303 of 307 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2011
So mine arrived today ... after the delay last month. This is my first tablet so I don't have much to compare it with - however I have come from a Android phone and I much prefer Android to the Iphone - hence my decision on this tablet. This is very much a first impression view.
When I switched it on, I had 2 firmware updated to do, one for the tablet and one for the keyboard - they only took 5 minutes.
Docking the screen into the keyboard was a little scary, however after reading the manual, and found the release catch, it slotted in with a satisfying click. The keyboard itself is really very good. It was the fact it has the keyboard that prompted me to get this one, because it's just so much easier to write docs, emails etc. Once it's docked, you get added benefits too, like doubling the battery life, access to 2 standard USB ports and a standard SD card slot. You can also put a microSD into the screen part itself, so while travelling, you're not limited to taking a few movies, you literally can take a handful with you.
As I have an Android phone, after hooking it up to my wi-fi and logging in with my gmail account, all the apps I was used to, auto downloaded. In the Google Market place website, your device will appear and you can pick apps and have them sent to your tablet over the air, just as you can with the phone - however I have noticed that some apps weren't available - such as Need for Speed (which would have been cool on the big screen) but I'm sure it'll be ported soon enough. Unlike Iphone apps running on the Ipad in a small letterbox in the center of the screen, Android apps that haven't been ported for the Tablet, still look fine, because they take up the whole screen anyway and space their content our accordingly.
Web browsing is a great experience. I'm just using the stock browser at the moment, but with Flash support, sites like the BBC news site are complete with in page video etc. I noticed that you don't get redirected to the mobile site ... for example, Facebook, so you get the full site, which always annoyed me a bit on my phone.
For more work related apps, it comes with an Office variant, which seemed to open the 2 MS Word documents I tested (2003 and 2010) and they maintained all of the formatting including tables, book marks, images etc. The keyboard is nice to work with and I don't think it'll become a problem - seems sturdy enough and doesn't feel any different to a notebook keyboard.
In my role as a IT nerd, I am hoping that I can take this with me on site and hook into serial ports of servers via the USB or via bluetooth serial plugs and provision systems (with the built in telnet client) without the need to lump a full sized laptop around with me.
I haven't really used it in anger yet, but it covers everything I have wanted to do with it so far. I have had one die hard Apple fan moaning that the screen switching isn't as smooth as the ipad - but the iphone was always smoother that the Android phones. Looks like Apple have put so much effort into animation, they forgot to make it compatible with anything else. (did I mention bluetooth? :))
I don't know if there will be a 3G version, but I'm happy to use my phone as a wifi hotspot if I need the net while I'm out and about.
So, in summary - if you are considering an Ipad - then you should really think about this as a valid alternative. If you're already an Android user - this is a no brainer.
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2011
This is day 3 of using the Asus transformer with the optional keyboard and I would have to say that it is a good bit of kit.
The battery life is loooong, with the keyboard connected, it lasts for days with normal use. The screen is very sharp and it's very snappy with smooth scrolling and fast performance. It makes the Samsung Tab I have here seem slow.
A couple of funnies, at the time of writing, BBC iplayer does not display pictures but I would put this down to Android 3 and not the Asus. The facebook app is a little unstable, but again, I would blame the newness of the OS for this.
Some of the apps still rotate the screen to portrait mode overriding the orientation lock but again, early days android 3.0
The GPS and wifi seem more sensitive than the Tab.
I am really using this as a netbook with the keyboard but so far so good. detaching the keyboard is quick and looks solid and the unit can stay on whilst you dock and undock.
Good value, solid and works very well.
139 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2011
I have to confess that I couldn't wait for Amazon stock so I got this early from Comet. I have waited a long time for a decent tablet that wasn't as restricted as the more popular brands and this most definitely is it.
Out of the box the contents are very well packed and protected by plastic film on seemingly every surface.
As well as the units there is a mains to usb adaptor and a short usb to ASUS lead. If you find the lead a bit short, which some people have complained about, just add a usb extension - simple. There are two small instruction manuals and a guarantee card. You can download a more extensive manual should you need it but Android is so intuitive it's not really needed.
The screen is a much more practical ratio than the iPad - being able to play HD widescreen movies without black bars and also has a higher resolution. The display is just as crisp, sharp and responsive, maybe even better.
The Android OS is excellent, being specifically designed for tablet pcs it has everything you want and if you already have an Android smartphone you will certainly recognise many features - including nice little tweaks like the absence of an `esc' key being replaced with a `back' key.
The tablet does not have a usb port - two are available on the keyboard dock - but it does have the micro sd slot which is brilliant for data expansion or transfer - there is also a full size SD slot on the dock.
