The Honeycomb Netbook: Asus Eee Pad Transformer Review

By Julio Franco · 25 replies
Sep 19, 2011
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  1. But can it run Metro 2033?
  2. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 232

    Looks great, I'm going to get one
    Thanks for the review :)
  3. rajmond

    rajmond TS Rookie Posts: 45

    No, just Crysis 2 :)
  4. Very nice hardware to shuttle back and from the university campus. Which begs the question: can real work be done on this, especially with no network access? Softmaker for Android is not quite ready, yet. Has anyone tried OfficeSuite Professional 5? Evernote?
  5. 1977TA

    1977TA TS Rookie Posts: 89

    Cool toy, not worth $500 though. You can get lappies with discrete graphics for under 500 dollars these days.
  6. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    But can you get "lappies" with multi-touch screen interfaces and an option to undock and use as a tablet for convenience for that price range? It's an apples-to-oranges comparison. If you just want/need a laptop, you wouldn't be looking at things like the Transformer to begin with.
  7. 1977TA

    1977TA TS Rookie Posts: 89

    I wasn't comparing the two. Obviously they are totally different products. My point is getting the best bang for your buck.
  8. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    Gotcha. Along the same lines, you could say my point was that there are 2 different schools on how to calculate best bang for the buck. If I don't need real horsepower, want a primarily touch interface, and don't want to also have to buy and lug around an e-reader and/or portable game device with my laptop...... See where I'm going with this? :)

    It's all in the perspective and what you need - your particular return on investment calculation can be highly personal with products like these. Nobody thought the iPad would sell in the beginning, and look at it now. Sometimes you fill a niche that was already there, sometimes you create something that a niche forms around.
  9. The Transformer offers excellent bang for the buck. From my perspective as a former ipad user, there is no comparison as the ipad will forever remain in the toy category - lack of external storage, no ports, and the dreadful itune$ makes it a marketing device for Apple, not a device that can truly replace a laptop for all but power users (I.e. - 95% of users).

    The only upcoming tablet that attracts my interest is the upcoming Padfone from Asus and perhaps the TF2 with Ice Cream Sandwich and quad core. But unless they are significantly better, I can't see myself being tempted, not after being disappointed in the ipad and the Motorola Xoom and using my wife's Acer Iconia (which is a nicely designed, well priced tab for those wanting full size USB on their tablets)
  10. It's a great device but it fails in the productivity area. It doesn't even let you use Google Docs natively. That sucks.
  11. aj_the_kidd

    aj_the_kidd TS Rookie Posts: 555

    If your asking should you buy this over a laptop and then the answer is absolutely NOT, tablets are luxury items whilst laptops are designed to be productive. Don't let those tech folk hustle you in stores, laptops are still the best option when it comes to productivity. You may look cool on campus with one but a when it comes time to do actual work you will notice a huge difference, particularly when creating documents which are heavily formatted and creating spreadsheets, they are more effort then its worth on a tablet. This is just my opinion of course, but it should be noted that i have both a laptop and a tablet (well actually 2).

    Bottom line, for school work tablets are a nice to have whilst laptops/PC are a need to have.
  12. Neat gadget, it seems more tablet than PC though. I would be more willing to spend money on it if it was more PC than tablet. Also could it run at a different OS?
  13. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    I totally agree. I do like the idea of textbooks on the tablet for easy reference (and transportation), but you still need that software flexibility that a classic laptop OS provides. If there were more "power apps" that brought the full office/graphics/etc experience to the tablet OS, it would blur the lines more. If, for example, the Transformer was able to dual boot Win7 and Honeycomb right now, it would be much more attractive to someone like a student. That's why I think Win8 will definitely broaden the appeal of tablets as serious machines, not just handy gadgets - a Transformer with Win8 would be a pretty sweet little package.
  14. The tablet comes with a nice office suite – Polaris. You can create documents, spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations. The tablet also comes with free cloud storage for a year. I have Evernote as an app on my tablet but have yet to use it. You also can make use of Google Documents easily enough. I recommend getting the keyboard as well, especially if you do a lot of typing. It's well worth the extra $129-$150 investment.
  15. I have a lappy and was thinking about getting this tablet with the keyboard option. I don't do much on my lappy - email, social media, play/store music, store photos and some docs - would this tablet be a good option for the simple things?

    Thanks for any advise.

  16. The USB drives on the Eee transformer are a pain. Because they are designed not to stay open, I always find myself struggling to insert my memory device. This task requires two hands, no question. In addition to this, the groove that is used to open the drive is too small for women who paint their fingernails, since it causes them to chip. If I want to use these ports, I expect to follow up wiith time comsuming removal and reapplication of nail polish. This frustrates me more than any bug in the Android operating system.
  17. If that is what you are using your laptop for, this would definitely do that job.
  18. It's true that netbooks are not that good in terms of gaming and it would be unfair as to expect it run Metro and Crysis games.

