When asked if tablets are going to replace Netbooks, my answer has always been, Tablets are for consuming content, Netbooks are for creating it. However, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 with its detachable keyboard is changing the game completely. Tablets are great for watching videos and basic Web browsing, but they’re not as efficient for work as a keyboard-and-mouse combination.
What we have with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Docking Station ($139) which snaps onto the bottom of the Transformer turning the tablet into a netbook. This is a tablet that suddenly has a mouse, keyboard, USB slots, card reader, and more. It’s a useful accessory that distinguishes the Transformer from other Honeycomb tablets The biggest advantage of the Docking Station over any other keyboard is that it’s loaded with Honeycomb-specific keys. There’s a dedicated Search button, lots of media and brightness buttons, a Back button, Lock and Unlock keys, and more. One of its other great advantages is that because of the you really don’t ever need to touch the screen. As soon as you dock the Transformer, a cursor pops up on the screen, and you use it as you would any other mouse. The is extremely responsive and fast, and even includes useful features like two-finger scrolling as well as two finger swipe to change screens in Android. For many people this is a huge advantage over the iPad’s keyboard dock accessory, which has no trackpad. In fact, the iPad cannot be paired with any type of mouse, as the screen can only be operated by touch.
There is also another segment of the consumer population which won’t find the trackpad useful at all and will opt for the touch screen only. Its a matter of work flow but having the option clearly puts the docking station ahead. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Docking Station really does make the Transformer into a productivity device. Its netbook sized keyboard is 92% of a regular sized keyboard. The only real design fault is that the right shift key is a tab small, which is something that’s tough to get used to, but its by no means a deal breaker. The docking process also takes a little getting used to but when you put it up against the plethora of Honeycomb tablets on the market or headed that way, the Docking Station does much to separate the
The Asus 16GB version is $450 and the 32GB comes in a $500, the docking station is an extra $139 but it adds 7 hours of battery life giving you a total of 16 Hours of computing. No netbook on the market can offer you that and it turns a consumption only device into a content creation power house.TF101 from the pack, and help it bridge the consumption and creation gap. If you are even considering getting an Android tablet make the most out of your technology and get the Asus Eee Transformer TF101. The
We’ve got a detailed 10 minute video walk through here, but if you wanted to read our review of the tablet itself try our Review here.