Pros + Build quality of the tablet is awesome
+ Screen is superb!
+ Interface/Touch is very responsive
+ Best android browser
Cons - At the time of this writing, there are only two accessories on the market
- If you're given the case and hold it with the Asus logo right side up and open it, your tablet is upside down
Summary I've used the Transformer for nearly 4 weeks - vastly better than the Xoom (had both Wifi and 3G versions for over 2 months, before sending both back for returns when the Transformer arrived). It is head and shoulders better than my ipad, for multitude of reasons, although the main reason is open vs closed (read inexpensive vs expensive).Edit Link:
That said, there are a few issues. Camera is so-so, but still better than the ipad. Supposedly worse than the Xoom's camera, but I really didn't notice the difference as I barely use cameras on either tablet - and wouldn't miss it at all if there weren't a camera - I suspect 99% of people feel the same way and don't know why anyone includes a camera - most cameras on phones are much better (and more convenient form factor). Sound is weak but passable although the speakers are front mounted vs the Xoom's rear mounted speakers. It is "stereo", so still better than mono speaker on the ipad. On my recent flight to Kauai, slipped on my ear buds and the 6 hr flight zipped by while watching my favorite vids and reading my books - didn't have to connect to the keyboard dock for extra battery life. Image was superb, although only certain video formats work properly (avi works best imo).
Form factor is nice - slighter wider than the Xoom and a touch lighter, but "feels" much lighter as the weight is spread over larger area. Also chamfered corners help, although I'd prefer completely rounded corners for extended holding. Wider bezel gives place for thumbs to rest, compared to the Xoom which has narrow bezel and thumbs have little place to rest and occasionally touching the screen (not good in games or in busy websites with lots of links that can be accidentally activated, etc). Back is quality textured plastic with a tasteful sparkle finish and feels solid - only the most anal would have an issue - most laptops are plastic. Give me lighter and "plastic" vs "strong" and heavy any day.
Screen is top notch. Bright, vibrant and good color saturation (noticeably better than the Xoom) - similar to the ipad, but with better 16:10 format screen which is better for video (and web browsing - I like wider rather than cramped). Portrait is good for book reader and long documents. I use the Kindle app all the time, although Asus includes a decent book reader app.
The included software package is good - Polaris Office is a nice word processor and PDF reader - can view and edit MS files and PDF documents. "My Cloud" syncs with your desktop and allows remote access. Doesn't work perfectly with my 64bit Win 7 machine, but I've only used it once anyway. OEM Music player is nice, although could use an equalizer built in (but can get the free Equalizer app that integrates and works just fine).
Critics pan Honeycomb tablets because still only a limited number of apps optimized for Honeycomb (vs thousands for the ipad), but more come every day. Personally, I have every app I'll ever need already - give me good media apps, good document programs, a few games and some nice widgets and I'm plenty happy. When I had my ipad, I could care less about 99.9% of the apps anyway - how many dozens of weather apps do you really need? How many silly games? The argument is a complete red herring to get attention away from the real problem with the ipad - the closed software and closed device (no SD cards, USB or HDMI ports)
I also have the keyboard dock - got it mainly for the USB ports - a bit small for my large hands (I find many full size keyboards small). But the added battery is very nice, plus allows additional storage via full size SD card (in addition to mini SD card on the tablet itself). I thought it would dramatically speed my typing, but some of the aftermarket split screen keyboard apps (Thumb Keyboard by Beansoft is excellent) really speed typing on the virtual screen. But keyboard is surprisingly good. Nice chiclet style keys with good feel and lots of useful shortcut keys, plus touchpad.
I also find that there are significantly fewer FC's (force closes for you non-techies) on the Transformer than what I experienced on the Xoom - don't know why, as the processor and Android software are supposedly identical. I still average one FC or so a day, with heavy usage (I use it 12 hrs a day or more - from the time I wake up to go back to sleep). Nevertheless, the Transformer has completely relegated my newer laptop to a dusty shelf - literally have not turned it on since I bought my first Android tablet (Xoom) at the end of February. I can't imagine ever needing/wanting to use a laptop again - the sheer ease of "instant on" technology on an "open" Android device is fantastic. No more interminable MS "updates" for balky/insecure software. No more "closed" Apple nonsense that is only closed to force you to use iTune$.
That said, Android isn't fully realized and is still being fleshed out. Version 3.1 is due for release on the Transformer in June, so it's clear Google is still tweaking Honeycomb. But the updates are painless - the tablet automatically notifies you and you choose when you want to update.
