Tag Archive | "asus eee pad"

Previously Leaked Asus Transformer 300 Revealed, Asus Taking the Transformer Prime Mainstream? [video]

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Asus has taken the wraps off of the Eee Pad Transformer 300 series at MWC today. This model was leaked last month, and while the series (300) name led us to believe that this would be a full upgrade from the Transformer Prime (200), it seems like Asus is actually trying to create a more affordable mainstream version of the Transformer Prime. Here’s an intro video from Chippy with his hands on the Asus Eee Pad 300 series:

The Eee Pad Transformer 300 is based on the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 platform and running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, just like the Transformer Prime, but lacks some of the premium materials found on previous versions of the Transformer. There’s also new colors available (white, blue, and red) to spice up the look a bit. As with the other Transformers, the keyboard dock on the Transformer 300 is optional, though it isn’t clear if there is interoperability between the keyboard of previous generations and that of the 300 series.

Chippy suspected from his hands-on with the Transformer 300 that Asus is aiming for cheaper prices and mainstream adoption. I think we can conclude that this is the case; Asus specifically mentions that the Transformer 300 is “the ideal tablet for anyone buying on a budget, and for those looking to get more out of their tablet.” We’ll see just how low Asus can price the Transformer 300, but it’s great to know that they plan to offer a device with the latest Nvidia Tegra 3 platform and a mainstream price.

No word on exactly what the Transformer 300 price or release date is just yet, but Chippy has his feet on the ground in the heart of MWC and will surely relay it back to us at here Carrypad HQ if he hears anything about it. You can see Asus’ Transformer 300 mini-site here.

Here is the most detailed list of specifications for the Transformer 300 that Asus has yet released:

Operating
System
Android™ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)
CPU —————
NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 T30L Quad-Core @1.2GHz
GPU —————
GeForce® 12-core, 3D stereo (built-in)
Memory/
Storage
—————
RAM:1GB / ROM:16GB
Networking —————
Wifi/3G/4G LTE
Data rate:
a. 3G SKU: HSPA+ 21/5.76 Mbps
b. 4G LTE SKU: 100/50 Mbps
Connectivity —————
802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0
Display —————
10.1″ WXGA (1280 × 800) LED Backlight 178° wide viewing angle IPS panel,
10 finger multi-touch
Camera —————
8MP auto-focus (rear), 1.2MP ( front ) camera with F/2.2 large aperture
Interface —————
2-in-1 Audio Jack (head-out/MIC-in 2-in-1)
1 × micro-D HDMI 1.4a port / 1 × microSD Card Reader / built-in microphone /
High Quality Speakers
Battery —————
10 hours; 22Wh Li-polymer;
15 hours with mobile dock; Dock: 16.5Wh Li-polymer
Keyboard —————
Mobile dock with full QWERTY Keyboard (Optional)

Asus Debuting New Eee Pad Tablet With High Resolution Display at MWC?

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Mobile World Congress, the annual mobile tech trade show held in Barcelona , is fast approaching. All manner of mobile tech companies will be debuting new products, and Asus has been releasing brief teasers of their upcoming announcements. Their latest teaser suggests that Asus may beat Apple to the market with a high-resolution tablet.

Yesterday’s teaser showed three nesting (aka Matryoshka) dolls with the tagline “Divided we stand. Together we rock.” Many are (probably rightly) attributing this to the forthcoming Asus Padfone which is a phone that can dock into a tablet which can dock onto a keyboard to become a smartbook.

Asus’ latest teaser shows pretty clearly the the company intends to offer a tablet with a high resolution (as Apple likes to call it: “Retina”) display on an Android tablet. The teaser shows a box filled with colored spheres (representing pixels), then shows the same setup but with a greater number of spheres that are smaller in size. The tagline is “Eager to see more detail? Twice the detail, twice the fun.” This is an obvious analogy to screen resolution, and if they really are doubling the resolution of their (1280×800) Android tablets, then you’ll be looking at a 2560×1600 resolution tablets in the near future. This would put the PPI at 298.9, beating out the 2048×1536 (261.22 PPI) display that is expected to be included with the iPad 3.

A few weeks ago, a new Asus tablet was spotted which was purportedly the ‘TF300T’, could this be the high resolution tablet that Asus will be showing off at MWC?

Chippy will be at MWC this coming week to cover all of the action, stay tuned for the official announcement from Asus.