Connection to wifi is a breeze and the beauty of Android means you can set up your smartphone as a wifi hot spot, connect to that and save £££s by not buying a 3G tablet - the shipped version comes with Honeycomb 3.0 which will not connect to Ad-Hoc wireless, only infrastructure mode, but I am assured that the update to 3.1, due to be delivered Over The Air today will allow Ad-Hoc connections.
An update to this comment is that I am now updated to Honeycomb 3.1 yet still cannot see Ad-Hoc networks. The update completed easily and successfully so I am chasing this with ASUS at the moment.....
Apps are coming to the market daily and although maybe fewer that the rival I'm sure they will soon catch up, with a lot more free ones always available - I haven't found a lack of anything that I've needed.
Processing speed seems faster to me than my mates iPad2, the browser supports Flash, a major omission on the iPad series, sound is great, the speakers are set on the short sides so watching movies has stereo sound in the right place.
Battery life is great - really great! And with the dock it's about 7 hours longer. A clever touch is if you are using it dock the power will be taken from the dock first so that on unmount you will have maximum power in the tablet.
Build quality is great too - it feels solid and has a textured back which looks like it won't scratch or become finger print greasy; also the rear camera is well placed so you won't cover it with your fingers.
I can't find anything to fault with this - it's a beaut! Oh yes, if you like graphic novels you now have a full colour ebook reader.....
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2011
Great device. I have it 24 hours and i love it, typing my review right now.
Weight is good and balanced. Size is perfect for kindle or comics. Haven't tested video yet, except YouTube which is brilliant.
Having used earlier android tabs and the iPad I am convinced the transformer is easily the best on the market. Felt like a kid on Christmas morning opening the box.
Buy one if you can get one.
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2011
Well, I took the plunge, ignored all the voices in my head saying "sure it's all very well being different, but how can a squillion sales be wrong' - just like Microsoft, right?! and so I bought the Asus Eee Pad Transformer with keyboard. I remember when Apple was the underdog - the left-field choice of nerds, such is life.
I read the reviews for the ipad 2, together with other early non-Apple efforts, which were still in the refining phase, and once the right model appeared with the hardware potential and Android version to deliver (v3.1), I put my cash up. I'm so pleased I did. It's not an Apple, so it's not designed for the lowest common denominator 'even your pet could use it' and it won't win sales because you can claim to be the proud owner of an 'Apple ipad', but it can do all that the Apple can, from what I can tell, has the great touch-screen that looks as good as an ipad 2's and works wonderfully, the ability to connect a variety of devices out of the box, you probably already own, (USB devices and storage, SD cards from phones/cameras, your HD TV via HDMI etc.), the ability to view Flash on web-pages, which when you consider how much of the Internet is Flash-based, is a shocking omission by Apple, and the ability to use it in the way you want (not the way Apple dictates). I've used the ipad (1&2) through work and elsewhere and what the ipad provides in out-of-the box idiot-proof functionality, the Eee Pad, though not a million miles away also promises so much more. Sure, the ipad 3 will take on board the developments from the better Android tablets such as this, but as with the iphone, I think future Android developments (v3.2,v3.3 and so on) on a quality tablet, provides not just an alternative to Apple, but on several fronts, the new leader. That is of course unless you just like Apple products, because they're Apple, with their lifestyle marketing and all that goes with that. In that case, I'd suggest joining the long queue to buy another white gadget.
I should really mention the keyboard that comes with the Eee Pad Transformer and the Polaris software that allows you to use it to create/edit Microsoft Office (Word, Excel etc.) documents. Plus the doubled battery life, as the keyboard contains it's own power cell and additional connectors. All for the price of an ipad. More android apps are starting to appear for the tablets, as they did for the phones and many of the apps written for the phones appear to work great on the Eee Pad without the need for a dedicated version, so the current underdog should soon be wagging the tail.
Review written on the Eee Pad.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2011
I chose this because I don't like the Apple approach, and the fact that everyone goes on about how wonderful their products are. (the rebel in me?) Even though there is no doubt they make excellent products I have always thought they were rather expensive, and I have been waiting for a viable alternative, and in the tablet market the EeePad transformer is it.
I read all the online reviews, including the Gadget Show recommendation, and decided that the tablet with keypad was exactly what I wanted, as it gave me the versatility of using it as a standalone Tablet, and as a more traditional style Notebook.
I am already familier with the Android interface as I have an HTC Desire HD phone, and love it. If you aren't familiar with Android it isn't a problem as you very quickly get used to it. It is pretty intuitive and user friendly.
You can purchase the EeePad with or without the keyboard, but it makes no sense to me to buy it only as a tablet, as I think the very thing which is its greatest USP is the ability to transform itself from tablet to notebook.
On receiving it I was very happy with the quality of build, and the ease of use. You have to fully charge the full unit before you start, and it was easy to put the two pieces together.
