Transformer: the verdict from Year 8

June 21st, 2011 in .Blogs .Transformer Summer Blogs
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Transformer: the verdict from Year 8

Laura –

The other week I asked for some volunteers from my Year 8  group to come and have a look at the new ASUS Eee-Pad Transformer and tell me what they thought of it. Thrilled with the idea of offering their expert opinions, they turned up at lunchtime full of enthusiasm and curiousity.

Firstly I showed them the tablet and they quickly worked out how the dock works. Initial Ooohs and Aaaahs about the coolness of having something that was both tabletty and netbooky led on to concern about the robustness of the hinge mechanism in a classroom environment.

They then looked at the interface, speed and resposiveness. They liked the feel of the tablet and thought it was pretty quick until we got the iPad out and put them side by side. Then, it looked remarkably sluggish by comparison. We played Angry Birds side by side with the iPad to see how the same game felt on the two tablets and whilst the boys liked the wide-screen feel, it was difficult for them with child-sized hands to manage the tablet without a cover or stand. They were forced to hold it in portrait mode rather than landscape, therefore losing all the widescreen benefits.

Interestingly they felt that overall, the  ASUS had a lot going for it. The students could see themselves using a device like it in lessons as having the dock made it seem more like a workhorse than its more playful rival from Apple.

Like me, they were worried about battery life and speed: two areas where I worry that the ASUS doesn’t deliver. It’s such a shame, as I said to a colleague on Twitter: I really wanted this tablet to be a real contender for the education market. I’m not yet convinced it is!

PS. If you want to win an ASUS Transformer for yourself, all you have to do to enter the competition is go over to and comment on one of the blog posts reviewing them!

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  • dvdyke

    Interesting to see a childs response. I think Apple has the edge because it is set in stone what the hardware is when designing the OS. With Android it has to work on so many different devices that it cannot optimize itself fro all. When devloping a platform it’s always going to be easier and perform better on one particular platform. I do feel the Transformer would have benefited from a slightly thinner casing and made from metal rather than plastic. But then there would be concerns about the weight.

    I also read that battery life fares no better than the iPad and depends on usage habits.

  • Tomi Sarkkinen

    I’m waiting for this to be released in Finland…

  • clara

    ahh and oooohhhh..would love to have the chance to try this! Think I would be just enthusiastic as the bloggers :D

  • Thomas Crock

    I have been playing and working with the eee pad for last week or so and have been very much enjoying.  No concerns on battery life as moving between pad and keyboard pending work requirements and unlike the mobile phone this one manages to survive a days work!  My son (nearly 8yrs) has been loving… no issues with holding and playing on Angry Birds, so a little bemused on comments above, and has also, started selecting, downloading the ebooks he fancies and reading via Kindle app.

  • Kristen

    Good to see the students’ responses and especially their comparison to the iPad – these are the two I’m really debating between.  Would love to see a comparison in the “work/school” arena – for word processing, presentations, communicating back with the main computer, etc.  Basic productivity uses.

  • Lili Bartley

    Well I for one am championing the Transformer. My little boy is 3 and he can use it! Battery life is very long, and it’s small enough to pop in my handbag when I have to go off for a meeting, very useful as I am a woman in London and I don’t really like advertising the fact that I have a laptop on me.However, the only downside is my addiction to Angry Birds is growing daily!!

  • Pierre Galisson

    To be honest, I started using my laptop a lot less since I got my hands on it. However, it’s incompatible with the software used at work, so I use it mainly for editing purposes…oh, and of course Angry Birds :)

  • Ionut Dobrin

    the market really needs more educational apps…

  • Andy Lorenz

    amazing to see that even youngsters recognise the potential benefit of a detachable keyboard, that would set it apart from an iPad.  Of course you can use a bluetooth keyboard with iPad, but there’s nothing like an integrated keyboard – that also acts as a screen protector when closed and a stand when open :)

  • Chris Burns

    I purchased an Asus Transformer TF101 on Friday 17th June 2011. I plugged the Asus USB cable into an Apple USB extender cable on Sunday the 19th June 2011, to transfer data from my mac to the tablet. Because of the design of the Asus USB cable having extra pins in compared to a standard USB cable, the cables locked together, and I cannot separate them. This is the only way to charge the Asus TF101 Transformer. Therefore, I cannot charge the Asus TF101 Transformer – and Asus customer “support” have been useless. Actually, “useless” would be an improvement on my experience.

    You cannot purchase the USB cables anywhere, as Asus have not released them yet, and they cannot give a date for when the cables will be released.

    So I have a £430 tablet, which has died due to the lack of a cable. 

    I am commenting on this blog in the hope that I will win an Asus TF101 Transformer, as this appears to be the only way I will get a replacement cable without purchasing a whole new machine.

    Thanks Asus.

  • Arthur Hale

    I dunno Crhis.. I wouldn’t usually try and cross apple and PC hardware?!

  • Jon Payne

    Looks great for games.


    Some good education software for android is needed.

  • Dave Rimmer

    Seems like a great Tablet/Laptop idea but the Asus Transformer is trying to do two things at the same time hence it’s name, but Apple have put everything into the iPad as a Tablet so can understand if it does not hold up against it. The battery life would have made a big differance in the long run, still like it though could have been a bit thinner.