The Asus Eee Pad Transformer with its detachable keyboard dock has been one of the best-selling Android tablets yet. The Eee Pad Slider's keyboard is permanently attached, so you can type wherever you go. Better, right?! Maaaaaaybe.
What Is It?
A 10-inch tablet running Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) with a full keyboard attached via a very clever cantilevered hinge.
Who's it For?
People who can't decide if they want a tablet or a laptop. The Business Bunch. Like the Brady Bunch, except in suits.
There are many razor thin tablets out there (like the just announced Eee Pad Transformer Prime) and this is not one of them. Why all the fat? To make room for the hinge. Which is kind of badly designed (more on that later) but also kind of elegant in its ability to simultaneously slide and raise the keyboard.
This mother is big and heavy for a tablet—more of a briefcase or backback than jacket-pocket deal, but it fits like a dream on an airplane tray.
The Best Part
The keyboard. It's the real differentiator, and if you pound out a lot of emails, it's way faster than using a touchscreen.
Also the keyboard. The keys are cheap, wiggly, and have very little play.
This Is Weird...
The keyboard hinge feels pretty strong, but when you open it up, the edge of the screen scrapes along the keyboard and makes a troubling sound. Best case scenario: the paint is going to come off the keys. Worst case: something's going to break.
• Got nowhere near the advertised eight hours of usage (more like six); standby time also pretty weak.
• Fast for a Honeycomb tablet.
• Due for an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade soon.
• Seemed to miss touch events from time to time.
Should You Buy It?
No—definitely not at this price. It's convenient to have the tablet and keyboard in one piece, but the Eee Pad Transformer just has a much better keyboard than the Slider, and roughly twice the battery life (when the keyboard is connected). Plus, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime is about to come out, which has a freakin' quad-core processor, an aluminum body, and is insanely thin.
Asus Eee Pad Slider Specs
• OS: Android 3.2
• CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core 1.2GHz Processor
• Screen: 10.1-inch Super IPS+ (1280x800)
• RAM: 1GB
• Storage: 16GB or 32GB
• Radios: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
• Cameras: 5MP rear/1.2MP front
• Giz Rank: 3 Stars
• Price: $480 for 16GB, $580 for 32GB