Honeycomb finds itself on a double threat:
Thin, light Android tablet doubles as a capable Android laptop

ASUS EeePad Transformer

Is it a tablet? Is it a netbook? Is it a tablet? Is it a netbook? Is it a laptop? What, exactly, is the ASUS EeePad Transformer? Sitting here with it on my lap, typing away on the full keyboard, it's easy to forget that I'm using an Android Honeycomb tablet. With a keyboard. And a trackpad. Like a laptop. With Honeycomb.

That, folks, is the U.S. version of the ASUS EeePad Transformer.

ASUS EeePad TransformerSo here's the general idea: The Transformer is a 10.1-inch tablet running Android 3.0.1, the most recently released version of Honeycomb. It's got a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor running at 1GHz. Sound familiar? It should, as those are specs shared by the Motorola Xoom, the first (and until now the only) available Honeycomb tablet. But the Transformer gets its name from the optional keyboard accessory. And it's not a Bluetooth keyboard. It's not using some janky tethering system. It's a full-fledged (if slightly undersized) laptop-style keyboard, complete with hinge, that turns the not-so-mild-mannered Android tablet into so much more.

We've heard it before -- tablets are killing netbooks. There's no reason to carry around a full-size laptop anymore. And so on and so forth. Neither statement is true. But whereas other tablet-keyboard combinations have come up short, the ASUS EeePad Transformer (henceforth to be referred to by its surname) is the most viable Android laptop we've seen yet. Our full review's after the break.

EeePad pricing and availability | EeePad Transformer Specs | EeePad Transformer images | EeePad Transformer keyboard

Hands-on video

The EeePad Transformer hardware

ASUS EeePad Transformer

Let's start with the tablet itself. There's the aforementioned 10.1-inch screen. It's an IPS display, which is the same kind of screen technology you hear Apple raving about. (Though as you can see in the picture above, you'll still have issues in direct sunlight, and with fingerprints.)

It's at a 1280x800 resolution, which is standard for tablets of that size, and a density of 160 pixels per inch. And for those of you who have a habit of scratching things up, the Transformer's got the scratch resistant Gorilla Glass from Corning. There's a pretty thick bezel around the screen -- about three-quarters of an inch. And that's ringed by more trim done in the same copper motif as the rest of the Transformer. It makes the screen feel a little smaller than it actually is, but it doesn't give it nearly the picture-frame feel like you see on some other tablets.

The Transformer's speakers are on that front bezel trim. They're facing you, which is good, but they're not nearly as loud or have the depth as the Motorola Xoom's. But they'll do, we suppose. An optional speaker dock would be nice.

ASUS EeePad TransformerASUS EeePad Transformer

The left-hand bezel is home to the power button and volume up-down rocker switch. They're placed pretty close together, so don't be surprised when you reach to turn up the sound and accidentally turn off the screen. That'll probably be less of a problem over time as you become more used to the tablet. But at first, it's something to watch out for.

The right-hand bezel has the 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack, microphone, mini HDMI port for high-definition output, and a microSD card slot. And unlike the Motorola Xoom's, it actually works. Pop in a microSD card, and it appears as "External storage," or /removable in the file structure. No hacks -- it just works.

ASUS EeePad TransformerASUS EeePad Transformer

The Transformer's bottom bezel has a 50-pin connector and a couple docking connectors that you'll use for the keyboard. We're getting over the fact that we have to use proprietary chargers on Android tablets, but that doesn't mean we like it.

ASUS EeePad TransformerASUS EeePad Transformer

As for what's under the hood -- there's the Tegra 2 processor and graphics processor, and you've got 1GB of RAM. The Transformer comes in either a 16GB or 32GB version (our review unit was the former).

Battery life for the tablet is listed as a 24.4-watt-hour lithium-polymer, rated for 9.5 hours of use. There's a battery slice tucked into the keyboard dock, too, which ramps up battery life to a massive 16 hours on paper, anyway. But ASUS notes its tests were with airplane mode on, running 720p video. So like with any other device, your mileage will vary. And like most Android tablets, you can't swap out the battery for a fresh one when you run dry.

In our few days of testing, we got through a day of fairly normal use -- above average Gmail syncing, some web browsing and gaming. You might want to charge it overnight, which isn't a big deal.

The Transformer is a Wifi-only device. And to that end, it's got 802.11 b/g/n for connectivity, as well as Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. There's also GPS, so you can use it for navigation and location-based services.

Yeah, yeah. But how's it feel? Kind of plasticy, actually. That's not unusual for ASUS' Eee line of computers, but it is a little disappointing, given the excitement we have for the Transformer as a platform, and especially compared to the likes of the Xoom and the LG G-Slate.

