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  • stm1185 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Great review. I don't see much current use for the transformer now, but the idea of having something as capable as my old 2.6ghz quad core Phenom tower, in a tablet/netbook, running Windows 8, that is just awesome. I can't wait to see what Asus, MS, and Nvidia or Intel come up with next year. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Asus EP121
    Acer 1820ptz
    Dell latitude XT2
    HP Elitebook 2740p

    and many more... they are available NOW!
  • anishannayya - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I own the x201T, and while it is a great device, it isn't meant for everyone (it is a convertible tablet PC). While it runs Windows 7, has multi-touch capable screen (and has multiple levels of pressure sensitivity with a stylus), gets 7 hours of battery life, and works like a conventional PC in other ways; it is also nearly 4 pounds with the extended battery and has a typically "large" 12.1" laptop form factor.

    The EEE Pad is designed for people who want a thin, lightweight device that is relatively mobile and offers ultra-long battery life. If you don't need to use Windows style applications (90% of consumers), then this device is more suitable than even a traditional PC.
  • spambonk - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    And all of them crap. Reply
  • TylerTech - Sunday, April 24, 2011 - link

    I also own an x201 (work purchased it for a project) I always have a hard time finding a good use for it. If I was using the stylus to draw it would be perfect but I don't.

    I would rather have the transformer or xoom and use them as a reading device. I just hope they improve browser sync to the point where its seamless as mentioned in the review.
  • medi01 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Turning notebook into a tablet and vice versa is a brilliant idea. I bet most manufacturers will follow. Reply
  • Spivonious - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    You do realize that convertible laptops have been around for 10 years, right? Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I owned a couple. Bulky, expensive, hot, poor battery life. Obviously they can do more work, but you pay for it in many ways. I've always been a tablet fan, but they have never been as simple and easy as Android/iPad.

    I'm still looking forward to sub-$200 pads. And if Microsoft can make Windows8 bridge the gap between regular PC work and content creation with the mobile content consumption models, then the world will be a perfect place.

    Too bad the world is ending in 2012, so we'll only have a short time to play with it.
  • spambonk - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    You do realize they were rubbish? Reply
  • VooDooAddict - Sunday, April 24, 2011 - link

    A well equipped tablet PC rubbish? ... No.

    Expensive? ... Yes.
  • aZUEStablet - Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - link

    There is tons of use for it right now... the only issue is that it needs to be supported for a while and asus needs to build enough trust that it will continue to be supported for more that a season.

    i was pretty impressed when the tablet when it when up on my door step!! i was so stoked on it i spazzed out a little and made a (kind of) dumb video of me hooking it up to my aaxa tech m2 micro projector:
  • xype - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    "So why do companies keep introducing tablets with known software issues? I always remember what AMD's Eric Demers once told me: the best way to lose a fight is to not show up."

    Uhm, you do know that showing up unprepared for a fight only gives you very slightly better chances than not showing up? And that showing up to a _real_ fight might get you killed, while staying at home won't?

    This whole talk reminds me of geeks dating. You think by showing up looking like a hobo will give you a chance to woo the other person with your inner values—but it won't. You'll just disqualify yourself from further consideration (at least for a while).

    All the companies producing Android tablets would do better to wait a bit, get a haircut, apply some makeup and then try to woo the customers. Right now, they're all just making a bad impression and—as is always the case with Android—spout promises of a better future.

    Either Google will really, really increase their development tempo and hire some good designers (which they won't, because they're retarded) and magically overtake Apple, or they'll simply stay that ugly chick that hopes some horny guy will take her home at the end of the night.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    If you're the horny guy, it's better to take home the ugly chick for cheap than wait 2 months until the pretty girl is available only to find out that she won't put out unless you bath her in champagne and diamonds... Reply
  • xype - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Ooor, you work your, get a haircut, some manners and score a score of hot chicks. But that sounds too much like effort and risk, doesn't it? Never been the strong suit of Apple's competitors. Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Many products out there have superior hardware and features than iStuff.

    Not only that, but creator iStuff is the only company out there that dares to deny user free access to his own content. (not able to sync ipod with more than one PC? not able to read stuff from it? "comfortable" isn't it?)
  • xype - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    1) No, not many. At best a few are better in a category or two.

    2) I have "free access" (whatever that means) to everything on my iPhone and was syncing it with two computers when I had two. Don't blame others for your incompetence.
  • anishannayya - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Medi01 is talking about the ability to root the hardware. You know, take full functionality and capability of the device that you forked your hard owned money for. In your words, don't blame others for your incompetence (ignorance). Reply
  • Azethoth - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Ya know, I am a computer programmer and while I did not mind hacking out some mods for the WoW ui which really needs it, why on earth would I want to do that for a phone? A phone that comes with thousands of apps that do useful things. In other words, it is about the apps. It is not about hacking the OS.

    So please actually state what it is you get from rooting your phone? What is so important in its guts that you feel ripped off not getting in there and mucking around with it?
  • evil bob - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    The ability to strip out all the battery eating bloatware the carrier installed and insists you want running 24/7.

    Sprint, for example, installs Nascar and Football applications amongst its bloatware that run in the background nearly every phone they currently sell. You can go into the phone settings and turn them off, check again in a couple minutes and they're back up and running again, their bloatware is persistant.

    Rooting my Evo 4G and stripping out said bloatware doubled by battery runtime the day I rooted it. Further refinements went into the OS, installation of an app killer and a CPU manager, and now I'm getting 30+ hours out of my smartphone when before in stock form it was lucky to last 6 hours off the battery.