Edit: As a few people pointed out, the resolution might not be 2560×1600. In the video, Asus might be referring to actual pixel count when saying “twice the detail” rather than the horizontal and vertical values of the resolution. If this is the case, Asus would be talking about going from 1,024,000 (1280×800) pixels to 2,048,000 (~1920×1080). My apologies for the confusion, we’ll know for sure soon!

More Asus Transformer Prime Videos and Details

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The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is shaping up to be a hot seller with its quad-core Tegra 3 CPU/GPU combo and its attachable keyboard. Just a few days ago, our pal Ritchie got his hands on the Transformer Prime and produced a great overview video of the device. Now he’s drilling down the specifics.

Ritchie has fielded a number of questions from folks interested in the Transformer Prime, and prepared a whopping 5 new videos for your viewing pleasure. We’ll drop one here, but if you’d like more, certainly go visit the post over at Ritchie’s Room.

Transformer Prime Official Page Leaks Early. Manual, Details, Source Code Revealed

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The Transformer Prime is still not featured on the front page of Asus.com, and a support page hasn’t gone live yet, but if you’re sneaky, you can find the Transformer Prime’s official product page on Asus’ website.

It would appear as though the product page has gone live earlier than intended as Asus is still advertising for the original Eee Pad Transformer on the front page of their site. Additionally, the Transformer Prime micro-site still shows the “Prime is Coming” teaser text. Though we already know most of what there is to know about the Transformer Prime, the official product page gives us the first official list of specs as well a the user manual of the upcoming Tegra 3 tablet.

The launch of the official page may indicate that a Transformer Prime release date is not far off.

Don’t miss the Prime first look hands-on video from Ritchie’s Room.

Colors

We can also finally see the two colors (Champagne Gold, and Amethyst Grey) that the Transformer Prime will be available in, thanks to some new photos:

Manual

Though most of us glaze over gadget manuals, I’ve come to find that there are occasionally great tidbits to be found within. Thus, I’ve done you the courtesy of pulling out some of the good nuggets from the Transformer Prime manual so that you don’t have to.

From the manual we can see that you won’t get anything too exciting out of the box, which comes with nothing but the Transformer Prime itself, a USB charger, regional wall adapter, docking-to-USB connector, manual, and warranty card. And yes, you read that correctly — the keyboard is not included standard, it’s an accessory that will cost you $149.

The manual also tells us that the trackpad on the keyboard dock has two defined areas that will function as left and right mouse clicks. This will surely be handy for VPN applications (like the built-in ‘My Desktop’) and make the Transformer Prime even more capable of functioning like a full-blown computer:

Among other keyboard shortcuts, pressing the Fn-key along with the Up or Down arrow keys will jump to the top or bottom of a given page respectively.

We can also peek at some of the customizations that Asus has made to Honeycomb which runs on the Transformer Prime. Most interesting among the adjustments to the quick-settings panel. There is a special screen-brightness button that you can press to boost the screen-brightness for better outdoor readability. There’s also a performance toggle which can switch between Power Saving, Balanced, and Normal modes. It’s unclear whether or not these settings will impact the clock speed of the Tegra 3 hardware or simply adjust some of the system settings such as screen timeout and background app updates:

For the original Asus Eee Pad Transformer, one of the popular tweaks was to download a widget that would independently display the battery life of the tablet and the keyboard; by default the system only specified the overall battery levels. This time around, Asus is adding that funtionality out of the box. Thanks to the Asus Battery Level widget, you’ll be able to see the charge of the keyboard and the tablet without having to download any third-party applications or widgets. In addition to the widget, you’ll be able to see the battery levels on the notification bar and in the quick-settings panel.

 

If you’re curious about the supported media formats for encoding and decoding on the Transformer Prime and Tegra 3, the manual gives us full details:

  • Decoding (audio)
    • AAC LC/LTP
    • HE-AACv1 (AAC+)
    • HE-AACv2 (Enhanced AAC+)
    • AMR-NB
    • AMR-WB
    • MP3
    • FLAC
    • MIDI
    • PCM/WAVE
    • Vorbis
    • WAV a-law/mu-law
    • WAV linear PCM
    • WMA 10
    • WMA Lossless
    • WMA Pro LBR
  • Decoding (video)
    • H.263
    • H.264
    • MPEG-4
    • VC-1/WMV
    • VP8
  • Encoding (audio)
    • AAC LC/LPT
    • AMR-NB
    • AMR-WB
  • Encoding (video)
    • H.263
    • H.264
    • MPEG-4
The Transformer Prime comes with the MyLibrary app which seeks to compile all of your eBook into one place (something you’ve probably been longing for if you’re like me and have eBooks across Amazon, Google, and more). MyLibary supports ePub, PDF, and TXT and has your typical page-turning interface on a sepia background.
If you are thinking about using your Transformer Prime for enterprise work, Polaris Office is another included app which will be handy for your document editing needs. You can hook up your Google Docs or Box.net account to the app for some cloud storage action. It supports the following:

