ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Restored My Faith in Honeycomb Tablets [Video]

I returned my Acer Iconia Tab A500 and picked up an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer instead. This saved me $50 and resulted in a better experience. When I couldn’t get the Acer update to load and didn’t get a lot of support from Acer, I chose to go in a different direction.

I’m glad I did.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer

On the ASUS, even though the OTA version of the Honeycomb 3.1 update wouldn’t download, I was able to manually load it thanks to a link at the ASUS website. After loading the update, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer runs fast and stable. It performs fluidly and more responsively than my past experiences with Honeycomb tablets.

After only half a week of use, I’m pleased with this tablet. I often choose to take the ASUS instead of my iPad 2 when I’m leaving home. I did this with the Acer, but only because I was reviewing it. But I genuinely enjoy using the ASUS.

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Video First Look

Below is a video first look at the device.

The Keyboard Dock

As you can see in the video, the keyboard dock sets this tablet apart. It adds $150 to the total cost, but also adds some useful functionality, listed below:

  • Hardware keyboard: easier to use for typing documents.
  • Extra battery life: ASUS promises double the  life of the tablet. From about 7-8 hours to around 15-16 hours, which I will put to the test.
  • Screen protection: when carrying the tablet around without a case, the keyboard covers the screen.
  • Full-sized SD card port: great for viewing pictures from my digital camera or just putting files on the device from my computer.
  • Two extra USB 2.0 ports: for adding a mouse or a flash drive, and maybe some other fun uses I will test out.

Sure the keyboard dock adds weight and thickness, but I like having the option of using the Transformer as either a netbook or a tablet, depending on the circumstances. I suspect that I won’t be using the keyboard dock all the time once I get a case. For now, though, I really like the combination.

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What do You Want To See?

I will be testing out this tablet, from the camera to the built-in software. I am looking for some cool uses for the USB ports on the keyboard dock aside from adding some peripherals like a mouse. I’m also going to see about rooting the Transformer. Look for a full review in a couple of weeks. If there is something you want to see covered let me know in a comment below.