We’ve seen only a few companies take the necessary risks to get ahead in the tablet market, Asus decides to step in as they released the Eee Pad Transformer earlier this year. It is by far the most versatile tablet product available. The main aim of Asus (as far as we can speculate), is to give consumers a product that can replace notebook computers and slim portable laptops; and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer does just that.
A first look at the Transformer will tell you that all tablets do resemble the iPad. It has a bezel on all the sides that are about 1” from the edges to the screen but has a bronze-brown finish at the sides and on the black plate. The back is made out of plastic that has been embossed, and the texture significantly improves grip. The Transformer is, indeed, aesthetically pleasing and the bronze-brown colour scheme makes it look elegantly classy.
The one thing that makes the Asus Transformer a notch above the others is its keyboard attachment, which is also of the same finish as the tablet itself. The keyboard dock features full-keys at the size of the regular notebook computer keyboard setup. Not only does the keyboard dock improve typing significantly, but it also gives a significant boost in battery life and connectivity. The dock provides extra power with the additional batteries it has onboard, doubling the typical battery life of the tablet from 8 hours to 16 hours. This is one of the things that make the Transformer worth considering.
Software-wise, however, there comes one downside in the Asus Transformer. The default media player does not provide flexible codec support; it can only play H.264, H.263 and MP4 formats. One can see this as a bit of a blunder on Asus’ side, but that is what third party applications are for. We will see a quick fix for this, not by Asus however, but by different application developers who would rescue the Transformer from this problem.
Hardware on the Transformer is very competitive. It has the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor which the Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom already have, and 1GB of RAM. It does have another surprise up its sleeve; it has a microSD Card slot! Now you can expand the memory for your device very significantly without having to pay $100 extra. One thing that might be of concern to others though is that it lacks 3G connectivity in present models so far.
The Transformer is competitive in every respect, and by every, it means that it costs less than everything else out there. You can get your hands on the Asus Eee Pad Transformer for $399 for the tablet alone, and $150 more for the keyboard docking station.