More Enhancements & Final Words

Android 3.1 brings even more than what I've been able to go over here. The recent apps menu now shows more items and is a scrollable list, making multitasking far more capable on the platform.

Tapping the home button will take you back to the last home screen you were on, not the center home screen. Widgets are resizable, another nice addition:

The OS now supports one click importing from digital cameras over USB, making a system like the Eee Pad Transformer even more PC like. What's most impressive about this update is how quickly Google was able to get it out. The Android team is relatively small and to see these sorts of improvements in a couple of months is a very big deal. Adding support for USB keyboards, mice and gamepads is also a hint at the usage models Google wants to enable in the future. The line between tablet and PC is going to get very blurry in the next 3 years.

My only complaint is that despite having a relatively unified launch platform, there's still a staggered rollout for the update. Xoom users got it first, then the Eee Pad owners. The Galaxy Tab and Iconia folks are obviously next on the list. At least this time around we're talking a matter of weeks and not months/years.

For those of you who purchased Eee Pads, keep an eye out for the 3.1 update this Monday. If you're still shopping for a tablet, the 3.1 update does make the Eee Pad more attractive. There are fewer rough edges to worry about and a better overall experience, albeit one that's still imperfect. Recording video seems better than it was last time but it's still not that great. While I'm impressed by the Eee Pad, I'm wondering what a thinner version running Kal-El later this year might be like.

The Dock Experience
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  • sprockkets - Saturday, May 28, 2011 - link

    Too bad they are in short supply. Reply
  • fatso485 - Saturday, May 28, 2011 - link

    the stable 1.6GHZ kernel is out http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1...

    it should be tested
    Reply
  • ProDigit - Saturday, May 28, 2011 - link

    It's 399Eur, or a good $550, not $399! Reply
  • shabby - Saturday, May 28, 2011 - link

    You europeans are paying a 40% tax on it, its $399 over here. Reply
  • risa2000 - Sunday, May 29, 2011 - link

    In fact, even though there is VAT (~17-25) around Europe, I believe this is so called "Apple exchange rate". Introduced by Apple when they found out their stuff would be insanly cheap here, they set 1 EUR = 1 USD.

    It has been later adopted by Valve's Steam for no obvious reason except making more money.
    Reply
  • jalexoid - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    Fortunately the tablet + dock combo is cheaper in UK than in US.
    UK price 429 GBP = 710 USD
    US price 730 USD
    Reply
  • darkhawk1980 - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    ...

    I don't think you get it.

    I paid $503 for my 32gb transformer, and $155 for my dock.

    $658 total for the tablet and dock is still cheaper than your $710 USD in the UK. I don't know where you get your prices, but they're a bit wrong...
    Reply
  • nagi603 - Sunday, May 29, 2011 - link

    Hell, it's closer to $650 where I live... damn "exchange" rate. Reply
  • dananski - Sunday, May 29, 2011 - link

    Yeah, it's £370 ($609.50) in the UK and that's at the cheapest dodgy online store, it's at least another £10 from any reputable place. It's 'only' £399 for an ipad 2, but I thought this Asus was meant to be a much cheaper alternative rather than competition at the same price point. Reply
  • robinthakur - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    It is a poor man's iPad but ironically costs far more...which is the poblem with all Honeycomb tablets thus far. I voted with my money and just bought an iPad2 having tried out the Xoom and the Transformer and don't regret my decision one bit. The difference in smoothness is in order of magnitudes. Reply

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