Asus is including the SuperNote app which will let you take hand-written and typed notes, completed with photos, audio recordings, and more. Without an active digitizer and stylus this seems somewhat out of place, but I suppose this will be enjoyed by those who can get along with capacitive styli.

Source Code

In the download section of the official Transformer Prime product page is a section called ‘Source Code’. This 89.9MB file is presumably the Transformer Prime’s software image, and might be useful for those hacksters over at the XDA Developer Forums.

Pricing for the Transformer Prime starts at $499 (+$149 if you want the dock) but the release date has not yet been announced.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Hands-on First Look [video]

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The Transformer Prime is the first tablet to be announced with the Nvidia Tegra 3 platform, and while the price and release date have yet to be officially announced, it is likely going to be in even higher demand than it’s predecessor, the Eee Pad Transformer.

Our pal Ritchie has a detailed writeup of his hands-on experience with the Transformer Prime along with some great photos to whet your appetite of this thin and powerful device. If you’re the visual type, he’s also prepared a video summary of the Transformer Prime for your enjoyment:

Ritchie says that the Super IPS+ display looks great, and this will be an upgrade over the original Transformer’s regular IPS display, while retaining the durable Gorilla Glass. Asus added a display brightness boosting function to the Transformer Prime which is intended for better viewing during outside use.

Tegra 3′s performance is also in full force; it appears as though it can handle 720p and 1080p video with no problems. That could make the Transformer Prime a great portable home-theater (thanks to the micro-HDMI port), with the only problem being the relatively weak Android codec support. I’m curious to know how well the Transformer Prime can handle software video decoding that comes along with some third-party applications.

The unit itself is slimmer and lighter than the iPad 2, and attached with the keyboard, the Transformer Prime is rated to run for 18 hours which is pretty awesome.

For more detail about the Transformer Prime, don’t miss Ritchie’s write-up.

Unless there are any unforseen issues leading up to it’s launch, the Transformer Prime is certainly setting the new bar for Android tablets, and I would go as far to say that Apple better pay attention as well. The Transformer Prime has nearly everything one could want in a tablet today except for a little Ice Cream Sandwich action.

 

Transformer Prime Shows Us What Tegra 3′s 12-core GPU Can Do [video]

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Tegra 3 is the world’s first quad-core mobile platform, Nvidia assures us, and along with those 4 CPU cores come the Tegra 3 GPU which has 12 additional cores of its own. Nvidia is happy to show off the graphical capabilities of the Tegra 3 GPU, which they claim to be up to 3x faster than the Tegra 2 GPU. A few months back (when Tegra 3 was still being called Kal-El) Nvidia demoed a game called Glowball on pre-production hardware. Now, Nvidia is showing off a new level of the game, running on a production version of the Transformer Prime:

If you were already anticipating the Transformer Prime, I can only imagine you are now that much more excited; you’d be hard pressed to call that demo anything but impressive. I’ll be curious to see some benchmarks, but I’d say Tegra 3′s graphical capabilities are right up there with Apple’s A5 CPU/GPU found in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

I think it’s great to see that competition has created extremely high performance mobile computing platforms, but when it comes to gaming on tablets, casual play is still where the segment thrives. As soon as you push touchscreen gaming beyond casual, you absolutely need a controller to achieve a reasonable experience. Even though we should be able to connect Bluetooth peripherals (or even USB), it seems that there is not yet a defacto controller to suit the needs of beyond-casual gaming on mobile devices.

What say you? Do you find beyond-casual gaming on tablets impractical with only a touchscreen to control them?

Transformer Prime with Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU Now Official

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The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (aka Transformer 2) leaked last month but now it’s all been made official. Tegra 3 has been confirmed, and although the Transformer Prime will ship with Android 3.2, they are confirming that it can be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Transformer without the signature attachable keyboard, and Asus is claiming that the Transformer Prime will get a whopping 18 hours of battery life from a full charge using both the tablet and the dock.

