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Eee Pad Transformer: The new tab on the block

By Laura Dogget - lauradoggett.com

The nice people at ASUS have sent me their latest baby: the Eee Pad Transformer, to have a play with.

I’ll be running a series of blog posts over the coming weeks as I get to know it, with the particular aim of establishing whether it is a contender to the iPad 2 in an educational context.

I will share side-by-side comparisons of some of the issues I think this tablet has to overcome in the classroom compared to an iPad and putting the ASUS into the hands of my trusty Year 8 volunteers to get their view.

So what is it?

Here’s the fast and dirty tour from Mashable:

and a more detailed walk-through with a full spec rundown:

Is it a bird…? Is it a plane…?

A bit like the Mashable lady, I wondered as I unboxed the Transformer how it would define itself. Is it a tablet with a nifty dock? Or a netbook with a detachable touchscreeny tabletty-bit? Having had it up and running for a few days it is definitely playing out for me personally as a tablet that can change up a gear into workhorse mode when serious inputting needs to be done; happily existing independently of its keyboard. The double battery life you get from docking the tab certainly helps, but like an eejit it did take me a while to get the hang of charging the two units (together? separately? ummm….)

Unbox me, baby

I am an Apple fan. My first iPhone led to a MacBook, which led to another iPhone, several iPod variants… and most recently an iPad. I have become used to the bated breath and growing excitement that comes with the unveiling of lovely Apple kit, where the unboxing is designed to make you fall unashamedly in love with your new purchase and justify with ease the amount of money you’ve spent on it.

It was always going to be tough for a competitor to beat that first flush of joy, so well done to ASUS for doing a fine job. They haven’t tried to do their own thing: unboxing the Transformer was remarkably like opening an Apple product, only slightly cheaper feeling and with naff typefaces. Sorry guys, but well done. Kind of.

If you want to see a joyful fellow opening his with a VERY large kitchen knife, here you go:

Next time

Set-up, syncing, connectivity and ergonomics. Gosh that all sounds very grown-up.

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