ASUS Eee Pad Slider: Hybrid Gadget

Launch SRP: S$799

Multimedia and Battery Performance

It's Play and Work Time

The ASUS Eee Pad Slider takes on multiple roles as a tablet, switching between an entertainment device and a mobile work horse. ASUS believes in empowering the consumers to decide what they do with the device regardless if it is for entertainment or work.

The Slider is equipped with a generous 10.1-inch display, which provides plenty of room for viewing multimedia content and office documents on the go. To further enhance the viewing experience, ASUS uses the scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass and a brilliant In-Plane Switching (IPS) display to give crisper and more accurate colors. In terms of resolution, the Slider is similar to the rest of the Android slates at 1280 x 800 pixels. Unfortunately, the Slider suffers from an inherent problem as many other tablets do - a reflective screen. The problem becomes more apparent when you are using the physical keyboard. As the screen is fixed at a certain angle and position, you cannot adjust it to minimize the reflection.

The main usability highlight of the Slider is its built-in keyboard. While the keys are raised sufficiently and provide great tactile feedback, the keyboard did feel a bit cramped for for anything more than quick messages. Another gripe we had with the keyboard is the groove below the last round of keys. It felt uncomfortable brushing the bottom of our palms against the groove. Nevertheless, the overall typing experience was a positive one - compared with other tablets stuck with a virtual keyboard only.

Next, we put the Slider's 5-megapixel rear camera through our color and resolution tests. You can even consider video conferencing on the Slider as it has a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera.

Lastly, we put the Slider through our battery test to determine how long it can last on a single charge. The battery test includes running a 720p video with the screen brightness and volume at 100%, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on, and regular data streaming through email and Twitter.

Tablet Comparison Table
Specifications/Device ASUS Eee Pad Slider  ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Processor
  • Dual-core 1GHz
  • Dual-core 1GHz
  • Dual-core 1GHz
  • Dual-core 1GHz
Display Size
  • 10.1-inch
  • 10.1-inch
  • 9.7-inch
  • 10.1-inch
Display Type
  • LED-backlit IPS TFT 
  • LED-backlit IPS TFT
  • LED-backlit IPS TFT
  • TFT-LCD
Display Resolution
  • 1280 x 800 pixels
  • 1280 x 800 pixels
  • 1024 x 768 pixels
  • 1280 x 800 pixels 
Dimensions
  • 273 x 180.3 x 17.3mm
  • 271 x 171 x 12.98mm
  • 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm
  • 249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9mm
Weight
  • 960g
  • 680g
  • 613g
  • 730g

As seen from the graphs above, the Slider managed a decent battery life (for an Android tablet) of 322 minutes, which is close to five and a half hours. It was able to outlast the Transformer by about 30 minutes but fell behind the Motorola Xoom by nearly an hour. However, the Slider fared worst in the Portability Index with the lowest score of the comparison. The Slider was let down in this aspect due to its hefty weight of 960g and its bulky dimensions.

In terms of overall battery performance, the Slider did a fair job if you are willing to cut it some slack due to its built-in keyboard. Even so, we felt that ASUS can do better in the area of power management for its Eee Pad tablets. Generally, we have not seen excellent battery performances from Honeycomb tablets and this may be one of the reasons why Apple iPad 2 is still selling favorably. Optimization of battery life should be one of the top priorities for ASUS or any tablet manufacturer if they wish to put up a credible challenge to Apple.

Under normal usage conditions, we were able to squeeze about a day of usage from the Slider with occasional Web surfing, checking emails, playing games and downloading of apps. For those who are looking for a simple portable work station, you can consider the ASUS Eee Pad Slider provided you keep a close watch on the battery level. It's also worth a mention again that the keyboard isn't meant for prolonged use. Having said that, it is important to note that how long the tablet can last will vary according to what you do with it.

8.5
The Good
Handy built-in keyboard
Full-sized USB port
Good build quality
The Bad
Too bulky
Screen is too reflective
Average camera performance
Awards:
Most Innovative Product