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Display Quality: Color Gamut

Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101: A Tablet In Disguise
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The Eee Pad Transformer is aptly named; there's more to this thing than meets the eye. Asus is the first to market with a tablet that pulls double-duty, attempting to replace your notebook, too. We put it through the paces to see how it really stacks up.

Previous Android-based tablets that passed through our lab used VA panels (Xoom and Iconia A500). Asus, on the other hand, chose to equip its tablet with a 1280x800 IPS panel featuring ~150 PPI (pixels per inch). That's slightly better than the 1024x768 IPS panel on both iPads (132 PPI).

Asus Eee Pad Transformer: LCD Color Gamut (S-IPS)

Even though mobile operating systems don't honor ICC color profiles, native color management does occur at the hardware level. When a GPU sends 10 different hues of blue to an LCD only capable of displaying three, the subpixels display the closest matching color. So, in a way, smartphones and tablets behave as if they’re using relative colorimetric rendering. For more information, read Tom's Hardware Benchmarks Inkjet Printer Paper!

The Transformer's IPS panel under-performs both iPads in just about every area, except blue and magenta production. Though, we should point out that Asus seems to be the only tablet that offers an impressive maximum brightness of 400 cd/m2. If you enjoy high-luminance displays, this tablet is a standout.

Understand that these gamut measurements are preceded by a couple of caveats. First, we're disabling dynamic brightness because it doesn’t allow us to get an accurate (or reproducible) measurement of the display’s potential. Second, brightness is set to the highest value. If you don't use the same settings, your color gamut is going to look smaller than what we're showing here.

The Eee Pad Transformer has a poor contrast ratio due to its inability to achieve deep blacks. However, color temperature is what really aggravates color quality. At 8400 K, whites have a slightly bluish tint, which is going to annoy anyone with a tendency to be picking about color accuracy.

Understand that gamma doesn't affect black or white performance, but it does affect midtones. If gamma is set too high, the midtones appear too dark. If it's set too low, they're too pale. Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft all recommend a gamma of 2.2. It's an arbitrary value carried over from the NTSC standard, but it was originally chosen because it allows colors to appear more natural in slightly dim environments. While the Eee Pad Transformer has a high-luminance display, it's gamma value is ironically better-suited to well-lit environments.

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  • 4 Hide
    americanherosandwich , September 13, 2011 4:28 AM
    If only some of them sold for $99... but a chance to win one of four for free = just plain awesomeness!
  • 0 Hide
    compton , September 13, 2011 4:42 AM
    Having recently tried the Transformer in person, I can say that it doesn't feel cheap and the novelty of the docking system could be awesome in future iterations. But as I recently found out with my $99 HP TouchPad, tablets have a long way to go in some areas. In the TouchPad's case, many of it's problems seem to go away when overclocking it's processor from 1.2Ghz to 1.8Ghz +. Of course, it's battery life is already less than compelling so you don't really notice the higher power usage. Like so much in life, better and faster hardware makes all the difference. Higher clock speed overcomes many of the problems HP could have ironed out had they given WebOS more time.

    The Transformer is a not-insignificant step forward for Android tablets. As an optimist, I believe the next iteration will be pretty damn good. But like the TouchPad, who knows how much longer it's going to be around?
  • 3 Hide
    Dangerous Beans , September 13, 2011 4:43 AM
    americanherosandwichIf only some of them sold for $99... but a chance to win one of four for free = just plain awesomeness!


    Yeah, if you are American. Hey Toms, how about you find some way to only display the comp if the reader is on an American IP address.
    Or better yet, find a way to let us enter.

    What is the point of a 32gb model when the tablets has a micro sd slot? I can get 2 32gb mSD cards for the extra $100 bucks.
  • 1 Hide
    clonazepam , September 13, 2011 6:00 AM
    I went to the verizon store to get help choosing some decent headphones for my bionic. While I waited for him to go in the back of the store and get a few models, I started playing pinball on the galaxy tab 10.1. When he came back there was that brief moment I couldn't decide to keep playing and ignore him, or set it down. win win here.
  • 1 Hide
    clonazepam , September 13, 2011 6:03 AM
    Dangerous BeansYeah, if you are American. Hey Toms, how about you find some way to only display the comp if the reader is on an American IP address. Or better yet, find a way to let us enter. What is the point of a 32gb model when the tablets has a micro sd slot? I can get 2 32gb mSD cards for the extra $100 bucks.


    They could do international possibly, if any international persons agreed to help pay shipping (I bet). A UK site I won't name allows international entries and lets them know up front they'd try to work with you on the shipping costs, etc.