    It was well worth the time mucking around with the "guts" to more than triple the battery life.
  • Sukaflops - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I may not be the biggest fan of IOS devices but you can sync them on 5 authorized computers. Reply
  • stmok - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    "I always remember what AMD's Eric Demers once told me: the best way to lose a fight is to not show up."

    That's the problem with the majority of today's technology companies. Instead of producing quality solutions and services that make them stand out over their competition, they persist with the thinking of getting into the market first...At the cost of everything else.

    * It costs you money...After sales support. (Whether it be fixes, updates, extra warranty costs, etc.)
    * It costs you reputation with consumers. (Firmware issues in a review product?)
    * You're seen as just another clone tech company. No different to any other. *Yawn*

    Old school thinking that has been lost over time...
    => You turn up to a fight prepared to win the encounter. No excuses.

    What does that really mean in today's competitive global market.

    => You don't BS the reviewers and consumers with excuses. (This is just telling me one is not taking complete responsibility of what they're making/providing in service or product.)

    => You focus on constant improvement. (This means actually finding root causes to the problems you have, so they don't end up seen by consumers/reviewers. Everyone gets involved in this process. Employees should be encouraged to do their best work...And not based on some quota.)

    => You aim to provide quality products and services. (Customer satisfaction pays back in the long term as previous buyers will come back and bring their friends with them.)

    All this stuff is NOT new. It all came from the WWII generation.
  • MilwaukeeMike - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    The WWII generation doesn't hold for tech firms. A car needs to be of extremely high quality, 6 sigma quality. A tech product doesn't, mainly because there are zero saftey issues and your product can be fixed via firmware updates.

    Here are two stories. Duke Nukem sequel called Duke Nukem Forever (DNF). They strove for perfection, changed their frameworks and technology to stay current, doubled their budget about 3 times and eventually threw in the towel. Amazon when it started had the mantra Get.Big.Fast. and look where they are today.

    Don't forget the 80/20 rule. If they told me i could only take 1 picture a week with my tablet I'd be ok with that. I probably wouldn't take any. Fixing the last few bugs in a system can often be so expensive and provide so little benefit it's not worth the cost. I'm confident they'll fix the docking problems, but I don't even care about the camera. I'd rather it be removed and the price lowered.
  • Tros - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link


    WWII Generation holds for all things people want to be productive. It might not hold if you want a tablet that eats your reviews when it freezes (see: toy). But it definitely holds.

    Your stories should be irrelevant by your own argument ("doesn't hold for tech firms").

    But I feel like DNF is the exact example as to why stmok is right. Duke Nukem 3D is awesome, and gathered a cult following with its quality. And this is primarily why DNF is heavily anticipated. I doubt you'll find any decent gamer who won't buy into this game once released, just to see what 3D Realms had cooking all this time.

    I don't think any amount of sense works against ingrained MBA jargon. Really what you're just saying is that buying a tablet with camera hardware and no ability to take pictures is okay, because it's so cheap anyway. Then, a second conflicting philosophy that the camera should be removed and the price lowered.

    Why not just take that philosophy all the way and say that if the tablet doesn't work, then they shouldn't sell it?
  • erple2 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I can tell you that for the business of software development, you're not right. Schedule matters FAR more than "Getting it right the first time". You ALWAYS have a chance to fix mistakes and bugs. But if your window of opportunity passes you by, there's nothing to release.

    If a developer makes some software that nobody uses because it was never released, does it matter that they ever developed that software? No.

    The tech hardware firms have very similar outlooks (as they should). The issues Anand pointed out in the review appeared to be primarily software related. The implication is that ASUS/Google can release software updates to fix those problems. The vast majority of the functionality is there, and works well. You need to realize that ALL PRODUCTS that do something more complicated than toast a piece of bread have defects in them. Whether that's software or hardware. The value of the product (and the "maker" of the product) is how responsive they are about fixing those products.

    The nature of software development in the modern world (non-waterfall, glacial-paced release schedules) dictates that you have to be able to do small, quick releases, with patches to those in a timely fashion. The key there is that you have to get your product to market (or at least to the customer) quickly. I've worked in the industry for quite some time on a LOT of programs/projects. I can say that out of 24 customers, 23 of them would rather you deliver 80% of the product on time (with a patch for the remaining 20% later) than release 100% of the product 20% later than promised. What does that mean? "The best way to lose a fight is to not show up". None of the fights you have in the tech world are life and death situations, except that you assure your own death if you don't show up. You don't get a second chance in that regard. You also realize that things are always negotiable.
  • Cuhulin - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    You're missing the point with the "schedule matters". If you arrive with a buggy product, you haven't hit the opportunity. People write about the bugs, you get rejected, and you never get another chance.

    Perfection doesn't matter. Having the important things work, even if there is an issue on the edges, is what matters.
  • Cuhulin - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Please let me know what tech firm you run; I'll not buy your products!

    The issue is not being perfect, it's getting the important things right. Amazon recognized the economics of its business, yes, but it also recognized that blowing deliveries would cause people not to use it again, opening the door for new competitors and endangering its goal.

    Think of how many tech products have died because the early reviews said they were buggy or slow -- all fixable with changes, but they never really got the chance. Wordstar 2000 killed the entire product line when it was the dominant word processor -- it needed was optimizing code for speed, and it got it, but too late. Many a game has died because the initial reviews said it was buggy, and the name was ruined even though the bugs got fixed.

    It isn't a question of being perfect. Cars have bugs too. It's a question of knowing which things matter and getting those right, quickly.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    "To the left of the space bar are search, home and a Fn modifier key in that order.. The search key activates the Honeycomb search widget, home takes you home and we all know what Fn does."

    Shouldn't long-pressing home bring up the task-switcher?

