Asus Eee Pad Transformer review: first look
It seems like every reputable tech company – and some technologically challenged clothing chains – are leaping onto the tablet bandwagon, but at least Asus is trying something different with its latest addition.
It’s dubbed the Transformer, which should give some clue as to its function: while the bulk of the machine is a 10.1in Android 3.0 slate, it’s also available with a keyboard – attach the two together, and you’re able to fold the whole package up like a netbook.
As befits an Android 3.0 machine with an Nvidia Tegra 2 chip, the Transformer felt slick, with no hint of stuttering as we navigated its five homescreens, web browser and desktop widgets.
The hardware itself felt nice, too: the tablet is solid, its IPS panel – with a native resolution of 1,280 x 800 – appeared bright but not oversaturated, and the keyboard seemed responsive. Asus claims that, when docked, the Transformer will provide 16 hours of battery life.
Asus has loaded the machine with a handful of its own apps, too, but we’re not yet convinced – MyNet looks like a handy WiFi management tool, but MyCloud’s unlimited web storage comes with quite a hefty catch – it’s free for a year, but Asus doesn’t yet know if it will charge after that period has expired.
Asus has pre-loaded the Transformer with its own app store – dubbed @vibe – and, while the firm confirmed to us that its offerings will be tailored to the UK, all it currently provided was basic music and radio playback tools. Luckily, the Android Market is also accessible.
The Transformer will be available in 16GB and 32GB versions at £379 and £429 inc VAT, although Asus promised us that there will be discounted bundles.
We’ll have a full review next week, so keep checking the site to see if this Asus can transform a fast-moving market.