Once charged, and switched on it was easy to connect to my wireless network at home, and it immediately checked for updates. These downloaded and installed without any fuss. The keyboard has USB and card reader slot, and this is where it starts to become far more useful than an iPad. You have real connectivity and storage upgrade options that make it a really useful piece of kit.
After messing about on it for a few minutes, setting the background image to one of my own, (transferred by USB memory stick), setting up some of the supplied Apps, and making it feel like my own, I went onto the Android Market.
Finding Apps is easy, and I downloaded some of my favourites (Angry Birds, Unit Converter, Sketchpad etc). They all seem to work fine on the EeePad, though one or two others I have tried since aren't yet optimised for the tablet size yet and didn't work very well. However it is easy to remove them as it is simply a case of drag and drop into a rubbish bin icon, and hey presto it is uninstalled.
It easily linked to my Gmail account and I can get my emails straight to the screen.
The screen and display quality is excellent, and the key board is very good. Battery life is excellent.
On the downside there are a couple of websites that I have visited that haven't looked right, (writing overlaid over graphics etc) and I don't know what causes this. However this has really been very infrequent, and hasn't bothered me at all. I went onto the ASUS website to download their PC suite software, and didn't find it easy to navigate. Eventually found it, but I haven't found iit very user friendly, so ASUS could definitely improve things there. I haven't used the "MyCloud" online storage as I don't need it.
You can also set it up to act as a media Streamer, but again I don't want to do this, so haven't tried.
Watching video on YouTube is great, and I like the fact that Android uses Flash, so I can see websites as they are meant to be seen (apart from the couple above). This is definitely an advantage over iPad, as is the keyboard, and USB connectivity, and expandable and removable storage.
Overall I am very happy with my EeePad Transformer. It is good value for money, good quality, has lots of plus points over other tablets and its versatility as tablet or Noteebook is the winning formula for me.
Buy one - it won't disappoint.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2011
There's no point going over all the techie stuff yet again; others have already done that better than I could, so here's my views in a non-techie style:-
1. It's lovely to use... I've never used Android OS before but is is really intuitive & simple to grasp
2. I wanted to try a slate but the potential additional uses of an Android net-book also appealed...the TF101 offered both..... & it's not disappointed at all
3. Read lots about apps to download but the pre-loaded browser , mail, synchroniser for contacts on pc, they all work fine - all the supplied software does & am very impressed with the Office suite supplied.
4. Android market-place link is easy to use too... couldn't resist adding Logitech squeezebox apps to stream my music!
5. The build quality is fine & it's very good value for money, I feel. Great screen with vibrant colours & good touch sensitivity. It's dinky, too...no more heavy laptop to cart around. The wifi capability is sensitive & effective; the keyboard has numerous android-specific keys; neat design with lots of sensible ideas built-in
6. Yes, of course it's a boys-toy really but link it with a MiFi on PAYG data-sim cards & it is simplicity itself to take away from home on business/vacation & keep up-to-date on e-mails, surf , watch streamed-TV etc.
7. Other uses? - Sudoku & Angry Birds are strangely addictive, and available free.
- Plus you can use it as an e-reader (but turn the screen brightness down)
- You can listen to music on it... the built-in speakers are never going to win
awards but with decent ear-buds I find it very listenable
I have no regrets getting it all and am finding that I am using it more & more...I now tend to keep it nearby so it is readily available for that quick Google/Wiki query or to check e-mails - saves schlepping off to the main pc! Or perhaps I'm just trying to justify buying it to my wife!! I Love It, anyway!!
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Originally I rated this a 4star, but all my Android Honeycomb niggles have been sorted out in the latest Honeycomb 3.2 release for the Asus Transformer. This product is now easily a 5star product, and knocks the socks off anything Apple can make. After 6 months of use, I am stil overjoyed with this purchase, it's a superb product, and Asus have told us they are committed to supporting the Transformer with Android 4.0 (codename "Ice-cream Sandwich"), which is great news.
My Original Review:
Let me explain. The hardware is without a doubt 5 star, The screen is really nice, both indoors and out, the touchscreen (capacitive of course), a pleasure to use, as is the keyboard, plenty of storage options (Full size SD in the base, MicroSD in the tablet, Mini HDMI out), GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi-N, all the usual Android tilt and motion sensors. It's hard to fault the hardware at all, perhaps that the screen is a fingerprint magnet, but that's really about it.
CURRENTLY, Honeycomb, even in it's 3.1 guise still has a few rough edges, but nothing too much to worry about, I also had some force close in some bundled applications (Google Music usually). There are also quite a few apps that don't work with Honeycomb yet (notably BBC iPlayer app - the website DOES work thou), and others (Opera Mobile for example does not work with Flash - Because Google haven't releases the sourceAPI for Android 3.1 yet). At times DEDICATED Android Honeycomb apps are thin on the ground. Fortunately, you still get the full Android marketplace, and the 200,000 smartphone apps, but they usually don't take advantage of the tablets screensize.