The back of the Transformer is done in a nice textured pattern, and the copper color almost makes you think it could be some sort of faux-leather. That it's cold, hard plastic is a bit of a letdown, but that's kind of a minor problem, eh?

ASUS EeePad Transformer

Compared to the Motorola Xoom, it's actually a little taller at 10.6 inches. Thickness is right on at a half-inch. It's a skosh wider at 6.9 inches. But the big difference is in heft. The Transformer weighs in at 1.49 pounds compared to the Xoom's 1.6 pounds. That's not that big a gap, but you definitely can feel it.

The keyboard transformation

Now on to the bit of magic that is the keyboard dock. It's actually billed in the packaging as a mobile dock. But really, we'd like to call it a transformative experience. OK, that's a bit much. But from the moment you slip in the Transformer, you've gone from tablet to Honeycomb laptop. No, not a tablet with keyboard dock. A Honeycomb laptop.

ASUS EeePad Transformer

The keyboard's just as wide as the tablet. It slides into the hinge and clips into place. And once it's there, it's a single solid piece of hardware. An Android laptop.

ASUS EeePad TransformerASUS EeePad Transformer

You can kind of feel the Transformer's way into the keyboard dock. The 50-pin connector fits in the middle, and there are a couple spring clips that keep it in place. There's a locking mechanism that you'll need to make sure is unlocked first. It sets itself once the Transformer is properly in place. You release the tablet from the dock by moving the switch. The hinge is a tad bulky and sticks out about a quarter-inch from the rear of the device, but considering you're connecting two devices into one, it's not bad. Movement is stiff, but not overly so -- about like a normal laptop/netbook -- and it allows the screen to tilt back to 130 degrees.

The keyboard dock has four ports -- one for the 50-pin connector for charging, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, and a full-size SD card slot. Yes, the SD slot works. Pop in a card, and it's recognized as external storage. Next to the charging port is an LED indicator light.

 ASUS EeePad Transformer

At the bottom of the keyboard dock is an honest-to-goodness trackpad with mouse buttons. It's a single bar, but we had no problem with it differentiating left-clicks from right-clicks. But this is Android -- and these are ASUS customizations on top of that -- so things are a little different. Left clicks select things just as you think they should on a traditional desktop. Right clicks serve as a back button, which makes up for a little niggle we'll talk about in a second. Scrolling, however, is backward from what you're used to on a laptop. To scroll down, you swipe two fingers up. To scroll up, you swipe down. Strange, and we couldn't find a setting to switch it. But you get used to it quickly enough.

ASUS EeePad Transformer

The keyboard itself is pretty good. If you're used to chicklet-style keys, you'll be at home here. You've got a full number row, plus arrow keys, and Android's usual home-menu-back-search keys positioned strategically around the keyboard. Home, search and menu all flank the spacebar.

ASUS EeePad Transformer

There's a top row of functionality keys. They are:

  • Back -- this is way up top. We'd like it down on the bottom with the other Android buttons, but having the right-click function makes this moot, we suppose.
  • Wifi toggle
  • Bluetooth toggle
  • Trackpad toggle
  • Display brightness up
  • Display brightness down
  • Auto brightness
  • Screen shot -- yes, an actual screenshot hardware button.
  • Browser
  • Settings
  • Reverse
  • Play/pause
  • Forward
  • Mute
  • Volume down
  • Volume up
  • Lock/screen off

Pretty good choices for function keys, we think. And speaking of function keys, there's a pair of Fn buttons that in conjunction with the arrow keys serve as page up/page down and home/end keys.

So this isn't a full-size keyboard. A 15-inch laptop easily has a couple of inches on it. But once you get used to the size, it's more than usable.

The software

ASUS EeePad Transformer

The EeePad Transformer runs Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb, the Google's tablet version of Android. It's largely unskinned -- the stock Google apps all look as we've come to know them on Honeycomb. The buttons in the System Bar -- back, home and multitasking -- are customized and have a much softer feel than the Tron-like buttons in stock Honeycomb.

ASUS EeePad TransformerASUS EeePad Transformer

ASUS starts you out with a pretty wide-open landscape when it comes to the five home screens. The center screen has a weather widget powered by AccuWeather -- and we love that font -- with nice little graphics for the day's forecast. There's a date widget on the bottom right of every home screen, and you can remove it if you want.

The standard Google apps are on board -- YouTube, Google Books, the Android Market, Gmail, etc.