With the Tegra 3 quad-core processor (once codenamed Kal-El), Nvidia says that you can see improvements in speed up to 3x over Tegra 2, with up to 61% less power consumption. The lower power consumption is thanks to a fifth “companion cube” “companion core” that is designed to do the easy lifting, completely shutting down the quad-core CPU when it isn’t needed. Once you start doing tasks that require significant power, everything is shifted from the companion core to the quad-cores and the companion core is shut down. Nvidia calls this process Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing or vSMP.

The GPU included in Tegra 3 utilizes 12 processing cores and can automatically convert OpenGL applications and games into stereo 3D, allowing you to hook up your tablet to a 3D HDTV or 3D head mounted display (like Sony’s upcoming HMZ-T1).

The Transformer Prime itself is an impressive 8.3mm thick, which will make it the thinnest 10″ tablet available on the market (that is, until Toshiba releases their 7.7 mm thick AT200). It is also one of the lightest 10″ tablets at 586 grams, though still behind the Galaxy Tab 10.1. This is all without the keyboard of course.

The Transformer Prime screen retains the 1280 x 800 resolution and IPS technology used on the original Transformer. 1GB of RAM accompanies the Tegra 3 processor. Unfortunately, Asus has not moved the USB port onto the tablet itself, as per Damian’s hopes; you’ll still need transform into the keyboard mode to access the USB port. Unfortunately they’ve actually reduced the count from two USB ports to one, which seems like a step backward considering the good USB peripheral support of Android Honeycomb and beyond. The Transformer Prime alone has micro-HDMI, 3.5mm headphone/mic input, a built in mic, micro-SD card reader, and stereo speakers.

The Transformer Prime is Priced at $499 for a 32GB model or $599 for a 64GB model. There are two colors available: Amethyst Grey and Champagne Gold. The keyboard dock, which includes one USB port and a full-sized SD card reader and battery (and will add 537 grams to the Transformer Prime), is optional and will run you an additional $149.

Looking Forward to the Transformer Prime as an Original Transformer Owner

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transformer prime

Engadget has a story about the new Transformer 2 or Eee Pad Transformer Prime as it’s now been announced. Asus CEO Jonney Shih has shown off the tablet to Walt Mossberg at the All Things Digital AsiaD show.

Ben posted some info yesterday after we started to see teaser advertising.  We now know that it’ll ship with a quad-core NVIDIA chip (Kal-El), 10-inch display, mini-HDMI port, a claimed 14.5-hour battery (which I assume is measured attached to the dock), and an SD card slot (although this may be on the dock too). I’m also assuming that they won’t be stepping backwards and removing features form the original Transformer so it will have to have a USB slot and a micro SD card slot as well (on the dock).

The back of the tablet looks sleek in a brushed style aluminium that looks like the lids of the new Asus Zenbook line of laptops. It’s 8.3mm thin and lighter than the current transformer which sounds very good to me.

I use my Transformer (the original) all day everyday, but find that I don’t use the dock as much as I thought I would. I now have a stylus — with Evernote, the onscreen keyboard, and the stylus, I get by in 90% of cases. The Transformer itself lacks a USB port, and I do find that pretty constraining. That means I have to connect to the dock to get USB capability and that means adding weight and size.

Since I’m yet to run into a scenario where I need the extra (massive!) battery life that the dock gives me, I do get annoyed at having to add the dock to the device to get a USB port. Sure, an adapter for the Transformer would solve that issue, but it costs a whopping $70 by the time it’s shipped, and I can’t pay that much for a tiny bit of plastic.

What I’m really looking forward to, as I read about the Prime, is the reduction in weight with the dock, or a dream come true: the addition of a full sized USB port on the Transformer itself. I’m not going to kid myself that we’ll get a USB port, but if the unit is slimmer and lighter as expected, then I may not mind leaving the dock attached, and that would mean that the USB port on the dock would suffice.

Yesterday I played with the Eee Pad Slider, and while a bit heavier than the Transformer, it’s lighter than the Transformer with dock, and I was seriously considering purchasing the slider until the announcement of the Transformer Prime. I think I’ll wait until final figures around weight and size come in before making a decision.

