The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (TF101) and Keyboard Dock Reviewed (Video)

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Are you in the market for a new tablet and you can’t tell the difference between all the different Android tablets out there? Futurelooks has you covered. We’ve taken the Asus Eee Pad Transformer out for a long-term test, getting a better sense of how this product performs in a day-to-day situation.

Some key features include the Tegra2 processor, 10.1-inch screen, and Android Honeycomb 3.2. While the specs are fairly standard for most Android tablets, the Eee Pad Transformer sets itself apart with an innovative keyboard docking station. The dock gives you extra battery life and USB connectivity, allowing you to plug in hard drives, flash drives, and card readers. Check out the video above (or directly on YouTube) to see what Stephen and Michael think about this Eee Pad and how it’s transformed their lives in the last couple months.

Michael’s Take on the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer

Tablets aren’t exactly anything new, but the current generation of iPads and Android tablets represent a distinctly different breed from the rugged Windows systems of old. Even so, I was hesitant about the whole segment, as it seemed like largely an unnecessary device. I already have a laptop and a smartphone. What do I need the in-between device for? That was the same philosophy behind the netbook niche.

However, in using the Eee Pad Transformer for a solid two or so months, I’m starting to understand its purpose. The bigger screen, coupled with the keyboard dock, make for a much better e-mail and web browsing experience than a smartphone, yet we are able to achieve substantially better battery life than a typical notebook PC… and all without the nasty bootup or even wakeup times.

This product isn’t perfect. The keyboard lags considerably within the web browser, for instance, but it seems perfectly fine inside of a note-taking application. The camera could be of better quality and weight could be reduced. That said, when it comes to currently available Android tablets, the Eee Pad Transformer is the best. The build quality is great, the choice of materials is fantastic, and performance is more than adequate.

Considering that I had this, a Xoom, and an Optimus Pad all in my possession for some period of time, yet I always ended up reaching for the Eee Pad, that has to say something. How it stacks up against the upcoming generation of Tegra 3 (Kal-El) based products, as well as the iPad 3, will prove to be an interesting proposition.

Overall Rating: 9.0/10.0

recommendedweb The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (TF101) and Keyboard Dock Reviewed (Video)

Stephen’s Take on the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer

eeepad 4 500x281 The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (TF101) and Keyboard Dock Reviewed (Video)

Shortly after the Eee Pad Tranformer launched, I bought one. I even paid full pop. I’d never played with a production unit. I suspended all my usual buying habits of researching and waiting for it to go on sale. Thankfully, I have been nothing but thrilled with my experience with this product.

The Eee Pad Transformer really set itself apart from the rest of the of the Android tablets out there. Not only is it well made, but the integration of a keyboard dock, which is also extremely well made, allows the device to work fairly well as a small notebook. It allows both effective consumption and effective creation of content. The microSD card slot allowed me to take an economical route to expansion and the battery in the keyboard dock made the Eee Pad an all day performer, doubling the battery life. With two USB ports, it also allowed me to consume my own content from either my USB flash, hard drive, or even card reader for my camera. Having over 2TBs of external USB hard drive storage plus another 64GBs inside the keyboard dock (plus another 64GB microSD in the Eee Pad itself) should be plenty for even the most consumption hungry individual.

With all that expansion, it would be a waste if it was only a read only relationship. Well, the video you viewed above, all the assets, were actually transferred from a USB card reader plugged into one of the two USB ports on the keyboard dock, and transferred to another 1TB USB hard drive connected to the other, right after we shot it. You can see how this device could easily become ones favourite vacation machine; not powerful enough to do real work, but powerful enough to check on work and get some more mileage off your memory cards while filling them with memories from your vacation. When on the beach, snap the keyboard off, tether to your Smartphone, and enjoy all the web has to offer in tablet form. Overall responsiveness in some apps and especially the web browser were sluggish at times, but given its true multi-tasking nature, and my affinity for having Facebook, Hootsuite, Google+, GMAIL, and other things open at all times, I’m really a worst case scenario.

I took a real leap of faith with the Eee Pad Transformer, adding it to my personal gadget collection. But over the last few months, I’ve really grown to cherish this device for all it does. Next to my Android Smartphone, my Android Powered ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is the only device that comes with me on regular outings. For $399 for the tablet (16GB) and $149 for the keyboard, it really has no competition in the Android Tablet market. Until the new Eee Pad Transformer 2 comes out, this one gets my highest honor: An Editors’ Choice Award.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10.0

editorschoiceweb The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (TF101) and Keyboard Dock Reviewed (Video)

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About

Michael Kwan is freelance writer and professional gadget geek. He's been reporting on the world of technology for years, playing countless console games along the way too. Be sure to check out his personal blog, Beyond the Rhetoric, for posts on freelance writing, personal development, entertainment, video games, and more. Follow him on Twitter too: @michaelkwan

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