ASUS EeePad Transformer @VibeASUS EeePad Transformer @Vibe

ASUS EeePad Transformer @VibeASUS EeePad Transformer @Vibe

ASUS has included some of its own apps as well. There's the @Vibe music Internet music player. But with Pandora on board, plus any number of other music apps like Amazon MP3, well, we'll see how much you use ASUS's apps.

ASUS Reader

ASUS ReaderASUS Reader

ASUS also has its own bookstore and reader, which are under the "MyLibrary" app. You can purchase new books from it, but with two other bookstores already on board -- Amazon Kindle and Google Books -- it'll get passed over. Pandora's pre-loaded as well, so there's that for music.

Polaris Office

The Polaris Office documents app is loaded as well, and it's functional enough. We initially began writing this review in it to get a feel for the keyboard -- until the tablet froze up and we lost a couple hundred words. Polaris also allows you to create a spreadsheet and PowerPoint-like presentation.

MyNet DLNA

The Transformer also is DLNA-enabled, allowing you to share pictures, music and video wirelessly with other DLNA-enabled devices. That's still not yet as widespread as manufacturers might like, but it's better to have the feature and not use it than to not have the option.

ASUS EeePad Transformer keyboard

This being a tablet, it does come with an on-screen keyboard, and it's one of the few customizations ASUS has put in place. It's decent enough, and you have the option to switch back to the stock Honeycomb keyboard if you want -- or you can install a new one.

All in all, there's not a whole lot to say about the software. It's Honeycomb as we've come to know it. (Though we do love the ice cube live wallpaper that came on our review unit.)

The cameras

The Transformer has a 5-megapixel camera on the back, and a 1.2MP shooter facing you. They're, well, they're tablet cameras, right? Nothing to write home about. And the rear camera doesn't have a flash. But, as we keep saying about tablets, it's not like you're going to be running around with this thing like it's a 10-inch point-and-shoot, right?

The front-facing camera is at least useable for video chats through Gtalk, so it has that going for it.

Eds. note: ASUS released a firmware update just prior to this publication that improves camera quality. We'll update with sample photos soonest.

Life as an Android laptop

ASUS EeePad Transformer and the Motorola Xoom

This is what the ASUS EeePad Transformer really comes down to, isn't it. It's a perfectly capable Honeycomb tablet. But it should be, given Google's close watch over it's latest baby. But it's not enough for the Transformer to merely look like and pretend to be a laptop. We've tried that with with Motorola Xoom and a Bluetooth keyboard, and it's a pretty disconnected experience. Work a little on the keyboard, then you have to reach up and touch the screen. Type, reach. Type, reach. That's no good.

ASUS EeePad Transformer Keyboard Notification

From the moment you connect the Transformer to the keyboard dock, it ceases to be a tablet. It automatically recognizes its new purpose and kicks into laptop mode. No settings to worry about. It just works. But it's the little things that Transformer gets right after that that really make it one of a kind.

We've written before how the Honeycomb home screen experience seems to borrow from traditional desktops. And so it lends itself particularly well when met with a proper keyboard and mouse pointer. That's what the Transformer keyboard dock does. To launch an app, you click on it with the mouse. To move between home screens, you swipe left or right with two fingers on the trackpad. The tab key moves between fields just like it should. And the enter key confirms actions, just as it should.

So the Transformer has the mechanics down. What about about the core experiences?

Browsing

In the stock Android browser, things pretty much run as expected. It's still not up to a full Chrome or Firefox experience on a laptop, but you do have Adobe Flash 10.2 at your service. Firefox is strong in its latest version and lends itself to the usual desktop metaphors just fine.

E-mail

Yes, please. Thanks to Gmail's redesign in Honeycomb, you get a very Outlook-like experience. There's very little thought required. Same goes for other e-mail clients.

Apps and gaming

Surprisingly enough, our usual complement of apps also translated to the mouse and keyboard experience quite well. That's not to say we're entirely happy with the time it's taking for applications to be optimized for Honeycomb and the large-screen format -- and one glaring omission remains native Google Docs support. In fact, Google Docs is fairly unusable, and sends us scrambling for a third-party app. But that's not the Transformer's fault. Touchscreen-based games? You're going to want to undock for them. Accelerometers and attached keyboards just don't mix. (And playing Angry Birds with a mouse pointer? Just wrong.)

We did have some hiccups in the Transformer experience. We had a couple instances where the Transformer became unresponsive and finally restarted. And as we mentioned above, one of these instances led to the loss of some 500 words of this review. Those might well be chalked up to pre-release software.

And as decent as the word processing experience is with the pre-loaded Polaris Office software, selecting text and jumping from word to word instead of letter by letter just couldn't be done with the keyboard only. And we saw some graphical flaws pop up in the ice cube live wallpaper over time; they'd clear up with a reboot. Small niggles, but mentionable nonetheless. Nothing that shouldn't be able to be fixed with software.

