The Asus Eee Pad Transformer made its debut in April of 2011 and attempts to bridge the gap between tablet computers and netbooks. Its intuitive hybrid design features a standalone 10.1-inch touchscreen computer that functions independently as a tablet or as a traditional netbook when coupled with its optional keyboard dock.
At the heart of the Transformer resides a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 running in tandem with 1 GB of RAM. Its 32 gigs of flash memory can be expanded using a microSD card, as well as ASUS's webstorage service. Integrated Bluetooth and WiFi ensure that the Transformer can stay connected on the go. An external HDMI port allows for video to be outputted to a television or projector.
The LCD on the Transformer features an IPS panel with 10-point multi-touch. Its resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels provides video playback that is smooth as butter, and with a wide 178-degree viewing angle, your friends can gather round and watch comfortably without missing any of the action. Since it's covered in a thin layer of scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, the responsiveness and durability of the display is unparalleled.
The Transformer's keyboard dock, in addition to converting the Transformer into a netbook device, contains an additional battery that extends the overall life from around 9.5 to about 16 hours. It also features a standard SD card slot for extra removable storage, two full-sized USB ports, and a touchpad. It fits snugly and securely together with the tablet portion and has a flexible hinge for full adjustability.
To take full advantage of its Android 3.2 operating system, the Transformer includes two cameras. In the rear is a 5-megapixel autofocus camera that's capable of 720p video capture. While the camera takes clean shots in well-lit situations, it leaves much to be desired in low-light due to its lack of a flash. The front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera works great with Android's new video conferencing capabilities.
All in all, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer offers the best of both mobile computing worlds. The Transformer's performance and features position it on par with the current generation of tablets, and its capability to convert to a netbook is a solid feature that many consumers will find attractive.
Need to Know: Asus Eee Pad Transformer
1. The hybrid design allows for full use as an independent tablet or netbook, both of which function on par with the competition. (The Good)
2. The Transformer's screen is brilliant, highly responsive, and can be viewed from nearly any angle without distortion. (The Good)
3. With no flash, the rear-facing camera is virtually useless in low-light situations. (The Bad)
4. The keyboard dock includes many nice features such as USB ports and an SD card slot, but it is not included and must be purchased separately. (The Bad)