Transformer long term test: Why all tablets should have an IPS screen

April 26th, 2011 in .Blogs .Eee Pad Transformer Blog
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Adam from EAT

You may or may not have read our review of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, but here’s the one thing that you as a tablet buyer, and the other tablet manufacturers for that matter, should take away from it. If there’s a ‘killer feature’ or one thing that makes the Transformer stand out from the rest of the Android crowd, it’s the IPS screen.

The fact that this has to be pointed out is more than a little frustrating: given that the whole point of a tablet is that it’s a touch sensitive LCD window on the world with all the complexity of computing stripped out, getting the screen right should be obvious to the point of banality.

But it isn’t. Or hasn’t been, so far.

We’ve heard stories of previous tablets being returned because the viewing angles were so bad text became invisible at the edges of the panel even if you looked at it straight on. Others thought that multitouch was an optional extra, or that a stylus should be used for accurate typing.

For some reason, up until now, only the makers of a certain citrusy slate have reasilised that if you get the screen right, most other flaws are fundamentally forgiveable. Almost everything else, you see, is an added extra. In the same way that you don’t buy a supercar and then complain that the radio doesn’t have an iPod dock, if the screen is right everything else follows.

EAT wrote its Transformer review sitting in the pub, outdoors, at various points on a sunny Easter weekend. It was quite blissful, really. There are a few minor issues that need to be resolved with using the Transformer to fully replace a netbook: the keyboard occasionally had to be removed and reattached to get it working and the office suite, Polaris, doesn’t have a word count feature, so we wittered on a bit. But the point is we were sat outside, in direct sunlight, writing on a screen.

You can’t do that on most high end laptops.

As summer approaches here in the UK, EAT is planning to make a lot of use of the Transformer’s sun-defying abilities to may, just maybe, get a tan this year.

So here’s our advice:  if you’re thinking of buying a tablet, of whatever brand and make, find out about its screen before you look at any other spec and if you can, try and see it for yourself before you commit to a purchase.

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