Do I need an Android tablet/netbook? (aka pricing and necessity)

And that's still the big question, isn't it. As a Honeycomb tablet, the ASUS EeePad Transformer is as good as any we've used. And with a working microSD card slot and being more svelte, it's got a leg up on the Motorola Xoom, even if we do prefer the soft-touch coating on the Xoom and other tablets But add on the keyboard dock, and no other Android tablet compares.

Then there's the pricing. The 16-gigabyte version will cost $399; the 32GB version runs $499. The keyboard dock is another $149. So for $550 -- less than the cost of a 32GB Wifi-only Motorola Xoom, you can have a 16GB Android tablet/laptop.

Will the Transformer replace a traditional Windows or Mac OS laptop? Not just yet. And for $550 (or $650 for the 32GB package), you can get a more powerful laptop with a better feature set. But look past the necessity issue. With the ASUS EeePad Transformer, you get a semi-laptop experience with the might of Android 3.0 behind it. You get an Android tablet. And an Android laptop. And that's something nobody but ASUS can yet offer.

 
There are 89 comments

Wow, that was some review! Only thing I'm not loving is that pin charging adapter. Big time fail

crxssi says:

It is not just a proprietary charger, the EEE tablet also has no USB ports- AT ALL on the tablet part. Apparently you *HAVE* to use the proprietary 50 pin and proprietary cable to gain access to a USB port if you don't have the keyboard.

Kinda annoying.... Xoom wins on that. Xoom also appears to be a better build quality. But the EEE stomps the Xoom on price and flexibility. It is nice to have choices!

Nice. Without the locking mechanisms on the XOOM a keyboard dock similar to this won't work. I have the Bluetooth keyboard now and am used to switching between entering data on the keyboard and the screen. I will definitely look for this feature in a couple of years with my next Android Tablet.
Does Honeycomb seem more polished on this device over the XOOM?

xoom will soon offer bluetooth mouse support-this just means you have to go out and buy something else

Jonneh says:

The keyboard dock is another $149." -- if only Motorola (or AT&T) priced the Atrix's keyboard dock similarly at launch. I would've gotten it for my phone on day 1. Course, now I hear it kinda blows anyway, hardware-wise. The keys pretty much suck, and the trackpad isn't scrollable, etc etc. Navigation is very difficult and frustrating.

I thought I might want this tablet or the Toshiba tablet...but oh man...after this review, I'm leaning so much towards the ASUS! I am actually wondering if I could use this for note-taking during classes..but your review unit froze up in the note-taking app. I hope that was just beta software or something :(

sookster54 says:

Watch the video in the previous article post, he scrolled with the trackpad and it looked smooth.

Jonneh says:

Oh, sorry, I guess my comment was kind of confusing. In the first paragraph I was referring to the atrix laptop dock. Not this ASUS eee tablet's laptop dock :) Thank you though.

Yeah I'm a senior in high school right now but I was wanting to get a tablet for college and this looks to be just the right one. The keyboard couldn't have been done any better

eric6052 says:

Seems like a very good value for the money. Even if you don't need the keyboard for $399 your getting a great deal compared to the similarly
Sized ipad and Xoom. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this one for Best Buy availability. I regularly ask for Best Buy gift cards for Christmas /birthday so I have a stash ready for my next gadget.

clambert#AC says:

Wow, great review. Very nice! I want one but I don't think I need one. We'll see.

dchawk81 says:

I freaking LOVE this.

darrylmendo says:

phil, does polaris office save in .doc, .xls, and .ppt formats? please answer; very important to know.

hondajohn88 says:

Yes, Polaris saves in .DOC, .PPT and .XLS format. It is able to open and edit Office 2007 documents as well, and saves them in the 2003 format.

I've had a pretty good experience so far with Polaris.

Hope this helps :)

Warpoet says:

This should have been the google tablet, not the over priced Xoom.

crxssi says:

Don't worry, for sure this will force the Xoom price down :)

xorg says:

I'd like to see an Intel version of the Transformer. Would then load Linux tablet that could also run under VirtualBox any OS, including Intel version of Android coming soon and even webOS. Of course Windows too.

I have an Asus netbook tablet now but it's bulky, heavy, and the screen is not very good... but the concept of a netbook tablet is great. I have Linux loaded, can do tablet browsing etc and run Windows under VirtualBox. All tablet touches pass through into VirtualBox.

