ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer review: The Eee Pad Transformer boasts a 10.1in screen, and an optional, detachable keyboard dock accessory
- Unique keyboard dock accessory
- Good battery life
- Flexibility of Android OS
- Top-heavy when connected to dock
- No USB ports without dock
- No 3G capability
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer's optional keyboard dock accessory gives it a unique edge over the competition when it comes to Android tablets. Its top-heavy design, and lack of 3G connectivity are annoyances, but the Transformer remains a worthy purchase if you're looking for an Android tablet.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
Most Android tablets seem to look and feel like very similar devices, but the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer attempts to add some much-needed variety to the market. The Eee Pad Transformer is a 10.1in Android 'Honeycomb' tablet that boasts an optional, detachable keyboard dock, transforming it from a tablet into a notebook-style device. The Eee Pad Transformer is a good idea on face value, but suffers from a few niggling problems that prevent it from being a great device.
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer: Design and display
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer obviously gets its name from the optional keyboard dock, but the tablet can be purchased without the keyboard dock for $599 in Australia. As a standalone device, the Eee Pad Transformer is largely unremarkable, though we do like the textured plastic on the rear which makes it easy to grip. We didn't have too many issues with build quality, though the plastic does exhibit a bit of flex when pressed, and the bezel surrounding the display seems a little large. At 271mm in length, the Eee Pad Transformer is the largest Honeycomb tablet we've reviewed. Weighing 680g, it's heavier than the featherweight Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v, but lighter than both the Motorola Xoom and the Acer Iconia A500, making it easier to carry around.
At 10.1in, the Eee Pad Transformer's screen is the same size as the aforementioned Honeycomb tablets, though ASUS has opted for an IPS (In Plane Switching) panel, the same technology used in Apple's iPad 2. The Transformer's screen displays vibrant colour and relatively crisp text, but the glossy surface doesn't always feel smooth to swipe your finger across, quickly becomes a grubby fingerprint magnet, and is tough to see in direct sunlight.
Disappointingly, the Eee Pad Transformer without its keyboard dock accessory doesn't have a full-sized USB port or even a micro USB connector. The only ports on the tablet itself are a standard headphone jack, a mini-HDMI port (for connecting a high-definition TV or projector), a microSD card slot, and a proprietary ASUS connector that doubles as a USB and charging port. Though the proprietary connection is a pain, it offers two benefits: it connects the tablet to the keyboard dock, and charges much faster (around one hour) than a regular micro USB charger.
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer: Keyboard dock
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer really comes into its own when it's connected to the optional keyboard dock accessory (ASUS bundles the 32GB model with the keyboard dock for $799 in Australia). The Eee Pad Transformer's keyboard dock has two full-sized USB ports, an SD card slot and a trackpad, as well as its own built-in battery. ASUS says the battery offers an additional six and half hours of use. If both the tablet and the keyboard dock batteries are fully charged, the Eee Pad Transformer draws power from the keyboard dock first in order to preserve power for tablet-only use.
When connected, the Eee Pad Transformer folds over onto the keyboard dock and acts like a regular notebook, but connecting the two devices is best described as clunky. The tablet requires a forceful press to click into place, and there are no markers to help line up the tablet into its connector — it feels awkward to attach if it's not lined up correctly. We also don't like how the hinge raises the top half of the keyboard dock when the screen is connected.
The keyboard dock makes the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer easy to type on; its keys are well spaced and provide good tactility. We also love the addition of dedicated Honeycomb shortcuts including home, back, and settings keys, along with quick toggles for the trackpad, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness, Browser, and media controls. There's also a button on the keyboard to lock the screen, which is handy if you want to keep the Eee Pad Transformer in its open position. The keyboard dock also has a touchpad, and you can use two fingers on it to scroll up and down on Web pages. It's easy to accidentally bump when typing though, so we suggest turning it off via the shortcut button when you aren't using it.
Unfortunately, the Eee Pad Transformer is very top-heavy, so it's almost impossible to position it on your lap without it toppling over. It's fine for use on a desk or table, but users planning to sit it on their lap should think twice. We also experienced some painful keystroke lag, most evidently when typing in the Web browser. This may be fixed in a future software update, but remains an issue out of the box.
Join the newsletter!
When the Hypertext Transfer Protocol was introduced nearly 30 years ago, the Internet was a small, cozy club hosting just one website.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- 3 ASUS Zenbook Pro 15: A futuristic, exciting, imperfect, flagship notebook
- 4 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 5 LG SK85 Super UHD TV + SK9Y soundbar review: A richly-realised, albeit conventional, alternative to OLED
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft debut cheaper Surface Go tablet
- Music Producer Takes Microsoft Surface Into The Clouds For Australian First Performance at 3,000ft
- Samsung announces a new ruggedised Tablet optimised for business users
- Samsung Introduces the New Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0
- Alcatel PLUS 12 Takes Portable Productivity to New Heights with First 2-In-1
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung officially debut the Galaxy Note 9
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- HTC U12+: Full, in-depth review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?