All the software limitations I mention will quickly be sorted out, I am sure of that, as Android tablets are gaining traction very quickly. There are already some really nice Honeycomb optimized apps on the marketplace, so it's a problem that will lessen with time, it's also a problem that affects ALL Android tablets right now, so it's not really Asus Transformer specific.
Of course this tablets killer feature is that it's not just a tablet, it's a netbook too, and it works brilliantly in either configuration. In Netbook configuration, the battery life is amazing - 18 hours or so (there is a battery in both the tablet bit AND the base). I always kinda liked the tablet thing, but couldn't warrant getting one, as I needed a proper keyboard, so I already had a netbook, with this, I no longer need my netbook, this will suit me both ways.
Don't let my overly critical 4 star rating put you off, this is undoubtedly king of the tablets right now, but there are still a few rough edges software-wise that Google and Asus need to iron out before it's totally perfect.
UPDATE: After a week of use, I love this tablet even more! Usually as time goes on, I find niggles and quirks, but all my initial experiences and points are really it. A great netbook/tablet combo, that's getting better as more apps are released with tablet compatibility.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2011
I purchased the Asus EeePad Transformer for two reasons. Firstly it is far more comfortable and easily held than a laptop for armchair browsing and secondly when we travel we need to keep in touch with our e-mails for business reasons.
I originally trialled a friend's IPad - first generation - and was well impressed but had the feeling that it was too tied to the Apple system, iTunes and store. I felt that Google Android would be the better solution for me. As I have a Samsung Galaxy S Smartphone the logical first port of call was Samsung but their new Tab was just not then available and I had a holiday deadline to get organised for.
An aspect of many tabs is that there are no ports for USB or full sized SD cards. As a photographer I like to be able to review my shots on a decent sized screen whilst I am still away from home, albeit that I prefer to edit on my full sized PC monitor. The docking station allows USB and SD card connectivity and also enhances battery life extremely well. Docking and removal is simple. The keyboard is OK but I prefer to use the touch screen.
I also like to keep abreast of news and suchlike, including a Times Newspaper subscription that originally nearly pushed me into the arms of Apple. However, I understand that The Times has an upcoming Android (version 3) app. And that was sufficient to allow me to go the Asus route. In actual fact the Press Reader app that is preinstalled allows the download of the full online version of the Times (with subscription) and a separate App is not entirely necessary to get full enjoyment of the electronic version. In using Press Reader you can double tap an article in the paper that you wish to read in detail and an enlarged version appears. If you click the headline then a text version which is fully resizable opens.
This is a WiFi only device, although I gather that a SIM card version is or is to be available. Frankly if the price differential is anything like the IPad then an investment in a pay as you go MiFi could be better as that would allow the signal to be shared with other devices as well.
As the Android marketplace develops there should be even more apps that are designed for Honeycomb (Android V 3) as some Gingerbread (V2) apps will not work on the tab (Facebook being one!).
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2011
Well, maybe that's overstating things. It can't slide up bannisters or pull standard lamps out of carpet bags, but it's an impressive piece of technology for a fair bit less than its Apple-y counterpart. It's hugely better than the Acer Iconia A500, which froze solid within minutes of booting up and went back to the suppliers post haste. It's easily the most impressive piece of Android kit I've seen so far, and for my basic needs (web-browsing, word processing, Google Earthing) it ticks all the boxes.
What niggles there have been so far are annoying but not deal-breakers. I've had the browser crash on me a couple of times and a bit of a response lag when the web's running like treacle, but I have those kinds of problems with Windows 7 kit, and none of that splits into a tablet and keyboard at the click of a button. Slightly more annoying is an apps issue with the bundled word processor Polaris Office 3 - whoever thought it was Word compatible was sadly mistaken. Oh, it'll read Word documents no problem, and you can edit them as well, but if you create a word document be prepared for all kinds of alarms and excursions when you try to load it into Word proper. I'm hoping I'm just doing something incredibly dim, but I don't think so.
It's marvelous having Android Market properly implemented on the Transformer. Many of the cheaper Android devices aren't licensed to access Android Market, which compromises their usefulness. The Transformer comes fighting fit and fit to fight as both a tablet and as a netbook. The keyboard's built in battery gives the device an excellent battery life boost - I'm still on 100% after using the TF101 fairly heavily all evening, a feat which would have seen the iPad battery drop 10-15%, but I don't know how the keyboard battery has faired, only the internal.
All in all, I'd say ASUS has built the first iPad killer with the Transformer. It has all of the functionality of the Apple device, with none of the constraints Mrs Jobs' little boy insisted upon. For my money a winner.