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Eee Pad Transformer Review - TF101

Shopping for the Asus Transformer? If you live in the USA, Amazon.com has had some decent sales recently. In fact most countries will see price drops on the TF101. In the USA, we've seen the 16GB model for as little as $358 (normally priced at $399) and the keyboard dock at $116 (normally priced at $159). Remember that the Transformer tablet has the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system update so even though it's older, it still runs a new Android OS. If you're looking for a bargain it's worth looking at. At this point, the prices tend to be higher than even the newest Transformer models. Just keep that in mind that a newer TF700 might end up being the best option right now. Check prices from various locations first!

Is the Asus Transformer TF101 getting Android Jelly Bean update? Asus hasn't rules this out but hasn't confirmed it either. When news comes out we will post an update! Asus has still not confirmed whether it will get the Jelly Bean OS update.

Here is a rundown of the updated official specs of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101:

  • Nvidia Tegra 2 (1.0GHz Dual Core) CPU
  • Display is a 10.1" LED Backlight screen
  • 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 10 finger mult-touch
  • Gorilla glass
  • 2-in-1 audio jack (headphone/mic-in)
  • 1 mini HDMI 1.3a
  • 1 micro SD card reader
  • 1 internal microphone
  • dual SRS premium sound speakers
  • weighs 680g with battery
  • size is 271 x 177 x 12.98mm
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system
  • 1G DDR2 RAM
  • 16GB/32GB + 1 year Unlimited ASUS Webstorage
  • Wireless b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 1.2 mega pixel front facing camera
  • 5.0 mega pixel rear facing camera with auto focus
  • g-sensor, light sensor, gyroscope, e-compass, GPS
  • optional 3G
  • 9.5 hours battery life with 24.4Wh battery
  • 16 hours battery life with dock

 

Transformer TF101 News Quick Hits

  • Ice Cream Sandwich update is now available . Read our post here about it.
  • Netflix app finally comes to the Eee Pad Transformer and there is a fix for the keyboard dock battery drain. Yes, longer battery life! Check out all the updates that you just received in the latest download for your TF101. More details here.
  • With the Android 3.1 update to your Transformer, you will now be able to use a USB connected PS3 or Xbox 360 controller for gaming! We know there are a few of you out there who would enjoy that news! Check ot the full story here.
  • Looking for that Android 3.1 update? The Android 3.1 update will provide the Asus Transformer more advanced widgets, a new multitask switcher, and better improved stability. The firmware for the dock will provide improve mouse tracking, typing speeds, and USB compatibility. Sounds like great news! (source:Slashgear.com)

tf101 with keyboard dock

 

See the official Asus product page here.

Read more of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Wikipedia page here.

Also check out the new official Asus TF101 Transformer page here.

As with the EP121 EeePad, the TF101 uses the Asus docking station keyboard accessory. This version of the Eee Pad is definitely made more for the mobile user who wants ultra compact and light computing in a tablet computer.

Here are some great photos of the TF101 tablet from Asus. Just to recap, the TF101 spec include: 10.1" screen, Tegra 2 processor, 1280 x 800 pixel display, Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS, 16GB or 32BG models, and ships with or without the keyboard dock.

asus tablet with keyboard dock station
© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

 

The keyboard dock is obviously what sets the Transformer TF101 apart from the competition. If this keyboard is anything like the Asus Eee PC netbooks, it's going the be of a great build quality. The question right now is, does the Transformer come with the keyboard or is it sold seperately? Hopefully there is the option of buying with or without for those of us looking to save a few dollars. The answer is yes, you can buy itwith or without the keyboard dock!
transformer keyboard dock
© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

 

 

The Asus TF101 looks just like a netbook when seated in the keyboard dock. It looks solid and hopefully the connection is solid also. This type of versatility makes us think that this is destined to become the best selling tablet on the market in 2011.
back side of the asus transformer
© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

 

 

angle view of tablet and keyboard
© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

 

In its standard look, the Eee Transformer TF101 looks great. Light, powerful with the Tegra 2 processor and the versatility when you plop it into the keyboard dock. We like it!
side photo of transformer tablet
© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

 

view of tablet docked in keyboard
© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

The Eee Pad Transformer TF101 provides the best of tablet and netbook designs in one package. The hinge mechanism is the key to the design. Although you see a slight ridge in the design at the connection, it's a relatively minor addition to the look and profile of the tablet.

 


© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

 

A complaint for a lot of laptop owners is the smudges that happen on the covers. As you can see, the Eee Pad Transformer has a textured lid design which appears to repel those greasy finger print smudges.

 

docking station
© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

The Transformer image above shows the hinge mechanism and the slim profile of the Asus Transformer TF101 keyboard. Even with the connector, the profile will be thin enough to satisfy most people looking to buy a tablet/keyboard combo.

 

full view of keyboard dock
© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

Build quality of Asus keyboards is excellent. This photo gives you a clear look at the layout and key placements.

 


© ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

We close off our Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 photo gallery with one of our favorites.
This photo really gives you the full look of the tablet. It just looks like a traditional netbook but it's
going to offer a lot more in terms of functionality and options.

