. 1GB of RAM accompanies the Tegra 3 processor. Unfortunately, Asus has not moved the USB port onto the tablet itself, as per Damian’s hopes; you’ll still need transform into the keyboard mode to access the USB port. Unfortunately they’ve actually reduced the count from two USB ports to one, which seems like a step backward considering the good USB peripheral support of Android Honeycomb and beyond. The Transformer Prime alone has micro-HDMI, 3.5mm headphone/mic input, a built in mic, micro-SD card reader, and stereo speakers.

The Transformer Prime is Priced at $499 for a 32GB model or $599 for a 64GB model. There are two colors available: Amethyst Grey and Champagne Gold. The keyboard dock, which includes one USB port and a full-sized SD card reader and battery (and will add 537 grams to the Transformer Prime), is optional and will run you an additional $149.

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

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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.

Why I Chose the Eee Pad Transformer over the Iconia W500 Tablet

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Two devices recently stood out as a different kind of productivity solution, both offering the ability to convert between a tablet and a netbook. The choice is between the Asus Eee Pad Transformer and the Acer Iconia W500.  The Eee Pad runs Android Honeycomb while the Acer runs windows 7.

Both offer the ability to convert from a 10 inch tablet to a laptop style device with a keyboard and mouse. The Asus has a multitouch trackpad while the Acer has a pointing stick style mouse mover.

The units are comparable in features, specs and pricing. The main difference? Windows versus Android, and perhaps battery life. 4 hours for a tablet is pretty ordinary and no where near the Eee Pad’s 10 to 17 hours as a tablet or attached to the dock.

I miss OneNote and that makes me consider Windows tablets but while I could handle 3-4 hours battery life in the old days I’ve now been spoiled by modern day tablets and even netbooks or smaller latops like the Vaio T series which give 7+ hours easily and sometimes more than 10.

Evernote on Android has come a long way as well and while it lacks some of OneNote’s Office suite integration it is now a much more powerful note-taking tool.

One design issue is that the Acer W500 cannot be folded like a laptop while joined to the dock.You have to detach the tablet part, close the docking connector and then clip the tablet over the keyboard. It seems a little ill thought out and since we’re so used to closing up our devices in this way, it may lead to damage.

I disagree with reviews that argue Windows 7 isn’t touch or tablet friendly and in fact I’d say it is the best windows yet for tablet and touch use. But the Iconia doesn’t have a an active or pen enabled screen. It’s capacitive touch and that removed the last killer feature that would have made me buy it. The strength for me of OneNote on a tablet (and even Office as a suite) is that you can ink in it. Without the ability to use a “proper” pen, the Iconia W500 becomes just another tablet, with less battery life and all the issues of Windows including susceptibility to hacking and virus attacks and lacking the advantages of cheap, productivity enhancing apps. So it’s the Asus transformer for me.

 

Battery Monitor Widget is a Must-have for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer

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I stumbled on this pretty cool widget for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer [tracking page] that allows you to monitor both the tablet battery and the keyboard docking station battery. Asus didn’t actually give us any way to keep track of the charge in the dock other than a blinking LED which is next to useless. It basically turns green when charging, amber and amber flashing when being used and doesn’t light at all when empty. Not very helpful. This widget shows the percntage status of both batteries, right on your homescreen.

It was developer by an Android developer and is available here:

http://www.apktop.com/dual-battery-widget-0-3.html

It works as advertised and has a cool feature which only shows the battery status for the dock when you actually have it docked. It’s not from the market so you will have to download the .apk file and setup your Transformer to allow installs from third party providers (via your settings).

The widget is resizeable, and while the developer mentions advanced options to change text size and more I haven’t worked out how to do that yet; let us know in the comments if you have any luck!

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Review, Part 2 — USB Connectivity Tests and HDMI-out [video]

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Damian and I are at it again with another indepth review of the Asus eeePad Transformer and this time, we decided to throw as many USB goodies at the Transformer [tracking page] and keyboard dock as possible in an attempt to defeat it.

The USB selection included a Samsung USB keyboard with a trackpoint, a rather ancient looking Microsoft USB mouse, an USB Flash drive, a Sarotech ABIGS multimedia hard disk enclosure and a USB SD Card reader.

This video segment was totally unscripted and thus the we were genuinely surprised and excited that the Transformer worked and functioned with every USB device tested.

This is good testimony that the Transformer and the keyboard dock accessory is a real contender to replace the netbook as most of the common USB devices that we rely on for everyday computing will function on the Transformer.

Damian also commented that Asus will be releasing some useful Transformer adapters (including USB) for the tablet really soon which means you won’t need to get the optional keyboard dock in order to tap into the USB goodness!

