Hands On: ASUS Eee Pad Transformer running Android 3.0

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28 Feb, 2011 11:08 pm

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Asus has come out with the Android-powered Eee Pad Transformer that snaps into a special dock to become a laptop. The eee Pad Transformer is a pretty decent tablet to start; a half-inch-thick, 10.1-inch NVIDIA Tegra 2-powered unit that’s running Android 3.0 or Honeycomb.

Like Asus’ other eee Pads, the Transformer is full of custom software. There’s a custom e-mail app, a big-screen calendar app, a custom music app with DLNA sharing and streaming, MyZine and a few ASUS applications that help you access personal information like your media or calendar.

What makes us pay attention to this device is the fact that it transforms.The big deal here, of course, is the transformation. The Transformer is a half-inch-thick tablet with a metal back the transformation occurs when there is a metal snap to physically attach a keyboard so you can close it to look like a laptop. Its a seamless transformation.

Once in laptop mode its a netbook with a touch screen and the keyboard has USB ports to attach a mouse if you don’t want to use the build in trackpad. So far you can’t use multitouch gestures when in this mode but the bottom keyboard part comes with a battery that should give the unit a total of 16 hours of battery life.

The Transformer feels like a laptop and when you compare it to the Atrix, which is also a device which transforms into a laptop. But what remains to be seen is what the UI will actually look like once the device hits the streets. There is talk of the device running Honeycomb and an we aren’t sure what its going to look like. Asus hacked Froyo quite a lot, but I couldn’t picture what Honeycomb would look like with the same extensions. So it’s hard to tell how any of Asus’s eee Pad tablets will perform when they finally come to market.
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