    Netbooks are cool and great when you are a person that moves a lot from one place to another like students.

    Can you carry your high-end laptop that can play crysis or metro all the time?
  19. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,038

    Who said anything about Metro or Crysis?

    My concern is productivity not gaming.
  20. I have the Asus Transformer but not the keyboard.. The problem is..... that it is about the apps and there are just not the quality and quantity of apps when compared to the IPad. I use it to check email, occasionally do a Word document to check RSS feeds and news stories. But, it doesn't support Netflix, or Skype with video, and the kind of fun games and other apps just aren't around. When new apps come out, where do they tell you to check..the Apple App Store. The Asus was a gift and because my work and phone are tied to Google and Android, the Transformer works. But, if I was buying one for how I really want to use a tablet, I would go with the IPad.
  21. I want to know that does anyone knows if I can install office on it?to edit word an powerpoint?
    if any of you knows about it pls e-mail me
  22. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    If you have office on DVD then connect the netbook to the same network as a machine with DVD/CD drive. Set security settings on the DVD/CD drive for sharing. Access the shared DVD/CD drive via the netbook and run the install. I believe that you can also buy "downloaded" installer versions of software from Microsoft.
  23. MitchellG3

    MitchellG3 TS Rookie

    I have had my eee pad Transformer now for 3 weeks. Even now I am discovering new things it can do. I have never had an iPad but at least one iPad owner has looked at my Transformer with some envy. But I get ahead of myself.

    The box arrived (smaller than I expected) with the device and a charger plus magic cable and a couple of very slim instruction leaflets. There is no protective sleeve or case at all and this is the first extra you need to buy. The Transformer looks good and feels solid and well made.

    I turned the Transformer on and it took about 30 sec for me to connect it to my WiFi. Then it basically said "hang on a sec, looks like I need to upgrade my OS" so while I made a cup of tea it upgraded to Android 3.1. The battery fully charges using the supplied charger in an hour or so. I have found I need to charge it every couple of days.

    The screen resolution and brightness is extremely good; 1280*800; I can easily read a full page magazine without zooming. The screen aspect ratio is about 16*9 so it fits widescreen TV perfectly. I can connect to external HD video via wifi and play full screen. I get a few hesitations with BBC iPlayer but other sources (say Nasa TV HD or YouTube) are better.

    The screen security has a cool feature - you can program a scribble pattern (join the dots) instead of a PIN or password.

    The supplied software is good except the MS Office emulation Apps probably need a few tweaks. Having said that, ppt slides look beautiful and with the addition of an HDMI cable, (mini HDMI for the eee Pad end) you can project on a HDMI beamer or TV. That works really well. Adobe reader for Android is also available and works well. Email app is very good too.

    Heard all that drivel about there being fewer "Apps" available for Android? One good reason for this is that you don't need so many. The browser on the Transformer runs Flash so all those web sites that you need to download "Apps" for (I call them clients) just run as if you were at a laptop.

    Tired of all that tap-typing on a screen? Well you can use the verbal search. Tap the mic symbol then you say what you want to look for and off it goes to Google and pulls back the results in the browser window. As you can imagine the recognition accuracy is patchy but it surprised me how well it did work.

    Mapping/location/GPS software is fantastic and very responsive to pinch zoom and rotate. Not used the front and back cameras much yet so can't really comment on those.

    I have added a 16GB microSD card but I have no idea how I am going to use a total of 48GB.

    The media player was OK but I found a better one in the Android App Store. Kindle is great and text pin sharp. Zinio is a fantastic magazine reader on Android but the magazines you can get are limited (applies to all platforms).

    Plug the magic cable in and you can connect to USB port on a PC where your eee Pad appears as a normal drive (two if you have the microSD plugged in). Great for transferring stuff between laptop and Pad. Also has wireless desktop so you can configure you PC so that you can run it from your Transformer over local Wifi - the PC desktop appears on your Transformer screen and you move the mouse pointer with your finger. Apparently you can get this to work over the Interweb too but I haven't tried this yet.

    In summary, it is a long time since I have been as delighted as I have with this product. This box is the thing that makes me think that we don't need paper any more. And, if I get the docking keyboard, the laptop may be in big trouble too.
    On the negative side: Not QUITE as responsive to pinch and taps as iPad; Polaris Office apps need more work. Will recharge from PC USB but only when powered down.
    On the positive side: Everything else.
    Can't comment on: Cameras, playing games.

    Good Luck!
  24. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Posts: 429

    LOL; That made my day.

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