Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101

Apps

The Transformer comes pre-loaded with apps from Asus that allows for cloud storage on Asus’s cloud servers. Solaris for viewing and editing doc, excel, and power point files. Along with a nifty remote desktop app by Slapshot so that you may use your home computer to run programs like Photoshop and WoW. The Transformer is able to run all the current apps that are available on the Android market today, but some may not work properly and may crash the Transformer. This is only because some apps were optimize for smart phone use, which is understandable since Android tablets barely came out into the scene very recently. You won this round Apple. Even though, Android tablets are becoming very popular and wide spread, so I wouldn’t be surprised if apps optimized for tablets are just around the corner. So far apps like skype, facebook, and AVG anti-virus seem to run just fine on the Transformer.

Performance

With the Nvidia Tegra 2 coupled with 1gb of system memory, the Transformer has no problem in getting the job done. Starting apps from a cold start seem to pop up just instantaneously like apps do on the iPad. Not to mention web browsing and scrolling is just smooth, unless you have the flash plug-in enabled, then browsing and scrolling is slightly hindered. I blame it on Adobe, Thanks Adobe! But I’m sure when google releases chrome for the Android, all that will be in the past. As stated before, video playback is amazing and sharp with no sign of the Transformer having any trouble. What about the games you ask? Games run great, unlike the Android smart phones, Angry birds ran smooth with no hiccups or lag. So you can shoot that bird as fast as you can swipe your finger. Since the introduction of the Tegra chip, game developers have been quick to optimize games for it. Now onto sound quality, though the Transformer comes with SRS premium sound with stereo speakers, it doesn’t seem to put out all that great. Maybe it’s just me with bad hearing, but I wasn’t able to hear sound from the tablet no more than a couple feet away. My HTC Evo 4G was way louder. At this point you are probably thinking, ok it’s powerful and does quite a bit, but what’s the battery life. The Transformer alone can provide up to 9 hours of use, 16 hours if paired with the dock. To me that is just as good as the iPad and way better than a netbook or notebook. However, charging after the battery has been drained (which is recommended to do by Asus) can take up to 8 hours with the dock. Not that big of a problem if you use it all day and charge at night when you sleep.

Docking Station

The docking station is an option you can add to the Transformer (highly recommended) to have that non-virtual keyboard feel. But don’t be fooled, the docking station does more than adding a real key board experience. The dock adds extra power to the Transformer by increasing battery life to 16 hours! The Transformer is made to run and charge off the docking station first, then run off it’s own internal power after the dock has been depleted. A great designed feature is that you are able to charge both the Transformer and dock batteries at the same time with the supplied power cord that comes with the Transformer tablet. Making it even more like a notebook. Other features included is that the docking station adds two 2.0 USB ports for external devises and a card reader that can read MMC, SD, and SDHC memory cards.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a tablet PC that can stand toe to toe with the new iPad and perform almost like a notebook, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer is the way to go. With the base 16gb model running at $399.99 and the 32gb model at $449.99 with out the dock, it is by far a way better choice than any other Android tablet and even the iPad. The iPad 2 16gb base model cost $499 and $699 for it’s 64gb top model! For that price you can buy the Transformer with the optional docking station, with the dock costing an extra $149.99 that further expands the tablets capabilities. The Transformer 16gb with dock comes out to $549.98, $599.98 with the 32gb version. Granted the Transformer tops out at 32gb, but with the capability of expanding it’s storage with a microSD card and the docking station adding USB ports and a card reader. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is clearly the better choice for you money with great performance.

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