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Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 review

Is this the Android tablet you've been waiting for?

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great performance
  • Decent screen
  • Excellent features
  • Keyboard works
  • The price is right

Against

  • Poor camera
  • Still not many Honeycomb apps
  • Fiddly onscreen keyboard
  • No USB charging

With every electronics manufacturer in the entire universe looking to release an Android tablet in 2011, individual products are all going to need some kind of unique selling point.

This is especially true with Android 3.0 products, because the vast majority of them are all packing near identical innards – namely Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual core CPU platform.

You can check out our Android Tablet round-up to see how this slate measures up against three of its rivals below:

The LG Optimus Pad, then, has its 3D camera. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V has its 8MP snapper. And the Android 2.3-toting HTC Flyer comes with its own Sense UI overlay.

So it makes perfect sense that Asus - the company that gave birth to the netbook - would seek to position its first Android tablet in a niche it knows well.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

Ever since the iPad was unleashed on the world like an Apple-scented hurricane in 2010, the humble netbook's days have been numbered. But the problem was that until now, there wasn't a product that truly offered the functionality of a netbook and the portability, convenience and not to mention the pleasure of using a tablet.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 is that product. With its detachable keyboard and trackpad dock, it's a powerful Android tablet while on the move, and a functional Android-powered netbook when you're sitting at a desk.

The back of the tablet and the keyboard is covered in a honeycomb-style texture, which makes it quite grippy to hold in your hand.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

That said, build quality doesn't quite live up to the impossibly high standards of the iPad 2. The plastic bodywork feels mostly solid, but there's a fraction of give there that slightly undermines what is otherwise a very lovely-looking device.

Another small negative is the size of the thing. The 10.1-inch screen is surrounded by a black bezel and a further metallic surround, which makes the device almost 20mm wider than it would be without them.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

It's also slightly heavier than some of the other tablets around. At 680g it's still not exactly heavy, and with the keyboard dock attached it feels about the same weight as a decent netbook.

And there is one enormous positive that we've yet to mention. The price.

The Transformer is available from as little as £379, while it'll cost you just £429 for the tablet and keyboard dock together. That means it's significantly cheaper than the likes of the Motorola Xoom, while offering arguably a lot more.

So does the Transformer offer the best of both tablet and netbook worlds? Or is it a horrible mess in the shape of the Acer Iconia Tab W500? We're about to find out.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time9.50 Hour
GPSYes
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEee Pad Transformer TF101
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating SystemAndroid 3.0 Honeycomb
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorHybrid
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 2
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)680 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height13 mm
Width271 mm
Depth177 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesTransformer TF101
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelTF101-1B028A
Product NameEee Pad Transformer TF101-1B028A Tablet Computer
Product LineEee Pad
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberTF101-1B028A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing InformationUltra thin and light design in a unique, stylish pattern

Ultra thin and light design in a unique, stylish pattern. With a super slim profile of only 12.98mm thick in a frame that weighs only 680g, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is comfortable to hold from any position. The unique textured pattern offers a better tactile sensation, so it won't feel as if it will slip out of your hands.

Powerful mini-cinema entertainment on-the-go

Powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, the Transformer browses the web at blazing speeds, providing a snappier response time and better performance when multi-tasking. Sporting a HDMI 1.3a port, the Transformer can connect to a HDTV and 5.1 surround sound system, delivering an enhanced multimedia experience.

Package Contents
  • Eee Pad Transformer TF101-1B028A Tablet Computer
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year