ASUS Eee Pad Transformer - It's Morphing Time

Launch SRP: S$898

Features - Part I

Powered-Up Transformer

And if you think the Transformer is scoring points just as a tablet, think again. It has the one thing that differentiates it from the common tablet - a unique keyboard dock that also acts as a secondary battery. In doing so, the Transformer gets a battery life boost of up to nearly twice its original specifications.

A 30-pin connector is located on the right of the keyboard attachment charges both the dock and the tablet concurrently.

The Transformer's keyboard dock is considerably secure, thanks to two latches that hooks onto two grooves found on the bottom of the tablet. The slider switch, which locks the tablet to the dock, doesn't come with the most intuitive design. Nonetheless, once it's secured, the two components look to be of a single entity, much like a netbook.

Two latches secures the tablet and the dock together, and we were impressed with how it remained locked down even when we tried to pry it apart.

Due to the thin profile of the tablet component, it's nearly impossible to include a full-sized USB port on the Transformer. Fortunately, the keyboard dock takes care of that shortfall with not one, but two such ports located on both sides and protected by a plastic cover. The inclusion of these USB ports makes it possible to add expandable storage in the form of a thumb drive, or even attaching a USB mouse to enhance its overall usability. And if you need more storage space beyond the microSD slot on the tablet or the USB ports, there's also a SD slot to increase the overall capacity.

Two USB ports, one on each side, brings more options to expand and enhance the Transformer's usability.

Besides the microSD slot on the tablet, you can also further expand the storage capacity with the SD card slot on the keyboard dock.

Honestly, we preferred to use a mouse over the track pad. While it does suffice for the usual web surfing, the track pad can be a challenge for more precise operations such as document editing. That aside, the keyboard does have the right tactile feedback, and we experienced minimal errors in our typing test. Its overall design emulates what we see on a notebook keyboard, with a few modifications to its function keys. Similarities are obvious with a dedicated function key to deactivate the track pad, while new additions such as a camera and auto brightness shortcut are added to fit the Android experience.

The track pad takes some getting used to, and during our time with the dock, we preferred to use a USB mouse over it.

Dedicated function keys to deactivate the track pad or activate its Wi-Fi functionality can be found on the top row of keys.

True to its moniker, the Transformer tablet transforms into a netbook. In short, you get the best of both worlds (tablet and netbook).

With both the tablet and dock secured, what impressed us further was how befitting the Transformer name is to this ASUS tablet. From a tablet, the Transformer literally morphs into a netbook that's powered by the Google Android 3.2 OS, an update that we'll be exploring further in the next page.

Overall rating 8.5/10
Read 1 Review
Write a Review
The Good
Innovative keyboard docking station
First to get Android 3.2 upgrade
Handy ASUS Apps
The Bad
Reflective Screen
Poor battery life
Most Innovative Product

Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.