Thursday 31 March 2011

Asus launches Honeycomb-powered Eee Pad Transformer

Yesterday I went along to the press launch of the new 10.1in Asus Eee Pad Transformer, which runs Android 3.0 ('Honeycomb'). My first impressions after a brief hands-on session were that it's an impressive little device (it weighs 680g) that feels very robust and well-made. The novel clip-on keyboard is excellent, although the attachment/release mechanism is a bit fiddly.

Having tried and hated an Android 1.6-based tablet (the Viewsonic Viewpad 10, which also runs Windows 7), Honeycomb is a revelation. It looks good and is easy to use, with a much-improved on-screen keyboard. But the best thing about the Eee Pad Transformer is the price: at launch, there is a 16GB Wi-Fi version costing £379, or £429 bundled with keyboard. There's also a 32-GB Wi-Fi model costing £429. 3G models will apparently come later. So it sits very squarely in iPad territory, although personally I think the iPad's aspect ratio is much better for general use (and certainly for ebooks or magazines) than a widescreen format.

Asus quotes 9.5 hours battery life, which can be extended to 16 hours using the battery in the keyboard dock. It also has two cameras, proper USB ports and an SD Card slot. It goes on sale on 6th April.

Here are brief specs taken from the press release:

* NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor for optimum performance
* 10.1” LED backlit high resolution, scratch-proof screen
* Front and rear facing high quality cameras
* Access to thousands of home and work applications via Android Market
* 10 Finger Multi-touch support and sensors including GPS
* Preloaded utilities including remote access, work suite and library
* Mini HDMI output to extend stunning visuals to external devices
* 3D Stereo audio quality with SRS sound technology

Find it on Amazon:


  1. The tablet doesn't look very thin

  2. @ Rusty - sorry, it's the mirror it's sitting on that makes it look thick :-) It's about the same or slightly thinner than an iPad.

  3. To clarify further - the keyboard and screen are each about 12mm thick in the middle, but like the iPad a lot thinner at the edges.