Transformer design is better though. Hope to see an Intel version soon.

crxssi says:

If you want a 5 hour battery life instead of 10... because that is what you would end up with using any current Intel chips.

trsohmers says:

What I don't thin you understand is that you won't be able to run a out of the box version of Ubuntu... or Windows.... or any Laptop or Desktop operating system. The processor in all the currently available Android tablets and devices are ARM based, which is VERY different from an x86 or x64 laptop or desktop.
Virtualbox is NOT an emulator. It does not convert machine code to another platform, but just takes the resources of the machine it is running on (which has to be x86 or x64) and runs another operating system in it's own virtualized environment. Now there are x86 emulators for ARM, PPC, and other processors like QEMU, but to run QEMU within Android (which hasn't been made yet, but should be possible) would probably take 1 to 2 hours to boot Windows XP, and would be virtually unusable.

Now you could follow my instructions here which "install" ubuntu in a chroot jail on an Android device, http://trsohmers.com/2011/03/06/how-to-run-ubuntu-on-the-motorola-xoom/ , but it is an ARM version of Ubuntu and you can't dual boot or anything like that since the Transformer will probably have a locked bootloader.... and even if it had an unlocked bootloader like the Xoom, it would be difficult to boot an ARM ubuntu img because the fastboot bootloader is not open source, and you could possibly brick the device.

vicw926a4 says:

I'm looking for the combined weight of the netbook configuration. Guessing that it should be around 3 lbs.

sookster54 says:

2.2 lbs from what I read.

strikethree says:

"with a total weight of 1.3 kg when combined with the keyboard and each weighing 665 grams and 635 grams when weighed separately."

that's around 2.87 lbs

http://internalcomputer.com/introducing-the-latest-asus-eee-tablet-pad-t...

coldheat06 says:

Very good review.

I've been on the search for the best tablet (for myself). So far I've bought and return..... Motorola Xoom, iPad 2, and now I'm using the Blackberry Playbook.

So far out of all 3 I really like the Blackberry Playbook, but I have been waiting to try out the Asus Transformer, and also the Samsung Galaxy 8" inch tab.

Again, that was a great review and I will definitely check it out when it's finally release......

By the way when is the release date?

strikethree says:

April 26...

Anyway, I'd like to hear your pros and cons of each tablet and why you prefer the playbook. From what I've read, the playbook seems to be the worst of all. (doesn't even have it's own native email app?)

TBolt says:

Phil,
Would you PLEASE test the video capture of the Eee Pad and post sample video with audio? Engadget's review showed a major flaw, and I'm just wondering if they had a bad unit.

I appreciate your consideration in this matter.

TBolt says:

Also, please consider editing a doc in Google Docs for us business user types. :) I'd like to see how well that goes.

Thanks.

Bossxii says:

Last I've seen it won't make it to the States until June due to the unexpected demand in Europe and Asia. Which is good, that means Honeycomb will quickly grow a user base and attract developers. I have the Xoom but would love this type of KB setup.

slbailey1 says:

It will be released in the US on April 26th. Here's the Asus facebook link that announces the release date. It has the press release,a list of retailers and price.

http://www.facebook.com/ASUS

strikethree says:

Awesome, I kept refreshing the site yesterday so this must be a new update.

Can't wait!

Why would you buy anything else?

Best price - amazing features.

If you a been thinking about a netbook or tablet why not get both?

TBolt says:

If the video capture stays this bad, I would consider other tablets before this one. There is no excuse for terrible video capture.

curney says:

Finally.a big tablet that makes sense. If its not 7 inches, I want a keboad option.

slbailey1 says:

Asus will be releasing this June a 7 inch tablet call the Asus Eee Pad MeMo that will also be pen enabled. That's the one I want or the Amazon rumored tablet(only if it's a 7 inch tablet).

BigTex says:

Phil - (or anyone that may know). With the USB 2.0 ports can I plug in an external USB hard drive and be able to access the files? I currently use a 1TB portable USB drive for all of my biz files that I need access to when I move between offices. Thanks!

BTW..This thing looks awesome! I just bought a new laptop at BestBuy last night.... still unopened in the box... It's going back today. Can't wait for this tablet!

nttdemented says:

I'm ordering the 16Gb version with the keyboard as soon as it available!! Then I'll start taking it with me everywhere in my laptop bag and as soon as I see that I don't need my laptop for squat I'll just travel around with this little gem. :)

Paladin says:

I think this actually could replace a laptop, depending on what you need to do of course. I mean you have full web and internet options, E-mail as well as word processing etc... If quick office works with it you have a full suite of apps.

Unless you need specific PC/MAC apps this would be perfect and it is very reasonably priced.