    Wanted to add. I bought a transformer and dock for my mother. She's in her 60s and loves it. She takes it to work, to the coffee shop. I set it up for her, my first time with Android, and it definitely has its uses.
  • 0 Hide
    Geef , September 13, 2011 6:42 AM
    Well the first thing I think of when I'm looking at a tablet is NOT watching a movie in the park or playing around like most commercials show. I actually think of when I get up off the computer chair to head to the toilet. I don't read the newspaper here so where else am I gonna get my up to date info? Only bad thing I can think of for that is needing to wash hands and Tablet. :p 
  • 0 Hide
    ps3hacker12 , September 13, 2011 7:17 AM
    BTW WARNING ITS A US ONLY COMPETITION : (
  • 0 Hide
    siege_templar , September 13, 2011 8:48 AM
    i am so sad, i cant enter comp due to:
    under 18
    and i live in aus :( 
    isnt tomshardware from germany?
  • 0 Hide
    anonme , September 13, 2011 9:27 AM
    On the other side of the screen argument it seems to be one of the few that does not need closed curtains.
    Heavens forbid, it sounds decent outdoors too thoug OLED is probably better.
  • -5 Hide
    anonme , September 13, 2011 9:27 AM
    On the other side of the screen argument it seems to be one of the few that does not need closed curtains.
    Heavens forbid, it sounds decent outdoors too thoug OLED is probably better.
  • -5 Hide
    anonme , September 13, 2011 9:27 AM
    On the other side of the screen argument it seems to be one of the few that does not need closed curtains.
    Heavens forbid, it sounds decent outdoors too thoug OLED is probably better.
  • 0 Hide
    Device Unknown , September 13, 2011 10:32 AM
    I have been a loyal follower since Thomas first had his site up. I remember reading your BIO, you had this pic of you up, and how amazed I was at your dedication from leaving the medical field as a Doctor to taking technology to new heights with overclocking etc. Thomas always impressed me and I could not be happier with his success in life and with Thomshardware. Been a long road, many years. (I overclocked my first 486 DX2-66 thanks to you)
    I have entered every contest I could, haven't won, but will always be a loyal follower!
    To the other posters about this being US only. It's not the shipping costs, it's the laws and regulations on sending US hardware to other countries. Not impossible but too much of a bureaucratic pain to try to send anywhere in the world.
  • 0 Hide
    Lyrick , September 13, 2011 12:50 PM
    Is there any way to test the OpenGl and other video benchmarks at the same resolution? Maybe through the use of a video out or downscaling the other products to apple resolution. It seems unfair to bench Apple products at 1024 x 768 and others such as the asus transformer at higher resolutions like 1280 x 800.
  • 2 Hide
    cknobman , September 13, 2011 1:50 PM
    While I understand the position of the articles author I think the ASUS Transformer fills its niche perfectly.

    I purchased my ASUS Transformer for only $299(that was my ceiling price for a tablet) on sale and did so knowing that this tablet was not meant to replace my notebook for content creation.

    I can say since my wife and I have owned this tablet (2 months now) we have only used our laptop 1 time (and it was very frustrating using it that 1 time). The tablet is the perfect utility for doing couch surfing, social networking, light casual gaming, and QUICK information lookup on the web (which is what we do most often). This tablet was the perfect escape from the 5+ minute bootup and 3 minute shutdown of our laptop for situations where all we wanted was to hop on the internet and look up some information real quick.

    We never turn the tablet completely off and the touch of the power button and it is ready to go instantly. The battery will literally last an entire day (even with heavy usage), we stream netflix, and stream movies-pictures-videos straight from my server.

    All in all we are 100% happy with our Asus transformer and dont regret the purchase in any way.
  • 0 Hide
    Au_equus , September 13, 2011 2:11 PM
    the tf 2 iteration will be priced at tf 1's current price levels with the tf 1 price dropping. a tegra 3 tablet for $400 in november? it'll beat out the competition for the next few months, that is if it is no longer delayed
  • 2 Hide
    jabliese , September 13, 2011 2:48 PM
    No stupid facebook, hooray!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 13, 2011 3:31 PM
    the newest version of Glbenchmark has an off screen test at 720p which can be used to compare devices with different resolutions
  • 1 Hide
    JohnA , September 13, 2011 3:50 PM
    Got to play with an Ipad 2 for a good while this weekend. Can't see a good reason to pick this over it, unless price is your only concern. The Ipad beats it in every other way.
  • -2 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 13, 2011 5:26 PM
    I have the 16GB version and I like it. It's great as a tablet, but it's not replacing my i7 laptop for doing any kind of work :D 
  • 2 Hide
    randomstar , September 13, 2011 6:20 PM
    I bought a 10 inch tablet, but I just could not get away from needing to be able to do remote desktops and handle office doc, outlook. so i bought the Acer W500 - and could not be happier. I had purchased the A500 and took it back. note- it has a dock base similar to this one, but as it is a generic USB connection, you can use a USB extension cable to get keyboard to work from a vehicle mount!
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