Asus Eee Pad Transformer – Staying away from the iPad

Clip to Evernote

Dave Cryer,

Asus Eee Pad Transformer – Staying away from the iPad

So the challenge for the Eee Pad Transformer was to see if it could either replace the daily use of my iPad, or at least supplement the use of my full-sized laptop. So I started my week using just the tablet portion of the device to see if the user interface and available tools really could deliver a rich and useful user experience.

I should share with you that my normal use for such a device is not really to play games, rather to use it as a business and time-saving tool. For those of you interested in games, I did try the likes of Angry Birds and it played very well, smoothly and as always started eating into my time. Moving on to the business side of things, the biggest timesaver that the Eee Pad could offer me was in dealing with e-mails efficiently. There are two options here, the standard e-mail application or the integration with Gmail. Setting up both was extremely easy, with the standard e-mail app I automatically setup my .mac e-mail address using IMAP and was up and running within a couple of minutes. The same applied to Gmail and both e-mail experiences are very similar. Using Gmail as an example e-mails are presented in widescreen format with a list of messages on a scrollable list to the left and the body of the message (again scrollable) to the right. With easy tick boxes and on-screen icons to move, delete, archive and respond to messages. Using the on-screen keyboard is both accurate and fast, with very few mistakes.

The secondary use of such a device for me is to respond to comments left on my YouTube videos. For those of you who don’t know me, I publish either one or more videos per day to the Geekanoids Channel and receive on average 200-400 comments perday. Clicking on these comments automatically launches the browser and allowed me too quickly tap approve button and respond accordingly. There is a little room for improvement here, when I started typing my responses the cursor was always positioned after the commenters name, yet typing began in a different position. This was probably an error on the operating systems part rather than the device itself, but annoying nonetheless.

Staying with the browsing experience, this was great. Pages loaded quickly, accurately and supported flash within the browser, so video viewing could be done without switching to another application. I was also very impressed with the clarity of text rendering and on-screen graphics. Navigating around websites was great with pinch to zoom supported and great performance and fluidity throughout.

Enhancing my experience further was next on the agenda. I use a few of apps regularly and likely include TweetDeck and the Pulse newsreader. It was a very quick procedure to download these from Google Market, they both installed without any problems. In use TweetDeck worked very well, albeit there is room for improvement on the UI. Pulse worked flawlessly and in this instance the UI worked very well within the Google Android Honeycomb operating system. I know that these experiences aren’t down to the hardware, but I thought they were worth mentioning because they directly affect how you use and interact with the Eee Pad Transformer. As time progresses more applications that have been enhanced for the tablet experience will be released and this will only have a positive effect on how popular these devices become.

So, I have used the Eee Pad Transformer for a few more days now. During this time it has behaved impeccably, with battery life far exceeding what I had expected, easily achieving a day and a half of use between charges. The touchscreen experience has surprised me and made me smile. The most surprising thing so far, is that I have not reached to pick up my iPad in what is almost a week. In the next article I will be covering the use of the keyboard dock and if it adds or detracts from the devices usability.

By Dave Cryer,

Related Articles

Share |
  • Anonymous

    good to see some real alternatives to ipad and also trying something a little different

  • Alex

    Watching high quality videos on the Transformer:

  • h.drummond

    not only great for teenagers I am 71 and I love it to bits only downfall I can’t get my talktalk email connected tried everything