Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101: A Tablet In Disguise

Eee Pad Transformer: More Than Meets The Eye

The real hotness tied to the Eee Pad Transformer comes from its docking station. Unlike other tablets, docking the Transformer essentially turns it into a notebook. Because the security tabs that lock the Transformer in place are located on a hinge, you can even adjust the screen. As a result, you're able to close the display lid, just as you would on a notebook. Unfortunately, you also have to spend another $150 because Asus sells the docking station as a separate accessory.

You may not realize it at first, but the docking station also extends battery life; there's a supplemental battery pack located underneath the keyboard. How much longer you're able to stay away from the wall depends on the workload. In general, though, expect to roughly double battery life.

Bear in mind that the battery gauge in Android only reflects the amount of life left in the tablet. It doesn't take into account supplementary power in the docking station (the Transformer treats the docking station's battery pack more like an uninterruptible power supply).

If the Transformer and docking station are both 50% charged, you're not going to get as much run time as you would with the Transformer on its own at 100%. Once you dock, the Transformer uses whatever power is left in the docking station to charge its own battery. For that reason, road warriors should stay docked as much as possible.

While battery life is a major bonus, the USB ports on the docking station also go a long way to expand your storage possibilities. The Transformer recognizes any storage device formatted using FAT32 and Asus provides a native app for file management, so there's no need to hunt down OI File Manager (a necessity for the A500).

Touchpad Mouse CursorTouchpad Mouse CursorUSB Mouse CursorUSB Mouse Cursor

If you're using the docking station, we highly recommend a USB mouse. The touchpad on the docking station displays a circular cursor, which just feels weird. It takes up a lot of space on the screen, so we're never quite sure if we're actually clicking the location we want. Once you plug in a USB mouse, you get a familiar arrow cursor.

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  • americanherosandwich
    If only some of them sold for $99... but a chance to win one of four for free = just plain awesomeness!
    4
  • compton
    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?
    0
  • Dangerous Beans
    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.
    3
  • clonazepam
    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
  • clonazepam
    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.
    1
  • Geef
    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
  • ps3hacker12
    BTW WARNING ITS A US ONLY COMPETITION : (
    0
  • siege_templar
    i am so sad, i cant enter comp due to:
    under 18
    and i live in aus :(
    isnt tomshardware from germany?
    0
  • anonme
    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
  • anonme
    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
  • anonme
    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
  • Device Unknown
    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
  • Lyrick
    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.
    0
  • cknobman
    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.
    2
  • Au_equus
    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
    0
  • jabliese
    No stupid facebook, hooray!
    2
  • Anonymous
    the newest version of Glbenchmark has an off screen test at 720p which can be used to compare devices with different resolutions
    0
  • JohnA
    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.
    1
  • megamanx00
    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
  • randomstar
    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!
    2