Jonney Shih also said to Walt that he expects Ice Cream Sandwich to hit tablets by the end of the year and it’ll be interesting to see what OEM’s push it out first (if at all). Keep an eye out for Transformer Prime publicity on November 9th which is the official launch date.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer 2 Leaks, Tegra 3 and Ice Cream Sandwich Inside [video]

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The Asus Eee Pad Transformer 2 has leaked and Android Authority is showing off the goods. I must say I’m rather impressed with what I’m seeing from Asus here. It appears as though they’ve made the Transformer 2 to look just like one of their recently unveiled Zenbook Ultrabooks, meaning it’s thin and lean.

Not only does the Transformer 2 looks extremely svelte, while still retaining it’s signature keyboard-connecting feature, but it is packed with Nvidia’s latest and great quad-core CPU, codenamed Kal-El.

Kal-El is the world’s first quad-core mobile CPU, according to Nvidia. Though the processor is still currently codenamed Kal-El, it’s been colloquially dubbed “Tegra 3″, as that’s the name it is likely to launch under.

Then there’s that whole Ice Cream Sandwich thing which is also said to be included with the Transformer 2, according to Android Authority, which also has some additional leaked specs which you can find here. [Google and Samsung just blew the doors off of Android 3.0 Ice Cream Sandwhich last night at a join event, we'll have more on this soon.]

Here’s Asus’ just released teaser for the Transformer 2:

The original Asus Eee Pad Transformer was a runaway success for Asus, who struggled initially to keep them in stock against demand. Android Authority says a source is claiming a November launch for the Transformer 2, in time for the holidays.

Our own Damian and James co-reviewed the original Transformer and were rather impressed with the unit. They lauded the full USB port functionality (and compatibility with a wide range of USB peripherals).

You can see both parts of their dual-review here:

Hopefully we’ll see full USB ports return to the Transformer 2, and maybe we’ll even get full HDMI and a full SD slot — now that would be cool. I’m also hoping that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will provide functionality to make the hybrid nature of the dockable device even more useful when it’s in notebook-mode.

Official Asus Eee Pad Slider Page is up, Launch Imminent

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asus eee pad sliderAsus has finally gone and officially put the Eee Pad Slider up on their site.

The Slider may as well have been official for a long time as it’s seen more hands-on time than some devices that are actually available!

In addition to a few bits that are confirmed on the official page — the device shipping with Honeycomb 3.1 and Polaris Office for productivity work, weighs a hefty 960 grams! — there are a few strange bits as well.

For instance, Asus is either missing the point of social networking completely, or perhaps they prophetically understand it all too well. One of the sections that talks about the keyboard begins like this:

You can easily record and share every moment of your life, anytime and anywhere.

Does this strike anyone else as a bit creepy? I’m sorry Asus, but that’s not exactly what I’m looking to accomplish with the Slider.

Then there’s a set of visual instructions that I uncovered in the manual of the device that show a rather hilarious way to open the device (I can only hope this isn’t how you actually have to open it):

slider instructions

Anyway, it would be nice if Asus would just slap a price on this thing and let people start buying it! We’ve been waiting since it was introduced at CES 8 months ago!

via NetbookNews

The Asus Eee Pad Slider Gets a Thorough Hands-on Preview

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sliderOver at Ritchie’s Room, Ritchie has gotten his hands on a retail version of the much anticipated Asus Eee Pad Slider and has given us a great preview of the sliding Honeycomb tablet.

A few bits to take away from the reading:

  • Sliding mechanism works well (kudos to Asus for this)
  • Tilt of the screen cannot be adjusted (kudos revoked!)
  • On the topic of the lack of mouse/trackpad: “proximity of the screen in comparison to the edge of the keyboard actually lends itself to retaining the touch interaction”
  • The sliding function works well as a stand, even if you aren’t typing

If I were in the market for a tablet, the Slider would be a serious contender. Is it just me or does this thing seriously sleek looking? My only reservations are the lack of integrated trackpad or some other type of mouse, and the single USB port, though I could always add a USB hub if I wanted. The bezel is also a bit meaty, but I’m impressed with how thin they were able to keep it, despite the slide-out keyboard!

There’s more info to be found at the original post, including a brief rundown of some of the apps/services that the Slider will come with, and plenty of great photos. Be sure to check it out!

As for availability and pricing, at least one site claims that Asus Netherlands will be pricing the 32GB Eee Pad Slider at a rather hefty 499 euros ($711 USD) and that the device will be available in early 2012. The price may quickly come down however, and seeing how the Slider just made its way through the FCC, perhaps it’ll hit in the US a bit earlier than 2012? We’ll just have to wait and see!

