Tag Archive | "asus eee pad"

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.

 

Asus Makes Eee Pad Slider Official With Press Release Following FCC Sighting

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When we reported earlier in the week that the Asus Eee Pad Slider had passed through FCC approval, there was no official announcement from Asus. However, yesterday, the official press release announcing the device as part of the Asus product line went live on the Asus website. The official launch brings some additional tidbits that further pique our interest in this device.

One of the trends that is disturbing me in the Android infrastructure is the implementation of proprietary solutions to various use-case problems in new premier devices. Asus bundles Asus WebStorage with the Slider as a solution to cloud storage and populating an on-line archive with data you might need to access from multiple mobile devices. It is a nice touch (I guess), and I am sure one or two users will decide to use this solution instead of already existing cloud file services like Google Docs and DropBox, or cloud notebooks like Evernote or Springpad. My main issue is that every time a manufacturer deploys one of these in-house services on a tablet, the app is usually not uninstallable. The problem goes away if you wipe and root, but if you want to just run the device stock, these pre-loaded apps are annoying. It is very clear that the pre-loaded epidemic that plagued desktops and laptops for so long is creeping into the tablet market, as well.

Fortunately, that rant gets any negative take-aways I have from the press release out of the way. Most everything else is good news, or at least enticing news until we see some more definition from various allusions in the release. One of those items is in the area of the Slider’s ports. We were aware of the microSD port, but the Slider’s specs now also call out a 16/32GB Embedded Multi-Media Card (eMMC) port. This is called out as a discrete port in addition to the microSD port, so it makes me wonder if this will be a full-sized port like the Toshiba Thrive and Dell Streak 7 feature.

Also revealed is the fact that the device will be available in both pearl white and metallic brown color schemes. That designation appears to apply to the brushed layer applied to the slide-out keyboard, as can be seen in the pics attached. Android 3.1 will be pre-loaded and Asus indicates an upgrade to 3.2 as an OTA delivery, as we would expect. In case we were not certain before, the launch announcement confirms an IPS display (similar to the one used on the iPad) with a claimed 178 degree wide angle of view.

You can peep the specs in our product database here. A link to the press release is included in the source citations below. There is nothing in the press release on pricing or a release date.

So…is anyone holding off on that Asus Eee Pad Transformer purchase to snag a Slider instead?

Sources:

Gizmodo

Asus Eee Pad Slider Press Release

Asus Eee Pad Slider Spotted Sliding Through the FCC

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Cheesy headline aside… the second Asus Eee Pad, the Slider, is marching toward a US release as Wireless Goodness points out.

The 10 inch tablet was recently caught attempting to tip-toe its way through the FCC. The Eee Pad Slider is another keyboard-equipped Honeycomb-running slate like the Eee Pad Transformer. While the Transformer’s keyboard actually detaches, the Slider goes for a different approach by allowing the screen to slide up to an angle, revealing the keyboard beneath. Despite having a full-blown keyboard, the Eee Pad Slider is still an impressive 13mm thick!

You can find full specs and more for the Asus Eee Pad Slider at its tracking page in our database.

Thanks to positive reports of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, the Slider definitely piques our interest and we’re looking forward to seeing what it can do. By showing its face at the FCC, it’s passed an important hurdle to US release, we’ll definitely be letting you know when we hear more about this svelte looking machine!

via Slashgear

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.

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