Just as a stand alone tablet it is not bad and a very nice tablet indeed it seems.

Right now I carry an Evo, PC laptop, a CM7 modded Color Nook and an iPad, I could just carry my phone, this and maybe the iPad for any software I need there.

I am as tempted as I have ever been. :)

My only question is can this be charged from a standard USB port on a laptop or wall plug adapter?

crxssi says:

Proprietary 50 pin charging only.

hondajohn88 says:

It can be charged from a USB port on a computer, but only if it is turned off. If it is powered up, no charging will take place, but the files on the Transformer can be accessed.

A wall charger does charge it both when the unit is turned on or off. I have a USB extension cable, and oddly enough, it does not charge through it, even though my phone will. Curious in my opinion.

Paladin says:

Phil you said "Thickness is right on at a half-inch."

That 1/2" you mentioned is without the keyboard dock. Specs say 12.9mm, that seems a bit thick isn't it? Does it feel thick?

I guess I am used to my Color Nook that is only about 1/4"

astraelraen says:

The only questions I want to know are, is this stock Honeycomb and can it be updated directly from Google?

Asus has no history of updates for the Android platform, I don't want to invest in a tablet and have a "Samsung" update experience.

hondajohn88 says:

It is not pure Google, but when I received the unit, there was an update available from 3.0 to 3.1. So updates do come from Asus. :)

lordwalker says:

I see a significant price drop in the Xoom's future. If it wants to have a future.

Versed says:

"It will be mine. Oh yes. it will be mine."
-------Wayne Campbell

AnnDroid says:

This will fit in my purse just nicely. I didn't want a tablet until I started reading about this one a month ago. Now I can't wait!

Question, which retailer has the best customer service? From the list of retailers in my area, I have Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples & Target (smallish town).

Visual360 says:

Hows the screen, especially compared to the Xoom? I didn't see it even mentioned on the review besides the resolution. I have the Xoom now, and the only thing that really bother me with the Xoom is the screen. Unless I missed it somewhere in the review.

Awesome review by the way. I'm definitely going to check it out comes on the 26th. Since I'm still able to return mine at that time, and if the screen looks great then its bye bye Xoom for me.

crxssi says:

There is nothing wrong with the Xoom's screen. It is clear, bright, and very readable. The only issue I see with the Xoom is that the autobrightness feature is a bit wacky. But you can turn that off. Well, it is also a fingerprint magnet, but most tablets seem to be.

hmmm says:

I would give up my laptop for this. I want one quite badly.

mymusicveins says:

I dont understand why this isnt a dual boot windows 7 device when plugged into the keyboard dock. I want to be able to install any program i want, any game I want, I basically want a laptop, that the screen detaches and becomes a tablet you can then run android on.

The tablet portion could have flash memory and the dock could have a small solid state hard drive like 120 gigs or so. Think The ViewPad 10 Pro with this nice keyboard and the resolution of the Asus.

kenyee says:

Because Windows 7 doesn't run on arm chips.

And Android doesn't run on Intel chips.

At least not yet...

sookster54 says:

There is an x86 Android (only 1.6), there's a tablet out there I forget the brand that runs both Windows 7 and Android 1.6 dual boot, I haven't heard anything good about it though.

crxssi says:

And it will be as slow as a slug and have less than half the battery life. MS-Windows is a pig and requires tremendously more CPU and memory to perform like Android. And using an Intel chip automatically means heat, fans, and huge batteries.

Android tablets are supposed to be light, fast (while running Android), fanless, and with incredible battery life. X86 is just not there. MS-Windows is VERY MUCH not there. Combine the two and it is "not gonna happen".

crxssi says:

For the most part, if you are in the market for a machine running MS-Windows, then you are not in the market for an Android tablet. The two are very different and serve different roles.

AAG607 says:

It does have the ability to tie into your laptop/home network. Kinda like the cloud. The video I saw should everything streaming great including video! Just look around google and you should find it somewhere.

plunder says:

Transformer divides to conquer! It struts like a 16 hour net-book, but is also a great tablet . . . interesting. So are the Toshiba and the Flyer, but only the Tosh has a proper SD card slot in the Tablet.

Decisions decisions . .

Payne78 says:

Here's a big deciding factor as to whether this will replace my laptop, how well will this do visiting porn sites? Will I have to go to mobile sites only? This is serious business. 8)

eyesparky says:

Great review. One thing worth noting is the order of charging. If you are charging via the keyboard, the tablet is charged first and then the keyboard (so the tablet is ready to go should you need it). Also, if you have been using it as a tablet and then plug it into the keyboard, the tablet battery will be charged from the keyboard battery so that it is ready to detach and use again. They have clearly put some real thought into the tablet and keyboard integration which adds real value.

en28so says:

Some people are complaining about video quality, but maybe it gets solved with a software update maybe? I don't really care about video or camera quality anyways. That's why I have a dedicated camera for that. I think the price is right. I don't even use my droid x to take pics or videos.