The next challenge we had for the Transformer was hooking it up to a LCD TV via the HDMI out connection.

Note that the Transformer uses the mini-HDMI which differs from the Acer Iconia A500 that uses the micro HDMI instead. (If you’re looking for HDMI cables, don’t miss our guide on how to avoid getting ripped off)

There were no issues with getting the display mirroring working albeit a ‘gremlin’ moment when the LCD output display froze — this was rectified by detaching and reattaching the HDMI connector on the Transformer.

We tested video playback using 2 sets of 720p and 1080p video files and playback was disappointing on both the tablet as well as the LCD TV display out – both audio and video were terribly choppy and experience dropouts. This was encountered even after the latest Android system update which promised performance improvements which certainly weren’t evident in the video playback.

The system update did deliver some new cool features such as video editing application but that is review for another day, so stay tuned for that!

Eee Pad Transformer Review, Part 1 – Intro and Comparisons [video]

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Damian was lucky enough to get his hands on an Asus Eee Pad Transformer as well as the keyboard dock directly from Taiwan and we dedicate this video exploring the Transformer’s design and ergonomics with comparisons against an array of others tablets that we have handy at that time, including my beaten up, original Transformer, the HP TC1100 tablet pc.

Overall we were happy with the design and ergonomics of the Transformer and the keyboard dock provides a plethora of connector ports including HDMI, USB, and SD. The keyboard also had an in-built battery which, when docked with the tablet, provided around 16 hrs of useable battery life.

The presence of this battery made the dock almost as heavy as the tablet; the combined weight of the Transformer and dock puts it past 1kg, making it possibly a little heavy to carry around.

Android 3.1 Honeycomb Update for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer [video]

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I managed to whip off a quick video showing some of the enhancements for the Eee Pad transformer delivered by the Android Honeycomb 3.1 update. I bought my Eee Pad from Taiwan and the hardware identifies it as Taiwanese hardware so I think I got the update earlier than devices from other Countries.

Asus claim some performance increases and reliability improvements but they’re not that noticeable to me as I thought it was pretty responsive on 3.0. They have added some new apps including a video editor and the Kindle app. There’s still patchy support for video codecs with no improvement on its ability to play a variety of formats and I haven’t found any HD video files it can play without skipping yet.

Overall an improvement especially with the new apps but I would still like to see more video format support, especially now that we can edit videos on the device.

Smartbook #3, The Eee Pad Transformer Arrives Next Week.

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ASUS_EeePadTransformer_4 (1024x887)I’m a smartbook fan. I want to see the netbook form factor extended right down into the mobile operating space by including always-on, location services, sharing, dynamic user interfaces, a huge app store and access to music, video and books as well as apps.

I also want to see the applications on the mobile operating systems mature to the point where I can run my business on them and right now, one of the most interesting mobile operating systems, and one that has made more progress than any other crossing the chasm into productivity and desktop worlds is iOS. The problem is, I don’t like the restrictive nature of iOS products for productivity work so I’m personally very excited about where Honeycomb is going.

I’ve tested Android 1.x on the clamshell Compaq Airlife 100 and 2.x on the Toshiba AC100 so to follow-on I’ve ordered an Asus Eee Pad Transformer which is running 3.x. Not only will this be a great smartbook test, it will also be the first 10 inch ARM-based tablet that I’ve owned. With the Galaxy Tab so woven into my daily life, it will be interesting to see if the Transformer has any impact there.

Through my social circle I see that there’s quite some interest in the Transformer. I think we all know it’s NOT going to be a business device from day one but the point is, it’s an important device to test and one that could mature well through 2011.

I’m unlikely to be one of the first to get one as high-street availability has already been confirmed in the UK and I won’t be picking mine up until next week when I visit my folks in the UK.

Naturally I’ll be setting up a LIVE REVIEW for when I get back home and this is provisionally planned for Friday 22nd April at 2100 Berlin time. We’ll go over the device and run through some Honeycomb tests, video playback tests, battery life tests and a whole suite of application tests including some productivity applications. I’m also interested to see how the USB host functionality is implemented.

I paid 429 UK Pounds for the 16GB version with docking station that should start to ship on the 18th. That’s not cheap compared to the Toshiba AC100 but it’s a  reasonable start price. You’ll see this for 25% less in a very short period of time I’m sure. There’s no 3G though so it means I’ll be carrying my MiFi or, strangely, the Galaxy Tab as a 3G hotspot.

16hrs battery life in 1KG is a stunning runtime figure but if the OS and applications can’t deliver, those 10 extra hours are worth nothing!

Stay with me, here on Carrypad, for testing next week.

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