Transformer Man…

I got to take a look at one of our tech team’s new toy, yesterday – an ASUS Transformer tablet. Those of you who have read my brain-dumpings before will know how much of a fan of the tablet genre I am, and how much I love my iPad. I use a fair bit of Apple stuff, but I am absolutely not against all other vendors; however I hadn’t yet seen a tablet that I thought was the equal of or better than the iPad.

However, I was impressed with this one. It was fast, slick, seemed to work well. There was no discernible lag to the interface, which seems to be the case with many tablets. The keyboard/dock/extra battery worked very well, with hotkeys for certain functions and a really useable track pad. I was even able to play Fruit Ninja (badly, but that’s down to me not the device) using the track pad. And I gather the dock adds an extra 8 hours of battery, which is pretty awesome – somewhere close to 18 hours all in, apparently.

Downsides? Well, I’m not convinced the elongated (widescreen) form factor is for me – it wants to be in portrait whereas I tend towards landscape with tablets. It’s blooming heavy with the keyboard dock – unscientific measurement (holding apples in one hand, android in the other) suggests that the weight is roughly the same as my iPad and 11″ MacBook Air. I didn’t like the ouside coating, a plasticcy, sort-of carbon fibre effect. Although as Phill pointed out, it’s probably scratch resistant and does form a protective shell for the device when the keyboard dock is closed.

With access to a virtual desktop delivered by Citrix, VMware View or similar, this could be all the device you need…

I don’t think I will be replacing my iPad right now, but it’s good to see there’s some good competition at last!


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