The ASUS Eee Pad Slider keyboard hands on

November 2nd, 2011 in .Pads & Slates .Products
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asus eee pad slider

The Eee Pad Slider recently landed on my desk. I stared at it. What was it? Was it a netbook? Was it a pad? It stared at me as if to say, “I, the ASUS Eee Pad Slider, am all of the above.” I decided to take this baby apart and challenge it, to see what it was really made of.

The first thing I looked at on the Slider was the keyboard. Unlike the Eee Pad Transformer, the Slider’s keyboard is built in to the device so you have it with you all the time. For those of you who only want a tablet to watch movies or play Patience on, this is not for you. For anyone who wants a device that can almost do everything except make coffee, read on.

The Eee Pad Slider’s screen sits on the keyboard when laid flat and to pull it out you simply slide the screen up to a 45 degree angle while the keyboard remains static. The hinge mechanism used to do this is very stable and remarkably well built. How do I know this? I spent a good 45 minutes sliding the screen up and out constantly without so much as a creak or a groan. Nice.

To slip the Slider’s keyboard out you need ease the screen out and pull. It is a bit fiddly at first but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll find it easy enough to do every time.

Built into the back of the Eee Pad Slider is a large flap that can be used to hold the screen firmly in place. When you are sitting on a crowded train, as I was, this is really helpful. Your lap turns into a desk with the keyboard solid and easy to access. This feature alone makes the Slider a worthy contender for king of the pads. The keyboard is so well supported in place that no matter where you are or what you are sitting on, the Slider becomes its own sturdy desk.

So what of the Eee Pad Slider’s keyboard?

I didn’t expect all that much, if I am honest. I find small keyboards difficult, uncomfortable and trying. So how did the Slider’s keyboard measure up?

I set the Eee Pad Slider up on my lap as the train jostled me from side to side, and proceeded to type out a series of urgent emails and I was impressed with how the keyboard performed. The keys are not too closely packed together which was a relief; there are few things as frustrating as hitting two keys at once and spending a lot of time fixing typing mistakes.

They are actually very well spaced and a lot easier to use than most tablet screen keyboards. Additionally the Slider’s keyboard is comfortable to type on. The keys punch in softly and the sensation is strangely satisfying. I also found them to be well made and solid and, during the chicken sandwich incident, easy to clean.

Overall I have to say that the Eee Pad Slider’s keyboard and sliding mechanism are well made, solid and good enough to make the device more of a Must Have than many other pads on the market.

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