Impulses says:

Very impressive, I'm still not sold on tablets running a smartphone OS but this hybrid solves all my other qualms about tablets, good price given how flexible a device it is. If it were $100 less for the tablet/kb combo I'd get it on the spot and I'd replace my netbook (which can still do things this can't) with a larger laptop... As it is, I'll probably keep my outdated netbook (w/a SSD upgrade) for a while longer, but ASUS sure knows how to make an entrance. Now they just have to market it right.

ddsdaltx#AC says:

I am planning on getting one next week if I can find it in stock somewhere.

frobie#AC says:

Does this have IPSec VPN like the new Galaxy Tab will?

Dark_Blu says:

This is the most compelling tablet I've seen yet and kills the Xoom, in my opinion. I can't even consider the Xoom with the Transformer coming to market. I will definitely have to consider this tablet in the near future. The more apps become available for Honeycomb, the better.

Brazenbuck says:

Can you confirm the GPS works without needing to be on WiFi?

pckocher says:

Would I be able to connect to the internet through my EVO using EasyTether like I do with my Windows laptop (I do NOT pay Sprint for HotSpot/tethering) when there's no Wi-Fi available?

Since the keyboard dock has a USB 2.0 port, but the tablet does not, I'm guessing that maybe it could be done with the keyboard, but not without it.

weehooherod says:

You're going to just want to root your Evo and use Wireless Tether for Root Users instead.

onixblack says:

If I had the money I would buy this instantly

Jillkocher says:

I was just saying that I wanted a pc with an Android experience - close enough? Not sure yet.

tiger8896 says:

Despite the very attractive price and specs I would still wait until the dust settles in the tablet market. Saw a review of the Playbook on Tested.com and a viewer called in with a question about whether he should buy the Playbook or Transformer, surprisingly one of the reviewers said he should buy the Playbook because of the superior web browsing experience and speed of the Playbook. The other reviewer said he wouldn't buy either until the Playbook resolves it's deficiencies and the Asus had more of a track record.

Doesn't hurt to wait for me, going to go with my DroidX and laptops until I decide whether I want 7" or 10" screen, Honeycomb or IOS and maybe HP comes out with a tablet that is a hit, they certainly waited long enough to come to market with one.

Wesley1 says:

If I were to go for a 10" setup like this, I'd wait for the Lenovo Lepad, which will be a honeycomb tablet and it's laptop dock is a full windows 7 laptop with an Intel i5 cpu and the tablet serving only as a screen. Probably would be more expensive, but also much more useful.

A 7" tablet is what I'm after though. Maybe the Acer Iconia, Asus Eeepad Memo or HTC Flyer (if the price decreases). I would like a tablet half for reading and the rest for internet and really hope that a good 7" tablet could be released with a Pixel Qi or Mirasol color screen, like has been teased at the trade shows, so that the screen is highly visible in any light and the battery can last a really long time.

babblin5 says:

I'm actually leaning more towards the Acer Iconia A500 because it has a good screen, plus a host USB port that works on everything from mice to external hard drives. Isn't the whole purpose of having a tablet to do away with a keyboard? And the video recording is awful on the Transformer, which may not be a big deal for some, but an issue for me. Heck I dunno what I'll wind up doing...lol

gt5fx says:

you can run a usb mouse and kb on the asus with the dock...

SoCoolCurt says:

wow this thing sounds awesome! i tell ya, i was skeptical about tablets at first but for the most part, i'm a believer. my only two drawbacks are that i'm a graphic designer and it's nice to able to have photoshop or illustrator with me and tablets can't offer that yet. and without that functionality, the tablet basically becomes a fantasy football device. i bought a cheap Android tablet from Merimobiles.com and it's ok for fantasy football but sucks for just about anything else. i bought it because it was cheap, which is the other hurdle for me with tablets. i just can't justify spending $400+ on something i'll use so little. this thing sounds awesome, but i guess i'll say "not yet".

ab0mbs says:

I've always been a fan of asus laptops. This looks like it could make a nice tablet.

I couldn't help but notice that the video has an apple logo on the bottom right haha.

wickedslow says:

Way too expensive.

