The 10.1-inch ASUS EeePad Transformer Android tablet is a “piece of art”. With its exquisite metallic-coffee finish and metallic bezels, it reminds me of luxury watch that belongs in a museum. But yes, this also is one of the best Android tablets you can get right now and also boasts the lowest price of $399 (for tablet only) with a ton of features.
ASUS EeePad Transformer Hardware Review
The Transformer comes equipped with dual-core 1Ghz Tegra processor, just like the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. There’s virtually no difference in raw CPU processing power between those tablets except the Transformer is $100 less than its rivals.
The Transformer comes equipped with a 5-megapixel back-camera and 1-megapixel front-camera. The camera/camcorder works pretty well but there’s no LED and the microphone doesn’t work all that well. This is probably the only complaint I have about the Transformer but I didn’t buy the device for using its camera so I am not complaining.
Above shows the Transformer in its “netbook” mode with the tablet docked to the keyboard dock.
The ASUS EeePad Transformer feels “solid” in your hands and oh yes, it IS solid! I really love how it feels in my hands when I hold it, the patterned finish also helps you hold the device easily and no fingerprints to worry about.
The Transformer isn’t light by any standards but it’s not heavy either.
Above shows the back of the Transformer (with keyboard docked).
I really feel that ASUS has done a terrific job of introducing “something different” to the tablet market. I really love the design, it’s very refreshing from all the other iPad look-alikes.
The best part? No one can even tell I am carrying a tablet device, it looks like a laptop!
The ASUS EeePad Transformer Android tablet comes with a screen that’s dazzling from all viewing angles.
Transformer Keyboard Dock Review
What makes the EeePad Transformer different from any other 10.1-inch tablet out on the market is not its price though, but that you can “transform” the tablet into a netbook with the additional $150 keyboard dock.
This is probably the highlight of the device and the #1 reason why I bought one for myself to replace my old EeePC netbook. Wait, it doesn’t stop there though, the keyboard dock not only is a keyboard but also acts as an extra battery pack for the EeePad Transformer.
With the Transformer “transformed” into a netbook via its keyboard dock, the EeePad Transformer gets near double its already-long battery life, near 20 hours, longer than any other 10.1-inch tablet on the market and probably double most.
Wish the fun stopped there? But the Transformer keyboard dock also comes with a full SD card slot, two full USB ports (yes, you can connect your USB hard drives and periperals), AND a touchpad that supports multi-touch gestures. And yes, don’t forget to add the fact that you can use the keyboard dock as a USB charging station for all your Android smartphones, iPods, and whatnot.
For those of you trying to get things done (like sending business-related e-mails), having a keyboard on a tablet device is a necessity. If you’ve tried typing long e-mails on a tablet touchscreen, you know what I mean, you ain’t gonna be sending any business e-mails other than those short one-liners.
The Transformer is very good for business people who want the best of both worlds, an entertainment tablet device and the ability to get real work done on a laptop. Personally, this is my biggest complaint about tablets, that they are great media devices but it becomes just a metal slab of garbage when it comes to typing e-mails or even writing a blog post such as this one.
Of course, you can always get a separate bluetooth keyboard but I really like the Transformer’s keyboard, which is nearly identical to my old EeePC netbook, which I am very used to. As I’ve outlined, no other tablet comes anywhere close to ASUS’s keyboard dock, as its based on their previous experience of pioneering the netbook market couple years back. (And yes, I must disclose that I have been buying ASUS products for couple years and highly recommend them, they simply make great products without the markup.)
Another cool feature of the keyboard? It comes with Android shortcut buttons, meaning you don’t have to be switching between multi-touch and the keyboard, rather you can simply use the short-cuts for things like the Back Key, WiFi, Bluetooth,Touchpad, LCD Brightness, Volume controls, etc…etc… These little additions are what make the Transformer keyboard special.
The ASUS EeePad Transformer Android tablet can be transformed into a netbook or tablet in literally seconds using the lock button:
Below shows my old EeePC 1000HE netbook compared with the new ASUS EeePad Transformer Android tablet. My old EeePC used to be my favorite mall computer where I would take it with me everywhere I go.
Well, I know netbook market is dying these days and ASUS has done a terrific job of re-inventing their original EeePC into the EeePad.
The EeePad is lighter, slimmer, and faster than the EeePC, and the battery last much longer, nevermind the bigger 1280×800 resolution too and the ability to “transform”.
Below shows my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet placed side by side with the EeePad Transformer:
The Transformer is almost double in height compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1. But heck, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is officially world’s thinnest/lightest tablet so there’s no competing with old sammy. If you want thin and light, go with Tab 10.1. If you want ton of features like mini-HDMI output and microSD slots, go with the Transformer.
The Transformer is a bit longer and wider than the Tab 10.1 also.
Above shows Sammy Tab 10.1 stacked on top of the EeePad Transformer Android tablet.
Overall, I would have to say the ASUS EeePad Transformer is the best 10.1-inch tablet on the market for its price proportional to its features.
If you are looking to get more things done on your tablet and you definitely need to write long, emergency e-mails while you are at the airport, the Transformer is definitely going to be the right choice.
On the other hand, if you just need a tablet device for couch-surfin’ after work, you could probably go with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Best Price for 16GB Transformer here
and 32GB version here
And Keyboard dock.