Overall, the Transformer is an excellent device, especially considering the price. It is "the" best tablet available, bar none. And when you consider it is also the cheapest, it simply cannot be beat, particularly if you grab the dock and get the added utility of keyboard, additional battery, full size ports and additional storage (things you can't get on the Apple at any price - and never will - because they force you to use the Apple App Store/iTunes and pay thru the nose to add content).
*** P.S. If you will buy this Tablet I suggest you have compare price before you decide at: www.amazon.com/gp/*************?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%****%2Foffer-listing%2FB004U78J1G%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref_%3Ddp_olp_new%26condition%3Dnew%23&tag=***************&********=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957
Updated on Sep 27, 2011
If you will buy this Tablet I suggest at: www.ama zon.com/exec/******/****/B004U78J1G/cnet-offer-20
Updated on Nov 19, 2011Suggest at: www.amazon .com/dp/B004U78J1G/?tag=***************
Pros Connectivity, display, price
Cons Not many, really
Summary It's like a joke. No matter how cheap or expensive, responsive or defective, pathetic or brilliant, every gadget review in Cnet ends up at 3-and-a-half stars. Oh, or 3 and 4 stars. You know, in the real world, you don't expect absolutely every student to get a 7-8 mark. There will 2s and 9s and 0s and 10s.
This review is a case in point. After describing the the Transformer has the best screen, the best connectivity, and a dock that extends battery life and adds immense funcionality. It pretty much blows past any other Android tablet, and it's competitive with the Ipad 2.
On top of that, it costs *half* what the G-Slate does, and substantially less than any other high-end tablet. So? The G-slate is better because of "superior build quality". Barf.
"Got it. Love it"on by Relence
Pros In order of importance
2. Expandable Storage
3. OS that isn't made for a 3 years old
4. USB (on keyboard)
6. Packaged Apps from Asus
7. Body construction.
8. Software selections
Cons These are all minor issues that should not deter anyone from buying this product. Unlike the CNET reviewer, I'm going to be as objective. This is also in order of annoyance
1. OS and some apps are a bit buggy
2. Body construction
4. Software sel
Summary There are more pros and cons but these are the ones that are important to me. You're notice that some pros are also cons because there are good stuff and bad stuff with each. Most of my comments, I'm comparing it to the iPad2. I won't even bother with the other Android device because to me they are in a different price range. I won't bother with the Playbook either.
The screen on this thing is great. Buttons are minimal and placement are ok. I would have preferred the power button to be on top because you can press it accidentally due to how you hold it. Several times I turned the device off by just shifting it in my hands. They can correct this by making the button more flushed with the device (though not as flushed and small like the Playbook where it is very hard to turn the thing on/off if you have sausage fingers). The edges are sharp as the reviewer stated. I found that after holding it up for awhile, my hands started to hurt. Again this should not deter anyone from buying it since most of us will put a sleeve of some sort on it anyway. The construction isn't nearly as titanium solid as the iPad; however it is plenty solid and does feel like it's quality work. Some reviewers stated that it will 'give' if you apply a good measure of twisting and bending force on it. I'm confused by this. Who would do this to their high tech toy on purpose and on during general usage? I suppose accident can happen but even the titanium strong ipad can get damaged by accidents. Don't use it like a hammer and problem is solved. I like the grippy matted plastic back over the smooth metal back. For me, I rather be able to hold on to the darn thing rather than accidentally flinging it across the room by accident like I often do with my iTouch. If you want to be vain, metal does look better. If you want it functional, then grippy matted plastic is better. This point is moot anyway if you intend to put a cover on the device. Overall, I find the body construction to be excellent.
The Asus packaged software is great. They aren't necessary because you can probably get free ones (or dirt cheap ones) in the store to do what you need. But they are there and I like them a lot. The RDP is my favorite. From the confort of my bed, I can control every computer in the house. Even play music and movies through them. I couldn't get streaming to work due to my router but I found that letting my PC do the work while the pad simply displays the content actually worked out better. The app store isn't as big as iTunes; however I found that I got everything I needed for free. Several games for the kids and wife. Several media players, more rdp, vpn, book readers, comic reader, and other useful apps. Reflecting on my experience with iTunes, I found that there are thousands of apps; however many of them do the same thing. There are apps that are gems but so many are just junk. In the end, I found that the Android store has the same ratio of gem to junk ratio. The quantity isn't there but I got everything I needed so there's no complaint here. This is all subjective of course since others may need apps that isn't available yet. This isn't a big deal. If an app is great, it'll either get ported over or someone will copy it and deploy in for Android. As a note, I was surprise at how many apps that are already available. The OS is a bit buggy now and then. It does respond a fraction of a second slower than the iPad but I can forgive this. For one it's way more complex OS than the iPad OS. It's not just several windows with icons on it but appears more like a mini computer. Secondly, it is a newer OS so I'm actually surprise that it isn't crashing or lagging more. None of these bugs prevented me from doing what I needed done. I assume my OS/app experience can only get better after a few updates. Overall, I'm loving the OS and the apps. Multitasking is great. It actually feels like a mini computer rather than a big iPhone without the phone part.
