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25 May 2012

Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101G Review

Tablets make fun multimedia devices but when it comes down to real work, like typing out this review for instance, there’s no replacing the good ol’ physical keyboard. You could always buy a bluetooth keyboard as an add-on but that’s just one more thing to carry around. This has always caused a huge dilemma for first time buyers who are left with the painful choice of deciding between a tablet and a netbook. A hybrid device was needed to give us the best of both worlds. Lenovo teased us with the LePad but never actually got to putting it into production. Thankfully, Asus saw a window of opportunity and capitalized on it by creating, quite frankly, the best hybrid device seen to date. We give you the Transformer TF101G - a tablet for leisure and a netbook for work, just what the doctor ordered.

Design and Build
The Transformer comes in two parts, there’s the tablet itself and the keyboard dock which further expands its functionality. Let’s start with the tablet. Measuring just 12.9mm in thickness, it’s really slim and light too, at just 695g. The Galaxy Tab 750 still remains the slimmest and lightest 10.1-inch tablet though. The TF101G is built extremely well and it just feels like it costs a premium (which is does). Instead of a plain, boring back, Asus have gone with a nice patterned design and the colour is very eye catching as well. The tablet sports an IPS panel and a scratch-resistant glass for added protection.
All docked in

Connectivity wise, we have a 3.5mm headphone jack with support for a microphone as well, mini-HDMI (Type C) connector, microSD card slot while the left side houses the SIM card slot (For the TF101G model only) and the volume rocker and power/sleep button. The fit and finish of all the ports and buttons are well done giving you a sense of quality and attention to detail.
Buttons are crafted well

The proprietary connector is at the bottom and is used for charging, data transfer or to connect to the dock. In the rear, we also have a 5MP camera without flash and a front facing 1.3MP camera for video chat. While the TF101G does accept SIM cards, it does not support telephony functions. It does however come with 16GB memory, Gyroscope and E-compass and stereo speakers with SRS. Now, let’s turn our attention to the dock.The dock can be charged separately as well.

Other apps include MyLibrary which lets you read Ebooks and popular news publications. Kindle app also comes bundled. There’s MovieStudio for editing your captured videos, Polaris Office for working on Office documents and spreadsheets.
Use the cloud to expand your storage

SuperNote lets you scribble notes, embed images, etc. Since this is a Tegra-powered device, we get TegraZone allowing you to purchase and download games optimized for this hardware. Sadly, Asus doesn’t bundle along any games with the Transformer.

The 5MP autofocus camera fails to impress with very basic functionality and poor options. The sensor fairs strictly average when it comes to snapping indoor pictures.
Camera interface is extremely basic
Camera interface is extremely basic

Since you don't have much control over the autofocus as there’s no grid or focus point for your reference, you simply point at your subject and hope for a well focused shot.
The video recording isn’t too impressive either. The recorded video is very jittery even if you move the tablet around slowly. Overall, Asus fails to impress us in this department.

Battery Life
In our video drain test, the SIM was set to 2G mode, Wi-Fi was off and brightness was set to medium. We first started the test with the tablet disconnected from the dock. Here, we managed to get 7hrs and 40min of battery life before the tablet refused to boot up. This is pretty good given the slim form factor. But it doesn't end there. Once docked, we managed squeeze out another 4hrs from the Transformer which gives us a total battery life of almost 11hrs. Asus claims 14hrs which I’m sure is achievable if you tone down the brightness further and perhaps put it in Airplane mode. Nevertheless, this is more than you will ever get on most netbooks without having to deal with the ugly bulge from higher capacity battery packs. Next, we managed to get 8hrs in our loops tests which included a video loop, audio loop and streaming radio over Wi-Fi.

So should you buy the Transformer TF101G? Well, The Price is Little Higher as compared to Features.You can Buy this if You have Lot of Money.For Others, at least we can expect a nice price drop for the current one..


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