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The Eee Pad Transformer At Dinner

By Jessica Langton.

This is my first post about the Asus Eee Pad, so I will start at the beginning. When I opened the boxes and first picked up the pad and keyboard I instinctively reacted to the design of them. I found the bronze brown colour of the pad rather uninspiring and dull (and I love bronze browns btw so it wasn’t the choice of the colour but its quality that bothered me,) and the textured effect of the surface pleasing and practical.

Initially my thought was the colour needs to be changed… but in fact I now think that this presentation is very ‘masculine’ or ‘classic’ or ‘safe’… and that what would be great is to have a small selection of colours to choose from, catering to all tastes. I personally would do the keyboard keys in black as well so that when the pad and keyboard are united there is a visual tie-in between the screen and keys… and to get rid of the rather overwhelming current visual uniformity.

Eee Pad Transformer at Dinner

I find the feel of the pad alone, somewhat heavier than the I-Pad and the shapes and edges feel less pleasing…I guess I mean less rounded and smooth…which I think is a disadvantage in design as this is specifically an object to be held. The keyboard conversion is a great bonus, but in reality: 1) there is quite a lot of play in between pad and keyboard and once united you can’t really walk around with the two together in one hand or casually: so as a ‘notebook’ it really needs to be sitting on a flat solid surface for best and easy use. (Maybe I just feel nervous about breaking it!) 2) What ever my level of computer savvy, it seems like one often ends up using the touch screen to do stuff when the keyboard is connected…and I did see this mentioned in a video clip on the internet I watched when I was trying to work out how to use the thing.

This leads me to another point. I am not a techno whizz kid, but I am averagely competent with IT. I have regularly used PC and Mac for both work and play… The fact that the Asus Eee Pad arrived into my life with no manual to speak of, either for the hardware or for the software really annoyed me. What key does what on the keyboard? Where is the help page? What is ‘Android whatever’ and how do I use it??? The assumption that I have hours that I want to spend on discovering how the thing works and what I can do really bugs me. I think this is a brilliant object, but it is a tool in my life to help make things easier, practical and more fun. I am really busy working right now, and I want to use the pad in my work time and when relaxing too. Also, I want a manual to hold and read when I am lying on my sofa or bed with the pad… not something I have to consult online on ANOTHER computer.

Eee Pad Transformer at Dinner

I got onto WiFi and had a look round, and I tried to get familiar with the Polaris text program which will be the most useful of the work tools for me, and I find the touch screen very agreeable to use, the touch sensitive keyboard in Polaris, gmail and internet connections great… and having watched a friend type on it with the pad lying flat on the table I realize that using the pad exclusively for writing text at fairly high speed will be easy to do when I have adapted to it…which made the addition of the keyboard seem less vital. I am still trying to work out how to copy text in Polaris from a text document off a memory stick, which is frustrating me… both on screen and on the keyboard… but no doubt this is a user problem and not the technology. Maybe when I find the time and a manual?

Meanwhile I threw a dinner party this weekend and showed my guests the Asus Eee Pad, which was very favorably admired. My guests immediately consulted Youtube and the latest football results online. The end of my dinner was rather spoilt, but as you can see the Eee Pad was the unexpected late guest and star!

Eee Pad Transformer at Dinner

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