    It does on my Archos 5 IT (with USB/BT Keyboard)
  • oliwek - Saturday, May 07, 2011 - link

    it's not a problem, if you need it just install a task-switcher from the store, it works even on an android phone, linked to for example a double-click on the HOME button Reply
  • Elrondolio - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Excellent review, Anand. I'm a little surprised that you didn't stress the utility of having a "stand" of sorts for the general browsing experience. I remember one of your earlier pad or phone reviews that harped on the difficulties of holding a device while using it comfortably in ones lap, specifically while trying to type if I remember correctly. Having this dock would alleviate much of those earlier issues you brought up.

    I'm definitely in line for this Eee Pad, even with its current, however limited, flaws. Having an all day (even those long, long day) touch tablet with decent sized and quality screen, keyboard and thousands of apps in the near future is exactly what I've been waiting for. 3 pounds isn't too bad either considering you can ditch half that when you desire to. Most of all, its great to hear the dock will be compatible with their future Eee Pads, as I'll be upgrading and simply handing down the earlier models to thankful kids.

    Great review, thanks Anand. On a side note: not often do I notice the quality of product shots (the photography specifically), but this article caught my eye in that regard. I love your choice of lens on these... would be interesting on hearing what very fast glass was used (F1.2 or faster?).
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Doubt anything nearly as fast as f/1.2 was used here, most lenses of that class don't focus all that close. I wouldn't be surprised if it is something in the neighborhood of a 100mm f/2.8 macro, and might not even be wide open. Reply
  • Elrondolio - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    None of these shots are exactly close... even something as exotic as the Noktor 50 f/0.95 (in practice, a somewhat pedestrian lens up to f/2 or so) can focus in far closer than the shots, around 2". Its certainly possible these were taken north of f/2, but the bokeh on them is very nice (north of 7 blades, I'd expect). Reply
  • whiteonline - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I don't know. Looks like a bit of post processing effects. Look at the last photo with the power cable; the focus is a horizonal line, not radial. And very sharply changes between in and out of focus. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - link

    as he has mentioned having Nikon SLRs in the past, I checked the minimum focus distance for 50 and 85mm lenses available for Nikon at B&H. The 50s are all in the 45-50cm range, and the 85s are 85-100cm.

    Yes I would expect the lens does was designed for nice bokeh (curved aperture blades, etc)
  • MrCromulent - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I guess 720p and 1080p playback via HDMI won't be a problem anymore for Honeycomb tablets, will it? Reply
  • IronPalm - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I ordered this tablet just see how well I can use flash based dashboards on it, I then saw a Xoom and was wondering if I should cancel my order.

    Compared to what I've read recently this review was done well, a refreshing change, as others have said a great review.

    Now the only thing i'm wondering is how the user experience compares to an ipad (e.g. the touch sensitivity etc). I noticed there was a bit of lag on the Xoom, but I haven't noticed that playing with display ipad's in tech stores.

    I hope this isn't a repeat of an earlier episode in my life...I wanted an iPhone, but didn't really want one, so I got one for my wife. After playing with it (to update software of course) I was impressed by the touch screen. My resistive WM 6.5 didn't cut after that. I dropped it by accident around the time when the HTC HD2 came out with it's capacitive touch screen, great I though, just what I'd been looking for. Unfortunately not all capacitive touch screens are equal.
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    The iPad does have flash, to some degree:

    don't know if a flash-based apps would work, though
  • Wanderer200 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Very nice extended review, thumbs up!

    but i was wondering about one thing:
    "The price point alone is enough to make the Eee Pad the Honeycomb tablet to get assuming you don't need integrated GPS"

    Because on the Asus website the specs say is does have GPS and in other review i saw google maps in action... so i assume is does have GPS?

    I also read about the firmware upgrade wich is downloadable right now, it fixxes some of the issues you encountered with the transformer (like the camera green screen) did you try to upgrade your firmware?
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I've corrected the review - GPS hardware is present in the Eee Pad Transformer, although some apps require that you are actively connected via WiFi in order to use GPS.

    I updated the firmware on our review sample, however there are apparently one or two more revisions left before systems go on sale next week. I should have updated software soon.

    Take care,
  • jbh129 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    At this point, there is no legitimate reason to buy a tablet that is not an iPad. Reply
  • eddman - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Steve, is that you? Reply
  • Azethoth - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Yes it is Steve. I feel special knowing that hes hanging in the forums! Reply
  • IronPalm - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Apart from flash support if you're in my line of work...flash based dashboards... Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    You're right, the only legitimate reason to buy a tablet is to show off how rich you are, and nothing does that better than an apple.

    For those that actually want to get use out of the devices, I recommend the Archos tablets, at least they're affordable, and only medium-shitty, and offer a plethora of form factors.

    Of course, personally I have the 5 inch Archos, because I don't believe in smart phones (too much to go wrong...) and couple it with an S40 phone and a Mi-Fi to get it connected on the go. But then I still have a dedicated MP3-player, so obviously I'm just some old fart who doesn't get along with the times.. All I need now is a foldable keyboard, BT mouse and hdmi 720p pico-projector, and I'll have a desktop replacement in a fanny-pack.
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    or just maybe buy a small laptop? Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I hate laptops with a passion.
    Their lack of modularity is one of the most frustrating things I've ever seen, durability, performance and screens are shitty, even on the best models, and you always lug around tons of equipment, and are still unable to work properly.
    No thanks.

    Wonder when HMD's will finally catch up (1080p@ 250 euro and no larger than a set of large sunglasses?), and tablets, laptops etc become obsolete over night, because screens are just too clunky.
  • swaaye - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    That's an interesting opinion of notebooks. Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    I do a ton of work on my laptop (it my main work machine), and my 17" 1920 x 1200 screen is pretty awesome. The only thing I lug around is the power adapter, and a few memory sticks. I've not regretted my transition from desktop to laptop one bit. I'm a Scientists / Programmer / Engineer who works in the semiconductor industry.