Asus Eee Pad Slider Hands-on Video

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eee pad sliderI’ve always loved slider devices, and this is probably why I’m so excited for the Eee Pad Slider which has recently made its way through the FCC and should be arriving in stores soon.

Brad Linder of Liliputing points out a lengthy hands-on video of the Slider that recently went up on YouTube. I must say that the video only makes me more excited… the device looks really well built and the sliding mechanism seems to work great!

The only thing I’m not happy to see is that there is no mouse! I feel like Asus could have easily put a nub-mouse or optical mouse on the device and that would save people from having to use the only USB port on the Slider for an external mouse.

Source: Notebook Italia

Why I Chose the Eee Pad Transformer over the Iconia W500 Tablet

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Two devices recently stood out as a different kind of productivity solution, both offering the ability to convert between a tablet and a netbook. The choice is between the Asus Eee Pad Transformer and the Acer Iconia W500.  The Eee Pad runs Android Honeycomb while the Acer runs windows 7.

Both offer the ability to convert from a 10 inch tablet to a laptop style device with a keyboard and mouse. The Asus has a multitouch trackpad while the Acer has a pointing stick style mouse mover.

The units are comparable in features, specs and pricing. The main difference? Windows versus Android, and perhaps battery life. 4 hours for a tablet is pretty ordinary and no where near the Eee Pad’s 10 to 17 hours as a tablet or attached to the dock.

I miss OneNote and that makes me consider Windows tablets but while I could handle 3-4 hours battery life in the old days I’ve now been spoiled by modern day tablets and even netbooks or smaller latops like the Vaio T series which give 7+ hours easily and sometimes more than 10.

Evernote on Android has come a long way as well and while it lacks some of OneNote’s Office suite integration it is now a much more powerful note-taking tool.

One design issue is that the Acer W500 cannot be folded like a laptop while joined to the dock.You have to detach the tablet part, close the docking connector and then clip the tablet over the keyboard. It seems a little ill thought out and since we’re so used to closing up our devices in this way, it may lead to damage.

I disagree with reviews that argue Windows 7 isn’t touch or tablet friendly and in fact I’d say it is the best windows yet for tablet and touch use. But the Iconia doesn’t have a an active or pen enabled screen. It’s capacitive touch and that removed the last killer feature that would have made me buy it. The strength for me of OneNote on a tablet (and even Office as a suite) is that you can ink in it. Without the ability to use a “proper” pen, the Iconia W500 becomes just another tablet, with less battery life and all the issues of Windows including susceptibility to hacking and virus attacks and lacking the advantages of cheap, productivity enhancing apps. So it’s the Asus transformer for me.

 

Asus Makes Eee Pad Slider Official With Press Release Following FCC Sighting

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When we reported earlier in the week that the Asus Eee Pad Slider had passed through FCC approval, there was no official announcement from Asus. However, yesterday, the official press release announcing the device as part of the Asus product line went live on the Asus website. The official launch brings some additional tidbits that further pique our interest in this device.

One of the trends that is disturbing me in the Android infrastructure is the implementation of proprietary solutions to various use-case problems in new premier devices. Asus bundles Asus WebStorage with the Slider as a solution to cloud storage and populating an on-line archive with data you might need to access from multiple mobile devices. It is a nice touch (I guess), and I am sure one or two users will decide to use this solution instead of already existing cloud file services like Google Docs and DropBox, or cloud notebooks like Evernote or Springpad. My main issue is that every time a manufacturer deploys one of these in-house services on a tablet, the app is usually not uninstallable. The problem goes away if you wipe and root, but if you want to just run the device stock, these pre-loaded apps are annoying. It is very clear that the pre-loaded epidemic that plagued desktops and laptops for so long is creeping into the tablet market, as well.

Fortunately, that rant gets any negative take-aways I have from the press release out of the way. Most everything else is good news, or at least enticing news until we see some more definition from various allusions in the release. One of those items is in the area of the Slider’s ports. We were aware of the microSD port, but the Slider’s specs now also call out a 16/32GB Embedded Multi-Media Card (eMMC) port. This is called out as a discrete port in addition to the microSD port, so it makes me wonder if this will be a full-sized port like the Toshiba Thrive and Dell Streak 7 feature.

