Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
Good - not perfect, but still good
on 24 February 2014
First off, if you have used the Asus Transformer series of products before, then you will be used to this form factor: the dock contains a battery, which not only adds a little weight and therefore balances the tablet, but turns the tablet into a sort of laptop. It works differently from earlier devices in this series (or from the TF101, which I owned before): the dock only starts recharging the tablet when the battery in the tablet drops to around 70%, and then only charges it back to 90%. (The TF101's dock re-charged the tablet as soon as it was connected, regardless of the battery's level). Not understanding that made me return the item to begin with, but now I understand how it works, it's fine as it is.
It looks gorgeous, with spun aluminium on the tab, which is strangely not matched on the dock - possibly to save weight? Build quality is good, with some qualifications for me as the surround to the screen is not perfect - this may just be my unit, of course. Otherwise, it gives the impression of a good build quality.
Apart from that, there is good and bad to report. The screen is excellent - but the Auto brightness function is unusable at the moment as it flickers constantly making it very annoying. You have to set the brightness yourself. Maybe the next update will fix this, maybe not.
Audio - only one speaker, not sure why. With this limitation, sound is ok, but hardly room-filling if you are, say, staying in a hotel.
Speed is great, it works very smoothly, with little of the lag you normally get with Android.
The keyboard makes this thing very usable in an office setting. I personally use it as a mobile email device - as I need to see things on a big screen and take time to type a considered response. Android apps are getting better and better, so there is plenty to choose from. The keyboard dock does add to the weight, but it is not too bad, and in a backpack (which is where I keep it) you would hardly notice it as a daily companion. The keyboard is obviously small, but the chiclet keys are ok to type on - remember this is a compromise device, not intended to be a laptop killer, but a compromise. Battery life with the dock is good and will last all day, but I doubt you would want to type on this using such a small screen all day.
Expansion is ok - microSD in the tablet, SD in the dock, headphone socket in the tablet, but only one USB in the dock. Micro HDMI in the tablet too. For some reason, Asus does not seem to like offering 3G versions of its tablets, but wifi is getting more plentiful, not less so this may not influence you.
I haven't used the camera so can't comment.
I see some other comments from people who don't like it - having got used to it over the last couple of weeks, I think this form factor is the way to go. I can't understand people who just use a tablet without a keyboard, and this works for me: your mileage may vary of course.
Overall, with the qualifications above, recommended.