    Interesting take on the screens. A high-res HMD would be "less clunky" if you are talking about watching movies, or activities with light input needed, but I don't know how I could do real work (coding, excel, editing... ) with one.
  • RickyLing - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link


    Please double check with ASUS regarding build-in GPS support cause accorinf to ASUS TW, there is integrated GPS chip inside the Transformer model with WiFi only
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    You're correct, there is an integrated GPS :)

    Take care,
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    It's a shame that the Asus EP121 has pretty much been stepped over and dissed by the reviewers as it's a really, really nice machine. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    "Give me some more (or faster) cores and an OS even better suited for notebook duty and the line between a tablet and a netbook becomes quite blurry. "

    See above, Asus EP121 (Then again, the battery life isn't that great)
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    We've actually been begging ASUS for a review sample of one for a while now, let me try again :)

    Take care,
  • ludikraut - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Yeah, you guys definitely should get one. I've had mine for a little over a month now, and my wife's iPad has been collecting dust ever since. Apart from battery life, it outclasses, outperforms, and outdoes the iPad in every way.

  • joe_dude - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    On the road, is the Transformer good enough to replace both an iPad and a laptop?

    Hmmm... article posted at 4:00 am. Late night for Anand! ;)
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    depends what you do on the laptop. Also, the fact that it still crashes for no apparent reason, and reboots spontaneously, would make me so no. Not yet. Reply
  • Matchstick - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I have a Wifi-only version of the transformer here and it definitely does have GPS support
  • SimKill - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link


    I noticed in this review that you found plenty of bugs, and flaws in the Eee Pad, which could have easily been found on the QA stage. Do you think the eeepad is still not ready to market or do you think Asus is just using reviewers as another layer of QA testers?
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Let me see how the tablet and dock behave with final firmware. The problem is everyone is trying desperately to push hardware out asap to avoid missing key points in the buying cycle.

    I believe the unit/firmware/software combination I have today isn't ready for prime time. Apparently there are updates less than a week away that would fix that - if that's indeed the case, then ASUS just rushed the launch for PR reasons.

    Take care,
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    "I always remember what AMD's Eric Demers once told me: the best way to lose a fight is to not show up."

    Shame AMD has not made a showing in the ultra-mobile space. Be it cell phone or tablet. They are just now getting into the netbook space just as its dieing off.

    But back on topic, I have been waiting for a device like this. And I look forward to them maturing into a complete replacement for the netbooks we have now.
  • nitrousoxide - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Not exactly.

    There's Acer Iconia Tab W500 with AMD C-50 APU built in. I bought one as soon as it's available in U.S. The hardware is excellent; the two x86 cores and Radeon HD6250 GPU shames Tegra 2. It can play Star Craft 2, something beyond the capability of Eee Pad, iPad or whatever pad you come up with. Windows 7 user experience isn't that bad--especially web browsing. IE9 is faster and more compatible and supports HD Flash playback. You can basically use it just as you use any laptop.

    Battery life is definitely an issue here. But that has been exaggerated by media. This thing comes with a 28Whr 3-cell battery and it lasts as long as 6 hrs in Wi-Fi browsing, or 4 hrs 1080p HD videoplayback/3 hrs 3D Gaming. That's not impressive because C-50 has a 5W TDP. Also it weighs 900g, making it not very portable.The biggest problem with this tablet is very poor build quality, not surprising because it's an Acer. It comes with a keyboard dock (included in $550 price), but the keyboard is a disaster.

    AMD not showing up in the game? Negative! APU makes a lot of sense in tablets, but current generation Ontario isn't ready yet. It offers higher performance, but the power consumption is still a serious issue. W500 is the only tablet with AMD processor and Win7 this year but I guess with Win8, Wichita APU (3W TDP) and Next-Gen Atom joining in, life will become harder for ARM based tablets with Honeycomb.
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Oh I love the APU, and I hope it gets picked up by more hardware manufacturers.

    But this is all recent stuff. But thats not to say its too late for them to get in on the action, just that they are going to be fighting an uphill battle. And this goes for Intel just as much as it does for AMD.

    I know Intel is working on porting Honeycomb to x86, and they could give them a huge boost. But I still think that the current x86 CPU's are simply too power hungry for a proper tablet. They may be upteen times faster, but that doesnt matter as much if you end up with less than half the battery life in a machine that is thicker and heavier.
  • mados123 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    This tablet really seems like a winner and no surprise it comes from Asus who essentially introduced the netbook market. As stated in the review, $200 less than the Motorola Xoom (although it doesn't have GPS) is outstanding (shouldn't the chart on first page state $599 for the Xoom if we are doing an orange to orange comparison *sorry Apple*)! I like the versatility with the keyboard, mouse and battery dock. In my opinion, all it needs now to be the ultimate productivity tool is a stylus, like the HTC Flyer's (active digitizer technology by N-trig). Price it at $450 then after the upgrade. Here is a link that shows and tells exactly why and when paired with a product like MS OneNote, it would be unbeatable:
  • LostPassword - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Tablets still seem like a toy to me. I'm probably gonna wait for win8 to come out. Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Although I really like the iPad (and have almost bought one several times) I do agree that its a toy for now (albeit a very cool toy).