Ouch. This is really bad. Laggy and blurry. I do hope that there is some sort of software update that can make this better. On the other hand, are you buying a tablet to make professional movies or become a professional photographer? Probably not so this isn't really a big deal. I tried taking movies and pictures of my kinds, then as I was holding up the pad, I asked myself "What the hell am I doing? I have a Canon T2i that does the job a billion times better". As a separate note, the iPhone 4 does take some really nice movies that are light-years better than this. I also tried the video conferencing and it's pretty decent. It's not remotely movie quality but it's clear enough that you can count the other person's nose hair. In this regard clarity may not be that important. There's definitely room for improvements here; however like any cell phone, the camera isn't a primary selling feature.
There are several things better on the iPad2 and there are some features and functions that fall short of some people's expectations. If I were to weight the pros versus the cons, for every cons, I find that there many more pros.
I believe the reviewer's grades and opinions are valid but too short sighted. To have a good grading system, you have to have a base of comparison. A grading today may be completely invalid 1 year later. What is it that the reviewer is comparing this device too? His ideal picture of a perfect device? The iPad2? If this device is scoring 6-8 rating, does this mean the iPad2 is a 10?
If I compare it to how I believe a perfect pad should be, I would give it an 7 because my ideal pad would be:
1. Weight 1/2 pound
2. Cost 250
3. Bug free
4. More Power
5. Selectively close apps on the fly
6. Built in phone with Bluetooth headset
7. Holographic image projection
8. Voice command and voice recognition security
9. Do my dishes and walk my dog
Pretty stiff order, right? On the other hand, comparing it to an iPad2, I give it a 10 while the iPad2 to me is an 8. iPad2 quality is definitely a 12; however the choke hold they put on you on various things makes it a 6. Average both numbers for an even 8 grade. Some may disagree with me. That's ok because this is based on my needs and opinions. The biggest grading factor for me is cost and freedom. I don't want to pay more and be limited to only how Apple want me to listen to music, play movies, store my files, etc. With flash, expandable ram, keyboard, usb support and a real multitasking OS, it comes close to being a real computer. Simple is great for little kids, grandmas and grandpas but I want something substantial for a real grownup professional working in an electronic world. The transformer is a good step in the right direction to ultimately replacing not only the netbook but the laptop and desktop as well.
Pros Asus like the Xoom are very good products much better than the Ipad this Eric Guy at cnet just love the apple product more.
Cons None that I can see.
SummaryI agree the Ausu/Xoom have so much more to offer for the money HDMI/SD CARD SLOT/USB/4G/ADOBE FLASH, Man too much to list.
Updated on Apr 22, 2011
Pros No need to use iTunes to transfer files.
No need to use iTunes to transfer files.
SD card slot
No need to use iTunes to transfer files.
Cons Several bugs to be ironed out.
Summary I'm in Australia & this looks the most promising tablet to come out.Also, forgot, will finally be able to watch Flash videos!!!
Having to use iTunes to transfer files is ****ing frustrating!!!!!!!!!!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I buy ebooks on the iPad, I can't transfer them to another tablet in future. This is a big shortcoming of the iPad. If I can transfer them, then Apple haven't made it clear enough!!!
I don't really care for the video camera, I just find it stupid to use something so bulky to record video & take photos. Most smartphones can do that in 720p & now being released to do 1080p - one hand operation!
I don't care on the 'handling' issue, as my current iPad is in a protective leather case - I can't imagine someone spending $600 & then not investing $50 in a case to protect.
I don't care for lack of 3G as free wifi is everywhere & 3G is sooooooo slow by comparison.
I hope (fingers crossed) that I can use it at University to work on Microsoft Word Documents & then sync it to my home PC for the same file when working on it. Maybe I am asking too much??!!
Would be great if this tablet could open files on my Home Network too (Windows based PC), via wifi router??
Updated on Apr 24, 2011
Updated on Apr 24, 2011By transferring ebooks, I mean to a non-Apple tablet