Szientific says:

I have to say, the transformer checks alot of boxes. With my fascinate, I hardly use my laptop anymore and don't really have much interest in using my wifes iPad2. With this baby I could sell my laptop and never miss it. And still have a desk top for serious work.
I have seen the future, and its this form factor! I'm sold!

cpagan2000 says:

Ok Yesterday was April 26th I went on Amazon, Bestbuy, Newegg, Tiger Direct, Sears, Walmart, Staples and Targets website and all say not available. Why and what is going on.

njlx016 says:

It's pronounced uh-SOOS!

Seihaku says:

According to them, ASUS is derived from the word Pegasus, which would have pronunciation akin to ah-ses. Of course you can never tell with the Taiwanese, we're all a little off. Was going to toss a Hector The well endowed reference but couldn't think of how.

Uh-SOOS sounds like Uh, Zeus.

cea1203 says:

Acer wins out! Better tablet, same specs, micro USB and regular USB, no contest!!!!

Just picked up the last one in LA i think! Got to 32gb its freaking amazing thus far!!

mattbrich says:

Seriously, Phil, great great review. I've been going back and forth between xoom and this one...and inspite of some of my concerns over glitchyness and a little bit of build fragility, I decided to order one. After looking at tons of other reviews, yours was by far the most helpful!

As of today, May 9, I couldn't find any available online (amazon for a few hundred dollars more!??), so I ordered one from B&H and it's on pre-order, to be shipped at the end of the month.

bweyrauch says:

Got my Transformer this week. One nice feature of the Asus book reader is support for Adobe Digital Editions DRM. I am able to check out ebooks from my local library directly to the tab.

tabletaholic says:

If anyone is looking to get one still at regular price you can find them in stock here http://www.tabletaholic.com/tag/transformer

hey guy i got yes but that so pretty cool i live it asus eee pad

Nick-B says:

This is a wonderful tablet... However, there are a few glitches with the optional keyboard... First, it has a SERIOUS lag (characters appear about one or two seconds after the keys are pressed). Second, the ["] and the [@] keys are backwards... Holding shift and pressing [2] makes a ["], even though it's labeled with [@], and holding shift and pressing ['] makes a [@], even though it's labeled with ["].

The reverse-labeled keys are not the end of the world, as long as you remember them, while typing (and I'm assuming that Asus can fix the issue with the next firmware update for the keyboard). However, the lagging key-to-screen response is VERY frustrating. Sometimes, it takes three or four seconds. :-(

Other than that, I have yet to find anything that this tablet can't do... Well, it doesn't do the laundry, but there's bound to be an app for that - LOL.

I highly reccommend this tablet!

weeweeman#AC says:

There has been a big price drop on this finally! - http://amzn.to/jLbPxq

Trev501 says:

Had mine several days now and its a beast :-) Updated to 3.1 from 3.0 on arrival and I have had no issues whatsoever with keyboard lag. Still haven't found an app to play divx natively yet although I've been happy to convert video in advance to avi and play using RockPlayer (available free from the market). The issue mentioned above about the keyboard is simply due to the wrong keyboard in settings. Mine also came configured as a USA keyboard and a simple settings change cured this. My advice is buy one, you won't regret it.

andrelrivers says:

For the price, u cannot go wrong. For its utility and functionality, i think it has an upper hand on all other tablets. Granted the total $$ Four Hundred and Forty Three dllars i spent with tax included has me biased, but overall i am happy. I have had my transformer for a month, once i got the roocase casefolio it optimized it as far as security goes from dropping it.

Haven't yet purchased the keyboard, but I anticipate it will make typing easier and provide a full laptop feeling. Even without the keyboard, its still a stellar device. So subsequently, screw i pad, for sixx hundred dollars ua should be able to have flash. This is pretty much all one wouod need for basic utility's. Gobout and get yourself one. You won't be sorry.

PS......since the software update, no issues what so ever.

Irish_Al says:

I'm not sure where the editor got the pricing...perhaps it was pre-launch. I bought a Transformer c/w keyboard for $499 - 16 meg version.

Yeah its ANOTHER charger to carry around...really..can't we all use a USB or micro USB charge cord?

I haven't got anything near 16 hrs...and I haven't timed it..but I'd say 10 hrs anyways..and that's with d/l programs, playing Angry Birds (which did force close a few times..today I tried the chat and my big issue..Google chat sucks..I got feedback...but it is functional.

I also bought a micro SD card which slips right into the tablet..and I have it with all kinds of work docs..mostly PDFs.

Tomorrow it's Powerpoint presentation...

4.2 stars outta 5

I got a Transformer for my husband, and it's awesome. Really gorgeous screen.

S4Rs says:

Imagine this with the Tegra 3 and dual booting Windows 8. 16 hours of 720p video!!!! Holy Grail.