    The "work" that I could do with an iPad, like emails, I can also do with my iPhone. I really need something like Windows 8 as well. If they can ever make something for an iPad that can run windows XP through a virtual machine, then that would change things quite a bit.
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Well, this might change things...

    virtual machine on the iPad running Windows XP.
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Woops - this isn't a real virtual machine - more like a remote control app for a virtual machine hosted on a server. Still pretty cool, as I use a lot of virtual machines, all windows XP based. Reply
  • marvdmartian - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Love the idea of the dock, should definitely be worth the price, once they can double the tablet battery life with a firmware fix. Really will give the best of both worlds.

    One thing I'd love to see Asus do is think about bumping up/offering a larger size screen. I realize that this will shorten battery life, but coupled with the above mentioned firmware fix, it should give a longer life (with the dock) than it would otherwise. Simply put, I've got a 10" netbook, and normally have to use it with the screen about 18" from my old eyes, in order to easily see the print (either that, or switch to a lower resolution, which isn't really a good choice, IMHO).

    Also, here's a clue, to Nvidea. Not everyone has a smart phone yet, so don't plan on only making smart phone docking to tablets/netbooks your only choice, or you're simply screwing your own business/profit.
  • claytontullos - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    "I've been thinking about device synergy, something I brought up in our PlayBook review. The problem is as follows: if I'm on my desktop with half a dozen tabs open and perhaps a PDF as well, but I decide to switch over to a tablet - there's no quick way that I can transition my reading environment between the devices. What I have to do is sit down on the couch, whip out my tablet, and manually navigate to each website and redownload/open the PDF"

    That was my suggestion/comment in the first Xoom giveaway. :p
  • qhinton - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    If you have an android phone or tablet you could use a program in the Google Chrome browser called chrome to phone. It basically sends the website to your device and your browser opens magically. Reply
  • dan76 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Great review, thank you.

    There appears to be a lot of confusion about whether or not the US version of this magificent tablet will a wifi only version with GPS.

    This review states that there is no GPS in the US wifi only version. Other sites and spec references all say there is GPS though. Asus currently only has an international spec site that is pre-today's US release date announcement.

    SO, this is the first I've heard of there not being GPS in wifi only TF101. It has been confirmed that the UK and earlier released wifi only models do in fact have GPS, but I understand the US version could be different.

    Can someone please confirm with references? Thank you very much!
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I just confirmed with ASUS, the US version does have GPS hardware. Maps seems to require an active WiFi connection to use GPS however, which is why I originally assumed it wasn't present. My mistake, I've corrected the review :)

    Take care,
  • Ananke - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    If the US version has no usable GPS, it is worthless at the $399. It may be considerable purchase at $299. Asus shall make no such mistake, it would be marketing suicide. Besides, they have only a month window in US to penetrate the market. In June, once Samsung and Co come with competing products, it is going to get ugly. There is no time for mistakes. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    That was an error on my part - sorry about that! There is GPS hardware in the Eee Pad Transformer.

    Take care,
  • Ananke - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Thank you Anand, for clarifying this. Your review is excellent, btw. I also wish all the best to ASUS - they are the first and only for now with a quality tablet that actually makes sense to own and use. Reply
  • swaaye - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Android needs to improve a bit before I think it's ideal for this kind of thing. Their GUI acceleration is still seriously lacking and it makes the stock browser slow even on these somewhat powerful devices. My EeePC 900 on XP with a pathetic Celeron 900 and GMA 900 browses faster than the Xoom in my experience.

    I think the only advantage to Android is touch input in tablet mode. But there is a real load of disadvantages to it.
  • Ikshaar - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Hmmm someone changed the text in the review... from not having GPS to no mention at all.

    Does anyone know if this has GPS or not ?
  • MilwaukeeMike - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Yes. :) Reply
  • Ikshaar - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Thanks. Cool. I see now the other comments... I guess we all posted at once.

    Now I wonder if this works with the WiFi tethering on my phone (Nexus), so I can get maps even when in the middle of nowhere.
  • I am as mad as hell - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Oh uh, more confusion upon us.. just head over to !

    They just mentioned that the Transformer has only a A-GPS, not a GPS!

    So what is it now?
  • qhinton - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    I assume you live in milwaukee. Have you heard of BEST BUY carrying this. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Device synergy is exactly why windows is a must for me. I write all sorts of apps, macros, and scripts that help me get **** done fast and efficient. I can draw a note on my screen, take a screenshot of that note, upload it, get a shortened url for it, and send that url to the computer in my bedroom (and make it automatically open up in its browser) all in a few keystrokes. There aint no way you are ever going to be able to do half of that with an iCRAP or an android. And even if you could, why reinvent the wheel? I did not spend hours writing custom visual C programs and autohotkey scripts just to turn around and be asked to set up all new stuff for some little piece of junk fad. If it cant run my stuff it is useless to me. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Let's say you have a desktop, a notebook, and a tablet. All have windows and all have a dropbox mapped to drive S: So I create files called "linkshareMain.txt","linkshareTablet.txt", etc. And on each device I have running in the background a program that reads those files parses out urls and opens each url in a new browser tab. So if I want to send this article to my notebook I just click on my desktop shortcut called "linkshare Notebook.txt" and paste and then save&close. Soon as my notebook is awake it gets that link and opens it and deletes that link from the file.

    I can also do the same thing using email. I just have a program that parses through all incoming email searching for keywords like: launch_urls_nb625: and then it treats all following lines of text as urls and opens them. Can also launch other programs, load pdf files, play videos, etc. So if I am at work and I want to read this article when I get home I just send myself an email saying launch_urls_main625: and this article comes up as soon as I wake my computer.

    It is fairly easy to set this kind of stuff up, and I will not migrate to a new OS or architecture unless they give me, the end user, this kind of control.
  • leonzio666 - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Hey, could you please specify what program reads and parses the text file in the background? I find this method of yours very interesting and would like to give it a try. Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, April 24, 2011 - link

    Wow, if I want to transfer links between computers I would just bookmark it and Xmarks does the rest. That's like one click.

