Asus Eee Pad Transformer Review - HotHardware

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Review

94 thumbs up
Asus also had their thinking caps on when it came to software for the Eee Pad Transformer; in other words, they were smart enough not to overload their new tablet with too much bloat.  The light skin they've loaded on top of Android 3.0 only enhances the experience with subtle visuals and a battery level indicator represented in the screen shots below by the water level with ice cubes floating there. 



Android 3.0 - Lightly Skinned, Apps, The Market and Transformer Firmware and Hardware

Logically, as the system's battery level is depleted, the water level goes down.  Also, tiny bubbles float up when the tablet is charging.  Nice touch, Asus.  And that's all we needed was just a touch, thanks very much.



Music, Gallery, Books, Youtube, MyNet and Polaris Office - Pre-Installed - Bloatware at a Minimum

The rest of the Eee Pad Transformer experience is pretty much stock Android 3.0, with various apps pre-installed like Books, Music, Gallery and Youtube.  Asus does load on something call MyNet but don't let the name fool you. MyNet is a media sharing and streaming app that allows you to access files from other systems on your network for display and playback on the tablet. Asus does install Polaris Office on the Transformer, however, and the app is actually a really nice office suite of programs for word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, etc.  It's compatible with the standard PC file formats for various office document types and comes with a really slick UI that is designed for smaller screens with bright colors that call attention to commonly used functions.

5MP Rear-Facing Camera Performance -
Honeycomb's camera application has definitely been polished up versus previous Android versions.  It has a number of settings to control things like exposure, picture quality, resolution, white balance, and even a few special effects.  However, if you're looking for this tablet to double as a back-up digital camera, you're out of luck.



The Camera App and Our 5MP Models, Wet Nosed, Floppy-Eared and All

The optics and lens design of the Transformer, while they support a 5MP resolution, just don't have the kind of quality you'd hope for in a device of this size.  In fact, we've seen 5 - 8MP cameras in some smartphones offer better results. An on-board flash would have come in handy as well.  That said, camera performance with the Eee Pad Transformer isn't a show-stopper by any stretch in our estimation.  The tablet's front facing 1.2MP camera is quality enough for Facetime-like chats with apps like Fring for Android, however, the rear-facing 5MP camera isn't going to replace your Canon PowerShot any time soon, nor should you expect it to, to be fair.

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Does the Pad itself have a USB port?

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OK, you have to at least READ the article before you can ask questions. :) I mentioned it more than once and it's in our Hot and Not list as a "not". No, no USB port on the tablet itself, the dock has two though.

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Nice review. :)

Regarding USB ports on the tablet itself, Asus Italia Facebook page have shown off a dongle that fits the docking connector to provide a USB port. But no pricing or availability as of yet. Also, I read on a developer web-site that it may also be possible to use the USB charging cable via an A-B female-female adapter for use with the likes of flash drives. Agreed, it is not an ideal solution (since it's always better to move beyond proprietary dongles/adapters) but it does offer a potential solution if you don't wish to add the extra battery keyboard dock.

Robert

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no

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Thanks for the review I have been looking forward to this for a couple weeks :) This looks like an amazing tablet but it might be good to wait for the next revision. Personally I hate proprietary connections though I know they needed one for the dock. I feel like they could have provided that micro USB port for charging and syncing and just had the dock for connectivity strictly to their docking station.

Does the docking port on the keyboard fold down? It almost looks as if it should in the video.

All in all the Hot outweighs the Not it would seem.

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Hey Omega, Yes, the docking port does fold down into a notebook style closed position.

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Awesome I would be worried about the pins getting bent on it otherwise when it was not docked with the tablet portion.

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I think you are "spot-on" that Asus has released a winner!

What I never see anyone share (probably because most tablets have yet to offer a USB or SD card slot) is can you use the SD card to transfer photos to a photo album on the tablet. I mean what does it do when you insert an SD card,.........does a dialogue box appear and ask you if you'd like to view or copy files? If it doesn't, can you even navigate to find the SD card files?

Does it even work this way or is that why Apple has you go through iTunes and Google would like you to use Picasa.

For my work we essentially just show Jpeg slide shows and some short videos, so if it was easy to transfer files one of these devices would work just fine.

Look forward to your response.

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One other question,........are they still in back order mode with these? If I ordered one, would it be longer than a 2 week wait?

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Great write-up Dave! As much as I want this I think I'll wait until the next version is rolled out, maybe then there will be more android tablet apps and a quad core under the hood, oh yeah! Plus I'm super excited about ice-cream sandwich. I like a keyboard when I type and I like how they don't just offer a keyboard but a keyboard docking station that adds battery life and direct usb support. Plus it makes a nice cover when it's closed.

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