 


Previous History, News, Updates, and Rumors

June 10, 2011 - Great news for those of you in the UK looking for a 3G model. It's coming in August! It's official from the Asus facebook page.

April 24 - We had an email asking about a 3G version of the TF101 Transformer. We looked around for info and we've come up with this tweet from the official Asus UK Twitter page:

twitter from asusuk about 3g transformer

So the answer about whether a 3G Transformer is coming is yes. It would appear to be true but I would be skeptical of the dates listed. The answers the question about a 3G model in the UK, but what about the USA? We haven't heard. If you do hear something, please send us an email and we will inform everyone about it.

April 4 - Few tidbits about the Transformer TF101 that you may not know about. The keyboard dock will charge the tablet while it's docked. So when you remove it from the dock, it will have more battery life than when you placed it on the dock. The Transformer tablet ships with Polaris Office which is a software program which will allow you to edit Word (.doc), Excel (.xls) and Power Point (.ppt) documents . Also the TF101 has AMAZING viewing angles.

March 25 - Asus has give the world the official spec of the Eee Pad Transformer.Confirmed by an official Asus press release, this is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101. Forget about the EP101 naming scheme.

We've found officially Asus pricing at $14,900 in Taiwan New Dollar, which is about $500 USD for the 16GB version and $17,900 in Taiwan New Dollar, which is about $700 USB for the 32GB version. I'm sure those prices included the keyboard dock but we can't confirm that yet. We can now confirm that the Transformer dock is sold seperately. Therefore it appears the pricing listed here is without the dock and that the dock is rumored to cost around $100 USD extra.

Something that you may not be aware of is how much battery life the Transformer keyboard dock provides. According to the Asus spec sheet you will get up to 16 hours! Impressive to say the least even though that number will come down during more taxing usage. More on battery life later!

Here is something to consider with the Eee Pad Transformer regarding the Transformer dock. We don't know 100% for certain whether the Transformer comes with the keyboard in the box. The key question is, how vital is the keyboard going to be with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system? It's a fair question. Ultimately the OS is created and optimized for touchscreen. This isn't Windows afterall. So that really begs the question how usable the trackpad and keyboard will be when it comes to the latest and greatest Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. If you are looking for productivity, obviously typing with a keyboard is paramount. At this point it's just not clear how advantageous the keyboard and trackpad will be for Android 3.0. Stay tuned as the Eee Pad Transformer starts to ship and users get a feel for the keyboard dock.

March 24 - The official Asus Eee Pad Transformer Facebook page has just posted a video. It's an unusual video so we are just warning you. It's more of a skit than a demo. I'm not sure but it does show with a zoom, the click and process for clicking the tablet to the keyboard. Are those sound effects when it snaps into place? It sounds like and looks like a solid connection so that's very promising.

Something else to consider as the Asus TF101 nears launch beyond Taiwan. It's going to be a very cheaply priced tablet in my opinion. Asus mentions "until a lower price" as part of this countdown timer on the Facebook page. It makes sense if the Transformer is cheaply priced, it will have a huge advantage over the rest of the table market such as the Motorola Xoom, Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. All those products are premium priced.

Think about the Asus Eee PC product line with the arguably the best netbook product line on the market. Also consider how cheap the Eee PC models are. The same pricing model in the tablet market with the Eee Pad Transformer TF101 means great things for the company.

If you have been looking to buy a netbook or an Asus Eee PC, you may realize that the TF101 Transformer offers something that they don't. None of the 10.1" Asus Eee PC models come with an HD display. However, the Eee Transformer TF101 actually has a 1280 x 800 resolution in the 10.1" form factor. Considering that the Transformer is essentially an Eee PC with a detachable display (touchscreen) then this may be an ideal solution for your portable computing or secondary computer needs.

 

model holding transformer tablet and keyboard dock
If you had to choose between the EeePad Transformer or a date with the
gorgeous model, which would you choose?

 

January 4 - The EP101 is now known as the Eee Pad Transformer. It has just been officially unveiled at CES 2011.

January 4 - The Eee Pad Transformer was unveiled at CES 2011 by Asus today. We aren't sure the exact branding regarding the use of the words Asus Eee Pad Transformer EP101. We know that the Transformer is the EP101 which was shown off earlier in the year. Otherwise, here is what we know so far!

Release Date: April

Price: $399-$699

Specs:

  • 10.1-inch
  • Android 3.0
  • dual-core Tegra 2 processor
  • 1280 x 800 IPS display
  • 680 grams weight
  • 12.9 mm thick
  • memory 512mb/1gb
  • storage 16gb/32gb/64gb eMMC
  • two onboard cameras: one 1.2 MP Video Camera on the front, and 5 MP auto-focus LED flash camera on the back
  • Wireless N
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • mini HDMI
  • USB
  • 2 in 1 audio jack (headphone/mic-in)
  • 1 internal microphone
  • stereo speakers
  • built in card reader
  • optional dock has an integrated battery that will keep the tablet running for 16 hours on a charge
  • 8 hour battery life without using dock

 

May 31 - Hot new videos of the Eee Pad TF101

 

transformer pad tablet tf101


Here is a photo of the almighty Eee Pad Transformer!

 

transformer tablet tf101 with keyboard dock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

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