    But it's good that you know how to do all that stuff the hard way; we'll need people like you if the internet breaks.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Yeah well when you deal with a lot of news articles and all sorts of random stuff, bookmarks quickly become impracticle. I have seen many a bookmarks/favorites page that will scroll down for miles and miles. I find that sort of thing unacceptable. I never bookmark a page I will most likely only visit once. Reply
  • jnmfox - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Sounds like a character from Wall-E Reply
  • daoist - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link


    Sorry to be pedantic about this, but everyone is really worried.

    Can you confirm that the GPS hardware works without wifi connected?

    Does the GPS turn on and get a signal even if your wifi is off?

    I understand that some apps (e.g. Google Maps) require a Wifi Connection to receive *data*, but does the Transformer require wifi to be connected to receive *GPS* signal?

    Could you download a GPS app which doesn't need data (GPS Status works) and confirm it works?

    Thanks for the in-depth review and for putting up with the GPS nonsense :)
  • daoist - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    That is, use GPS status with the Wifi Off, I meant. :) Reply
  • lobo4123 - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I'd like to see IR transmitters integrated into tablets and cellphones. They may be archaic, but it would be nice to be able to use an android device as a universal remote. Reply
  • flashbacck - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Are the performance issues in honeycomb something that needs to be fixed with quad core processors? I feel like that's throwing raw horsepower at a problem that should be fixed with better programming. Reply
  • spambonk - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Hey, Anand - did you test for light bleed?
    Some people have reported light bleed at the edges in a dark room.
  • ol1bit - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    These are great for flights over seas! 15 hours of battery life, you can watch movies, listen to music, browse the web (over the states), type emails, edit documents.

    All without a power cord, and it's small.

    I love it and the price is killer!

    I still want one like the Atrix, so I can carry one less device, ho and for this device, it can't be on AT&T. :-)
  • lcjgol - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Anand, you mentioned that the dock has a USB port. For the retail version review, could you stick a regular mouse in there and tell us how it works (or doesn't).


    After reading this review, I'm 80% sure I'm getting this for my wife's Bday in May (the remaining 20% of my decision will be based on the final retail review).

    My family may be Asus' target audience. My wife is a very light computer user at home and also slightly interested in an eReader and/or tablet. Up till now, she hasn't shown enough interests to warrant a single device, but this Asus tablet can do all of the above relatively well. I know an E-ink device would be better for reading, but she doesn't want another gadget around the house if it will only be used lightly. She also needs a keyboard sometimes, and that has been why we haven't bought a tablet yet. This dock solution is the best I've seen. Add to that the fact that I've been thinking about getting some kind of (relatively decent) touchscreen device for my young son to doodle with, and Asus may have my money yet again.

    Great review of a great device.
  • mino - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    "ASUS was at the forefront of the netbook revolution thanks to its close partnerships with Intel and Microsoft."

    What the **** has ASUS team's ability to innovate to do with Intel or Microsoft ?!?

    (Both of which actually tried to stifle the EeePC project.)

    Anand, you have just proved to me you really lost it. Can as well rename yourself to Anand, The Spinner.

    Old rule says "money rules". Having it only proven once again somehow fails to make me less sad.

    Old reader turned hater.
  • bplewis24 - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Okay, hater, please explain to us how Asus would have innovated the netbook market without Intel and Microsoft products. I'll be waiting.

    Do you see his point now? He's not taking anything away from Asus.

  • BugblatterIII - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    That's too heavy to carry around with the dock attached, but while I often need the keyboard I rarely need the extra battery life.

    Is the dock battery removable? If so does the dock still work, and how much weight does that save?

  • Abot13 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    When you remove the battery from the keyboard (if possible) would that mean that it topples over. iaw wont the "screen" be to heavy in contrast with the keyboard? Reply
  • BugblatterIII - Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - link

    Possible; I saw another review say that the EeePad is top heavy even with the battery in the keyboard. Reply
  • ProDigit - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    Too bad it's missing a mic/line in, and lan port, and 3 USB ports is a necessity for most!
    Has a low battery capacity, though high battery life,
  • BruceOTB - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Lack of 3G is a deal breaker for me. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    I believe they are introducing 3G models later in the year.

  • ubuntukungfoo - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    This device is pure sex as far as I'm concerned. I would probably leave my gf for it if the situation was right. I'm not one of those people that want a 20" desktop replacement laptop. That's never really been my idea of mobile. The screen size doesn't reflect any increase in other personal measurements either. I have no need to overcompensate though so, 10" of screen real estate is actually perfect.

    With mobile it's always been battery life for me. The 16 hour battery life just kills everything else in my view. It has just enough computing power for casual use. If I want to do major computer stuff, I'll do it from my main desktop workstation or I'll use this as a terminal for virtual environments.

    As far as desktop computing on the go, I'll just VNC, NX or even RDP over SSH into one of my dozens of VMs living in the cloud. The fact that this has some basic desktop functionality built in with honeycomb impresses the F out of me. If it ends up implementing the Batman protocol or some other mesh networking technology this could be the standard issue recommendation for everyone I know or do work for. This is everything the atrix wanted to be and more. I will be buying the keyboard and I think when you take into consideration it extends the I/O and battery life it's a must have and well worth the extra. How much does an apple bluetooth keyboard cost anyway and that battery can't be used by the ipad2.

