Asus Eee Pad Transformer Review
On its own, the Eee Pad Transformer is a well-appointed slate PC, but with its companion keyboard dock, the device takes on a whole new level of functionality. As you're also probably aware, Asus has spent many years perfecting ultralight netbook designs, so the Transformer's dock has a build quality and feature set that feels and functions like a ground-up design, rather than an afterthought bolt-on for the tablet.
The side benefits of the keyboard dock design that Asus has put together are the additional ports it brings out for the tablet, including a pair of USB ports and a full SD/MMC flash card slot. The dock also offers an additional 6.5 hrs of battery time as well, with its own internal battery. However, one small let down is the the Eee Pad Transformer tablet itself doesn't have a micro USB port available. Instead Asus forces you to go through their synch cable to get access to the tablet's storage. However, there is a micro SD card slot on the tablet, thankfully, as well as HDMI output, a pair of speakers as well as front and rear facing cameras (1.2MP and 5MP respectively). More on those cameras, shortly.
The Eee Pad Transformer has a really nice copper brown finish on what appears to be an all aluminum construction, with the exception of the keyboard key caps. There's a knurled sort of textured pattern on the back lid of the tablet that resists fingerprints very well. Even the wrist-wrest of the keyboard dock resists fingerprints well, however, there is of course no getting around the fingerprint issue when it comes to the display's glass.
We wouldn't say the Transformer's screen is anymore fingerprint prone than any other tablet on the market though. The Transfomer's LED backlit screen supports a native resolution of 1280X800 and has really nice viewing angles as well as excellent contrast, black reproduction and color saturation. We did however, notice a bit of backlight bleed under certain conditions, when the screen was turned up. Bleed was visible mostly in the lower bottom corners of the display and it was a minor annoyance that didn't get in the way of functionality in the least. Finally, as you could see in our video preview of the Transformer, the touch screen is very responsive and supports traditional pinch/zoom gestures as well as ten finger multi-touch. Backlight bleed aside, the Tansformer has one of the nicest, most responsive touch screens we've seen on a 10-inch slate.
Aesthetically, mechanically, and functionally the Eee Pad Transformer is top notch in our book. Perhaps its color scheme is more of personal preference but we think the machine looks great. One final note, with respect to the keyboard is that, if you're use to ultralight notebook or netbook keyboards the Transformer's dock should provide a reasonably satisfying and comfortable typing experience. You're not going to fly on this machine like you would at on full-sized workstation or notebook keyboard but even those with larger hand prints should find the Transformer's dock easy enough to work or play with.