When In Manila and you are trying to find a good gadget to spend that hard earned 13th month bonus on then the Eee Pad Transformer might just be the gadget you are looking for and When In Manila is going to give you a full review of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. You may remember a few months back when I had a hands-on the Transformer, I was of course fascinated and completely drawn to the tablet because of it’s ability to literally transform into a netbook form. This makes this device a viable alternative to a small laptop if in case you also wanted a tablet.
Design and Build Quality
At first look, you will notice that unlike most its competitors, the Transformer has a differentiating brown color. The backplate is made of reinforced plastic that is etched with a unique pattern. Like most Android tablets, the bezel has no buttons and is surrounded by a thin metallic edge. It actually feels sturdy and despite its plastic backplate, it doesn’t feel cheap at all.
Performance and Battery Life
After a few tweaks and removal of some unnecessary stuff. I was able to make the Transformer running smooth as silk. Not that the device is slow or anything but removing things like live wallpaper and widgets that are not always used benefits tablet performance and battery life a lot. Overall, I don’t see any lag when using built in apps, my only gripe is with the multitasking since the apps does not respond immediately when I switch to them. Overall, I have no problems with the device’s performance when doing everyday task such as web browsing, email, social networking, eBook reading and watching videos.
All of those tasks are done with the help of a 16 hour combined battery life of the dock and the Transformer pad. For those who are not familiar with the Transformer, Asus sells the dock separately for roughly around 5k Php. The dock adds additional battery, an SD card slot plus two USB ports (which I will talk about later on) apart from providing the user with a fully functional keyboard and track pad. With that said, I have tested the battery life of the device by leaving the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on while playing music and doing some moderate browsing and reading. The Transformer came out strong, lasting me a consistent 15 hours when docked. When not docked, it usually lasted me 9 hours, which is very good IMO, considering that is 1/3 of your day.
Display and Sounds
If you like the screen on the iPad2 then you will have no problems whatsoever with Transformers’ display. The display is very vivid and clear. While you could use the tablet on portrait and landscape, it tends to work better on landscape due to its 1280 x 800 resolution.
One of my complains with most tablets is the placement of the speakers, I mean why should makers place the speakers where it is meant to be held. I also found this issue with the Transformer, although it does not really affect the sound output too much, unless of course you really clasp your hands on the speakers.
This is what differentiates the Transformer from other tablets in the market today, the ability to become a laptop with its keyboard dock. This makes the Transformer very versatile as well as functional as compared to its competition. With the keyboard dock your Transformer practically transforms into a netbook with fully functional USB ports. I have tested it with numerous devices such as USB mouse, keyboard, portable hard disks, usb pendrives and going as far as connecting a phone into it and accessing all of its files.
As I have said earlier, the keyboard dock also extends the battery life of the Transformer by roughly 7 hours, so you have plenty of time doing stuff, without having to bring a power supply with you. Plus as an added bonus you get an SD card reader in addition to the microSD slot on the tablet itself. Although the keyboard dock adds all of these awesome functionalities, you must bear in mind that it also almost doubles the weight of the device.
Views and Comparisons
The Asus Transformer is a tablet and a very good one to boot, but more than that it is a suitable netbook replacement. Considering the capabilities of a netbook and the Transformer, I would say that they are pretty much alike A lot of people were asking me if it could replace their netbooks or even their laptops. Actually, it all depends on your PC needs, if you just need a device to watch movies, type documents and check Facebook statuses, then the Transformer could definitely replace you usual netbook, plus it’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys. The only problem I see with it is familiarity of the interface as well as the used applications.
On the other hand if you were planning to replace a full blown laptop that does exceptionally well with certain applications like photo editing, programming, and video editing then I would have to say no. Although it would be possible in the future, I just don’t think it is quite ready to do so. The Transformer like all tablets in the market is made for content consumption and is not built to do heavy tasks that you might want to do.
The Transformer is one heck of a content consumption device because of its Android lineage, and thanks to the laptop dock… you will be able to do some minor content creation as well. Compared to a netbook, I say it has more to offer for entertainment and has better battery life… not to mention that it is more fun. All in all, one of the best Android tablets in the current market, and it would soon be followed up by Asus with the Transformer Prime to be announced this November 9, 2011.
So next time When In Manila, do check out stores for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer.
You could checkout more about the Transformer at https://ph.asus.com
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