    However, it would be nice if there was a bundle price rebate if you bought both at initial purchase get $40 back or something. It should cost more for people that don't know what they want. Having a separate keyboard also solves a problem that's often bugged me about conventional notebook/netbook computing. If something goes screwy with either your keyboard or display you're kinda screwed. This thing affords me some level of modularity which I like ALOT!

    Overall, for $550 price point for the complete experience I could certainly get a more powerful netbook or even notebook. For that matter I could build a massively powerful desktop computer. That's not the point here, and people that don't get it probably won't get it. Keep your storage and computing power in the cloud, it's much more economical on that level. It's all going that way anyway. Just look at what Apple is doing in NC. I already have dropbox, amazon cloud storage, EC2 and Asus even acknowledges this by including one free year of unlimited cloud storage with the device.

    The truth is most people don't come close to tapping the full computing power of their desktops anyway. The lowest cost i7 processor is more than capable of running 24 separate virtual machines of various platforms concurrently with the right configuration. I do this for school systems on a budget all the time. I'll just tell them to buy transformers rather than thintops for each seat. The cost is really pretty comparable.

    My iPhone got bricked with the iOS 4.3 update and I took it to the apple store so they could manually reload the firmware with their special tools. While I was waiting in line I got to play around with and ipad2 and a macbook air. I'm no apple fanboy but I was all but sold on getting one of those, that is until I found out about the transformer on the linux action show. This is actually kinda both and ipad2 and a macbook air in one if you think about it for a third of the cost.

    Asus seems to get it, although by their advertising they don't understand the American market very well. The enthusiasts, the ones that will really be passionate about this product just need detailed hands on reviews to be sold on it. This review on Anandtech just solidified everything I already felt. The lay person, the non-apple brainwashed masses just want to know that it's polished, quick, easy and $100 cheaper than the iPad2. The techy people already know everything that's obvious about it and just want the nitty gritty details.

    In regards to the android tablet competition out their, even other Asus tablet lines, don't even bother. That galaxy tab is a nice little form factor but there's not enough screen real estate to justify the cost. It's also not much bigger than my friends droid phone. The xoom is just too expensive and it's not very intuitive. It took me about 2 mins to locate the power button, and I'm no slouch. LOL I have high hopes for the Asus Eee pad transformer t101 and I'm sure the t102 will be even better. I'm sold!
  • ECTechSupport - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    You can also resolve this problem with a Citrix environment and using a device that has the Citrix Receiver installed.

    "The problem is as follows: if I'm on my desktop with half a dozen tabs open and perhaps a PDF as well, but I decide to switch over to a tablet—there's no quick way that I can transition my reading environment between the devices."
  • CharonPDX - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    I got an iPad for my wife. After a week, she decided it wasn't something she'd use. (She is a stay-at-home mom, and her laptop works just fine for her.)

    I played with it a little, but didn't really think it could replace either my (aging, due for replacement) laptop or my mobility-is-all netbook. Then I saw a coworker's hard-sided aluminium keyboard case. (Zaggmate, for those that are curious.) That sold it. I now haven't used my netbook in months, the iPad+keyboard is smaller and can do more; and my laptop has been relegated to "small desktop computer" status. (I also have a dual-socket workstation at my desk, but it's so loud, I usually use the notebook.)

    It achieves essentially the same form factor as the EeePad Transformer. And I love it. I can nearly guarantee that whenever I replace this iPad, it will be with a similar paired device. If the EeePad Transformer had been out when my wife poo-pooed the iPad, I likely would have returned the iPad and gotten the Transformer.

    Your 'value' judgment on it is odd, though. You make a big deal out of the $100 cheaper the Eee is over any other tablet, then balk at the $150 keyboard. Pretty much any keyboard case for the iPad is $100. The extra functionality of this case is easily worth the extra $50! (I'd love to have the "iPad Camera Connection Kit"'s SD card slot built in to my keyboard along with a 50%-extra-life battery!) Even with the keyboard, it's then only $50 more than a few other tablets, and STILL cheaper than the Xoom.

    If you have *ANY* use at all for a keyboard on the go, if you were even SLIGHTLY considering a netbook or a low-end notebook to go with your tablet, this is an AMAZING value.
  • Zingam - Saturday, April 23, 2011 - link

    Finger prints festival Reply
  • kasplat - Sunday, April 24, 2011 - link

    If they supported SDHC then you could store so much more and the storage would be faster and cheaper. Is the microsd really saving that much space or money? The Apple dongle approach almost makes more sense except that in Apple's case you can't really use the storage via the camera connector kit as extra storage, just for transferring. Reply
  • HTC Fan - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    I registered just so I could comment how great I thought your review was.

    This is probably the best tablet out there you can get for a very competitive price. You did mention that the docks does cost a lot but I think it is worth it for extra battery life and for versatility, and even with the $150 it is STILL cheaper than the cheapest XOOM.

    I am waiting for the Samsung 10.1 as I do want a lighter tablet, but if that thing wasn't announced I definitely would have gotten this.
  • antoniolicon - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    My imagination is stirred by your mention of 'device synergy'. It reminds me of an article I read in Gizmodo:

    I have this mad idea that in our glorious future we will be able to dock these mobile devices (maybe even wirelessly!) and expand our processing, gpu, and ram much in the same way we can attach a keyboard, mouse, or monitor.

    Maybe offices will contain a cpu room that distributes processing power out to my phone or tablet at my desk.

    Airports and cyber cafe's might offer processing power in much the same way they offer wi-fi.

    Crazy, right?

    BTW, I would love to see a benchmark comparison of the iPad2 vs the acer w500 and it's ilk. I am hoping to see (this year!) a netbook killer tablet that runs a serious OS. OSX, Windows, or Linux (Ubuntu Tablet Remix would be great!)


