Hands-on: Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Posted April 4, 2011 by Stuff Staff in Features

Don’t be alarmed by Asus‘ latest tablet, er netbook, no, actually Transformer – a hybrid laptop/tablet with a 10.1-inch screen. It’s also one of the first tablets to hit the market running the delectable, and highly anticipated Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

One of the main gripes from tablet naysayers about this particular breed of portable computing is their inability to replace laptops and enable you to really knuckle down and get some work done. The Transformer offers the best of both worlds. Thanks to the bolt on keyboard, it can be used as an independent tablet, or docked for a more traditional laptop approach.

You can essentially use the tablet for your entertainment needs – so, watching movies, browsing the web and telling everyone what you had for lunch on Twitter while out and about or at home. And when you’re ready to do some work just connect them back together again and get a’ typing. There’s even a touchpad, so you don’t have to constantly reach out to the touchscreen.

In terms of build quality, it looks and feels solid, and the tactile pattern on its outer shell is rather attractive and also means it won’t unwittingly slip out of your hand. It’s also surprisingly lightweight, individually and when docked – so it won’t put too much strain on your wrists. And in case you’re wondering, the tablet is just under 13mm thick.

Both components connect with a reassuringly sturdy click. We managed to slide it in place and pop it back out again without any problems.

You’re looking at a Gorilla Glass screen, with a 1280 x 800 pixel screen res. Oh, and 1080p video looks goo-oood.

Specs-wise, it’s packing a front-facing 1.2MP camera and a rear 5MP snapper, two USB ports, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a card reader and dual core Tegra 2 processor. You also get to revel in the joys of Flash 10.2. And if you want to make use of hi-def on the big screen, just hook your gogglebox up to the tab’s mini HDMI port.

With 3D stereo audio quality, its speakers appeared pretty impressive, sounding rather triumphant against the cacophony of excitable journalists.

As we know, Honeycomb looks stunning, but Asus have also put their own stamp on with its Waveface interface, which offers features like an eBook reader, complete with the page-turn graphics.

Individually, the tablet and keyboard throw up 8 hours of battery life – so 16 hours combined – but what’s really interesting is the keyboard’s ability to give the tablet a power boost when it runs out of juice. Sounds like this will come in handy during a long-haul flight.

It comes in two flavours – 16 and 32GB. Asus are yet to release official prices for these models, but we suspect we’ll find out soon.

About the Author

Stuff Staff

Our crack-team of gadget-loving ninjas scour the interwebs for the hottest gadgets and the coolest kit around. They produce the pages of Stuff Middle East by day, but don internet-friendly masks by night, stealthily hunting the latest gadget news and tech trends.



    April 6th ? in the U.S. ?


    I hope your prices are wrong or this will be an epic fail … they popped up on 2 US stores for $400 and the response was positive. They get my money at $500 with the dock but anything over that and I will probably go with the proven leader.


    These prices reflect the prices in the UK converted to USD. It will be cheaper when it is released in the US. The april 6th release is for UK as well. So if you import this from the UK, these are the prices you would pay.


    Prices in the Netherlands confirmed: 16 GB Tablet only € 399, 16 GB Tablet + Keyboard € 499, 32 GB Tablet € 499, 23 GB Tablet + Keyboard € 599 (source: http://bit.ly/fCBD6g)


    The twosets of prices more or less agree at Euro=1.40
    But I believe that the Dutch prices reflect the addition of the VAT which is 19% So the 4oo euros works out about 440. And US retailers typically have lower mark up so $400 at Best Buy seems in the ballpark. But I think that $100+ for a keyboard battery and fancy connector is out of line


    great shots!
    I’m looking forward to this tablet/netbook being released in the states. I think it’s the best design though I would like a 12.1″ model :)


    I agree that they should be doing a 12″ screen. Or maybe a 15″, who’s to say that this phenomenon doesn’t displace, or replace the standard laptop market.

    In fact, what if the two markets became one big hybrid. I’m waiting for a tablet like this one, that also loads Ubuntu (or similar flavor of linux) so that I can have FULL email text editor (WOW what a concept) when I need it. Otherwise I am fine running a slimmed down fast OS like Android for most everyday things.

    Why can’t we have the best of both worlds? Or why can’t we have our cake and eat it too? In fact, talking about cake, that sounds like an Android marketing campaign waiting to happen: “You can have your Android 4.0 poundcake and eat it too, with a side of Ubuntu.”

    Think outside the box manufacturers!!!!

    Sander Koop

    Sorry, but WHAT is the point?!?!?! For portability you want a tablet. So you buy a netbook with a detachable screen?!?!? It’s a nice gimmick, but really? Doesn’t it defeat the point of having an ultra portable tablet INSTEAD of a laptop/netbook? You still have to carry the whole lot around with you?


    WOW! eee pad Transformer??! can’t wait to see how it looks like. Its deffinetely a new competitor of apple i pad. Can anybody tell me when it will be available in UAE for commercial selling??

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