ASUS Eee(sh!) Pad

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ASUS Eee(sh!) Pad

By Mark –

I am in week 2 of trialling the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, a tablet with a twist. Being able to use a device like the Transformer for the first time has been a revelation. I would estimate that over the last 10 days I have been able to put it to use about 70% of the time, with the remaining 30% on my old laptop. I reckon that is a pretty clear indication of it’s usefulness, at least in my line of work.

Eee Pad Transformer

Eee Pad Transformer

Any online tasks undertaken have been more than adequately handled by the tablet. Checking and replying to emails, expedition preparation and gear check including route planning via Google Maps, not to mention viewing video and photos. One of the best things about the Transformer is it’s multi-media capabilities. It rocks a NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 1.0GHz dual-core CPU, which (apparently, how the heck do I know?) is one of the key reasons I can view 1080p with such ease. No freezing, just smooth play. Great when searching for the latest Friday Stoke clip or any other expedition related footage. Going full screen with video is easy. I simply use the YouTube app to search and play. Done. Checking out Al Humphrey’s latest photo set becomes even more enjoyable as I flick, one finger style from one image to the next.

Last Thursday I was amped to speak at the first ever London Explorers event which took place at the Fox Club in Green Park. Nothing too hectic, 20 mins, casual setting, I decide what to talk about. On my laptop I collated the 70-odd images that I wanted. The Transformer has definite word processing potential thanks to the in-built Polaris Office software, allowing for spreadsheets, word documents and presentations. In the interest of research I thought I might have a go at putting together my presentation on the tablet. The spreadsheet area is easy to use and pretty straightforward. Inserting images should be no problem. You can even access any photo sets you have up on Picasa. Awesome. I uploaded the photos to my account and set about building a presentation. Insert image, choose Picasa album and go! Or not. For some reason the images would not insert. Stock images on the tablet would, but nothing else. Bummer. Looking for a work around I dragged the images on to a USB key, connected the tablet to it’s keyboard which sports 2 USB ports and went to work. This has got to be a winner. It was! The only problem? I had left this little task until a couple of hours before I was due to give my talk. Being unfamiliar with Polaris Office the only way I could insert images was one by one and then resize. Time consuming and with 70 photos, I just could not face it. Maybe next event.

Finally, having family in Australia means a lot of video calling. Using the Google Talk app makes another everyday task so simple. Full screen and super clear, call quality is epic. Even better I can switch between front and rear facing cameras. On expedition, making a short vlog (video blog) and uploading to share with interested folk is a great way to break up text only blogs and for straight forward “to camera” pieces I think is going to be hard to beat.

So second week in and the tablet is still proving it’s worth. The Transformer is not without it’s nuances but for a mobile device to so swiftly and easily take over a big part of my workload is pretty good going.

Check out what other folks think at Tech in Style or for more details on the tablet go here.

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  • Anonymous

     Thanks for the review

  • Lili Bartley

    Great review…I’m guessing that you can also use Flash Player on the Transformer, unlike iPad? 

  • JP Broussard

     @google-7a6be8a77d6347f1d188e396effcd629:disqus Flash is available as a download from the market, but unfortunately the one thing it does not yet seem to be able to do is activate and use the front facing camera. So I guess you could say that it is not the ‘full’ internet like they say.

  • Stephen Herring

    Great Review now if only I could find one in stores

  • Tom / Ride Earth

    Looks like an interesting piece of kit, Mark. I wonder how it would fare as a comms device in the great outdoors. Something with a super long battery life, lightweight and able to produce blogs, edit photo and video and do all the uploading from the backcountry would really do the trick… but is it rugged enough?

  • Anonymous

    Just flick the switch in the camera app and the front facing one works. Does it not for you?

    They can’t integrate Flash due to licensing issues.

  • Elliot Robertson

     Finally a decent picture… Good little article too. I hope they get restocked soon.

  • Anonymous

    It seems to fit the bill in most areas for expedition use. As for ruggedness? I have a electronic case from SealLine and will also have a hard case from Pelican to protect it.

  • Spizmo

    Good review, make me def want one!!


    Living in a house full of laptops from 7″ to 17″ I feel like goldilocks “too small” “ too large” and then I come across ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and think this is ‘just right’ Anr excellent review from The multi media function as Mark says Rocks and that’s something I am desperatly looking for along with the social networking. I am the indomitable comper on FB and this is the next laptop/Eeepad for me!

  • Henry Ing-Simmons

    Its good to read about the use of this device in normal day to day situation.  The problem with reviews is they’re too formal and just give you all the stats.   Its also nice to know how usable something actually is.