    Antonio Licon
  • hldc1 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Does anyone know if you'll be able to use a 3G/4G USB modem/data stick (from Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.) with the Asus Transformer? Reply
  • JBT - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    I've heard if you buy them together the keyboard is only $100 rather than $150. Reply
  • DesktopMan - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    Why no gaming benchmarks? I think they're important to show what a poor performer the Tegra 2 GPU actually is. Reply
  • spambonk - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    Owners are saying a new firmware update is rolling in at the moment, fixing the video camera stutters. Reply
  • Ramshambo2001 - Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - link

    Does downloading a third party app fix the issues with the camera? Reply
  • Ramshambo2001 - Monday, May 02, 2011 - link

    Awesome review, I just ordered mine yesturday. Found a $40 off coupon for Target from! Crazy awesome deal for $359! Reply
  • techwafer-tech - Thursday, May 05, 2011 - link

    You can buy it at Target. When you add the Transformer to your cart and use the promo code TCA27BAR, you can knock $40 off the price. Check <a href=" Reply
  • weeweeman - Thursday, May 19, 2011 - link

    This is a IPAD2 killer and this has now already dropped in price! It is currently sub £400 on Amazon! - Reply
  • A-Griffith - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    I do not generally write reviews but this tablet is worth it. I have owned(and returned) and Motorola Xoom and have tested the Ipad 2. BOTH are nice devices for sure but a tad bit overpriced and I am not a huge fan of the boring iOS customization options. For $399 (Asus Transformer 16gb version) you get the 10 inch tablet, you get the Tegra POWER, the nice sound and the latest Android tablet operating system (honeycomb) which is the perfect combination.

    Device feels very solid in hand, not too light, not too heavy, all of the apps from my previous Mytouch 4g work on the tablet and it functions very well. Battery life is GREAT, I set it to leave wifi on permanently without disconnecting and took it off the charger at 9pm yesterday, used it to tweet, browse and type a paper while listening to non stop music until about 1-2am. Woke up today at 9am, my new emails were synced and gtalk was running.....STILL had 69% left. It is now going on 1pm, i haven't used it much besides for my alarm clock and listened to another 10 songs and tweeted while i got ready for class and its sitting at 63% now.

    - Great Battery Life (Without the Keyboard dock's extra power source)
    - Nice weight, does not feel cheap
    - Android 3.0 for tablets is a great step forward to set it apart from everyone else just using the phone OS
    - SPEED
    - Can handle ALL tasks( Recreation, Games, Music, Work documents, homework, etc) My laptop has been put to rest since owning a table.... R.I.P.
    - PLENTY of apps for everyone and everything you are interested in.
    - Google talk video chat works like a charm
    - Cameras take good quality pictures

    - Not a fan of the placement of the speakers since they put them towards the bottom. My hands sometimes blocks them while holding the device but i can still hear the music just fine(even though not as loud)

    - The charger is kinda short, that is acceptable but it seems like when you plug the Tablet to the computer it stops charging when you have the screen on, i found that a little strange. Safety reasons? im not sure.

    Final Verdict: If you want a GREAT tablet that is affordable, has video chat, music, games, apps, full internet browsing abilities and PLENTY of customization options then this is your device! Easily replaced my new laptop, much lighter, better battery life and can do the same things...literally.

    *** P.S. If you will buy this Tablet I suggest you have compare price before you decide at -->
  • aphonic - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - link

    I've never felt the need to comment even as a reader since basically inception..because the reviews are always great.. as is the tech info. This is no exception, but I wanted to put my $.02

    The tf is a device that could have solved some problems..however, it is clearly beta from head to toe. It's an incredibly frustrating device to use. Unresponsive is being kind. 3.1 didn't solve the issue, the trackpad being unable to disable touch click makes it useless. One cannot even type a reply like this in the browser with the hard keyboard due to tremendous lag (including alternate browsers, though opera is better)

    it's a real shame this wasn't a more considered device prior to release.. and imo, since asus as speculated the sequel in q4, don't pay to beta test honeycomb and their product. This is simply not a product ready for prime time. Some of the blame lies on asus, some on google, but either way, by the time things are resolved, there will be much faster hardware.. wait six months.
  • austrien - Monday, July 11, 2011 - link

    Can the USB cable on this unit be plugged into a USB connector that plugs into a car's cigarette plug for charging and if so what would be the time involved? Reply
  • Bearocalypse - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I'd take it travellinf Reply
  • agprimed - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    Would love even more to have one Reply
  • Magictoaster - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I can has tablet Reply
  • honvl - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I'd study for a networking certification at the local park by reading ebooks and using telnet over wifi. Reply
  • - Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - link

    Where were these 5 years ago? Reply
  • MikeFagi - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    All the convertibles should use this attachment, because too many have broken or damaged hinges, so an attachment with a replaceable keyboard would ensure long term usability and durability. Reply
  • MikeFagi - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    I wish that the reviews indicated if the USB ports in these devices are compatible with USB wireless internet sticks, like the Sprint Novatel/Sierra or the Verizon... that way you could get internet on the go and still use the stick with your laptop. Many linux laptops can use the USB wireless sticks, so an Android device might, if it is based on linux as I heard. Also, can the USB support external keyboards or mice? I would much prefer a full sized external keyboard and to connect this device to an external monitor than to use it with the connector as a netbook. Reply
  • lyndsay - Monday, January 09, 2012 - link

    Have any of you ever loaded a file from a USB Stick to the keyboard of the Asus EEE Pad transformer? Every time I load the book to the computer. I go to the bottom right and open the file. But it says, open file failed. Im not sure how to get my files to open, or what settings need to be changed. If anyone can let me know, that would be great. Thanks Reply

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