Also revealed is the fact that the device will be available in both pearl white and metallic brown color schemes. That designation appears to apply to the brushed layer applied to the slide-out keyboard, as can be seen in the pics attached. Android 3.1 will be pre-loaded and Asus indicates an upgrade to 3.2 as an OTA delivery, as we would expect. In case we were not certain before, the launch announcement confirms an IPS display (similar to the one used on the iPad) with a claimed 178 degree wide angle of view.

You can peep the specs in our product database here. A link to the press release is included in the source citations below. There is nothing in the press release on pricing or a release date.

So…is anyone holding off on that Asus Eee Pad Transformer purchase to snag a Slider instead?

Sources:

Gizmodo

Asus Eee Pad Slider Press Release

Asus Eee Pad Slider Spotted Sliding Through the FCC

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Cheesy headline aside… the second Asus Eee Pad, the Slider, is marching toward a US release as Wireless Goodness points out.

The 10” tablet was recently caught attempting to tip-toe its way through the FCC. The Eee Pad Slider is another keyboard-equipped Honeycomb-running Slate like the Eee Pad Transformer. While the Transformer’s keyboard actually detaches, the Slider goes for a different approach by allowing the screen to slide up to an angle, revealing the keyboard beneath. Despite having a full-blown keyboard, the Eee Pad Slider is still an impressive 13mm thick!

You can find full specs and more for the Asus Eee Pad Slider at its tracking page in our database.

Thanks to positive reports of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, the Slider definitely piques our interest and we’re looking forward to seeing what it can do. By showing its face at the FCC, it’s passed an important hurdle to US release, we’ll definitely be letting you know when we hear more about this svelte looking machine!

via Slashgear

Battery Monitor Widget is a Must-have for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer

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I stumbled on this pretty cool widget for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer [tracking page] that allows you to monitor both the tablet battery and the keyboard docking station battery. Asus didn’t actually give us any way to keep track of the charge in the dock other than a blinking LED which is next to useless. It basically turns green when charging, amber and amber flashing when being used and doesn’t light at all when empty. Not very helpful. This widget shows the percntage status of both batteries, right on your homescreen.

It was developer by an Android developer and is available here:

http://www.apktop.com/dual-battery-widget-0-3.html

It works as advertised and has a cool feature which only shows the battery status for the dock when you actually have it docked. It’s not from the market so you will have to download the .apk file and setup your Transformer to allow installs from third party providers (via your settings).

The widget is resizeable, and while the developer mentions advanced options to change text size and more I haven’t worked out how to do that yet; let us know in the comments if you have any luck!

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Review, Part 2 — USB Connectivity Tests and HDMI-out [video]

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Damian and I are at it again with another indepth review of the Asus eeePad Transformer and this time, we decided to throw as many USB goodies at the Transformer [tracking page] and keyboard dock as possible in an attempt to defeat it.

The USB selection included a Samsung USB keyboard with a trackpoint, a rather ancient looking Microsoft USB mouse, an USB Flash drive, a Sarotech ABIGS multimedia hard disk enclosure and a USB SD Card reader.

This video segment was totally unscripted and thus the we were genuinely surprised and excited that the Transformer worked and functioned with every USB device tested.

This is good testimony that the Transformer and the keyboard dock accessory is a real contender to replace the netbook as most of the common USB devices that we rely on for everyday computing will function on the Transformer.

Damian also commented that Asus will be releasing some useful Transformer adapters (including USB) for the tablet really soon which means you won’t need to get the optional keyboard dock in order to tap into the USB goodness!

The next challenge we had for the Transformer was hooking it up to a LCD TV via the HDMI out connection.

Note that the Transformer uses the mini-HDMI which differs from the Acer Iconia A500 that uses the micro HDMI instead. (If you’re looking for HDMI cables, don’t miss our guide on how to avoid getting ripped off)

There were no issues with getting the display mirroring working albeit a ‘gremlin’ moment when the LCD output display froze — this was rectified by detaching and reattaching the HDMI connector on the Transformer.

We tested video playback using 2 sets of 720p and 1080p video files and playback was disappointing on both the tablet as well as the LCD TV display out – both audio and video were terribly choppy and experience dropouts. This was encountered even after the latest Android system update which promised performance improvements which certainly weren’t evident in the video playback.

The system update did deliver some new cool features such as video editing application but that is review for another day, so stay tuned for that!