Transformer TF101 - Asus Eee Pad That Runs Android Honeycomb 3.0!

For no particular reason (other than their excellent portability) for sometime now I've been searching for a Tablet PC that comes with a reasonable price + the possibility of running running GNU/Linux easily. Asus has been producing their "Eee" family personal computers for sometime now but their "Eee Pad" which resembles "Eee version" of Tablet PCs are something new to the consumers.

And to be honest, I haven't purchased it and has no idea whether it we'll be able to run GNU/Linux distributions, considering the fact that it runs the Android 3.0 Honeycomb... well, it might. Anyhow after reading few reviews and the official product page here are the main features and my personal thought about it.

Main Hardware Specifications...

*. Comes with the Nvidia Tegra 2 (a GPU that's especially designed to run on Mobile devices, performance + low power consumptions, etc) Dual-Core CPU that runs around 2 Ghz.

*. Has the ability to comfortably play HD videos around 1080p (resolution level).

IPS Panel, 178° wide view angle.

*. Display - 10.1" LED Backlight WXGA (1280x800) Screen, 10 finger multi-touch support + a scratch resistant glass (for all you "long fingernail" ladies :D).

*. 1GB of physical RAM.

*. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 version.

*. 1.2 megapixel front camera and a 5MP back camera.

*. MicroSD card reader/HDMI output (+ audio output jack and a mic-in).

*. 5 Different sensors - G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-Compass and GPS.

*. Powered by the open-source Android Honeycomb version 3.0 (there might be an update available through Asus to the latest 3.1 version, but as usual, delays are expected) and Adobe Flash 10.2 support.

*. 16/32GB SSD (solid state disk) for storage.

*. Battery life of 9.5 hours!.

*. Weight - 680 grams.

But one important thing about the Transformer TF101 Android Honeycomb Tablet is, by adding a portable docking station (more likely a keyboard actually, shipped separately)... you can convert the TF101 Tablet PC into a light weight netbook!.
Have a look at the above screenshot. As you can see, the Tablet is fully integrated into the "dock" because by default the Tablet PC version has two "docking Latches". After integrated with the docking station, it gives you a physical QWERTY keyboard (obviously) but most importantly, this is not just a "keyboard" but it consist of ...

*. 2 USB ports (2.0 high speed).

*. 40 Pin standard battery charger.

*. Dedicated "Android buttons".

*. SD card reader to the right corner and since it has a powerful battery embedded to the dock itself, after attaching it with the Tablet, you should be able to expand the default 9 hours into an impressive 16 hours! (although these values may differ since these are just what the Asus claims).

And apart from the Android Honeycomb interface, Asus gives a UI of its own called Waveshare by using which you can access Asus's online services such as MyNet, MyCloud, etc with ease. And the Asus application Launcher is also embedded into the Honeycomb as well.

And as said, guys/gals this is not a review, because I haven't bought it or anything. But the reason that I choose to write about ... well it kinda impressed me with that Tablet PC and the "dock" thing :).

And if you're wondering about its ability to render HD videos directly into your huge TV screen, well according to Asus, TF101 can do it pretty easily, quoting...
"Powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 dual-core processor, the Transformer browses the web at blazing speeds, providing a snappier response time and better performance when multi-tasking. Sporting a HDMI 1.3a port, the Transformer can connect to a HDTV and 5.1 surround sound system, delivering an enhanced multimedia experience..."
Although to be honest, Apple's iPad2 is not as impressive as its predecessor. Because even after Apple claiming about its GPU being, what 9x times faster was it?... still it can't even play HD videos of 1080p... just mirrors those videos. So in that sense the TF101 apart from its cheaper price when comparing with iPad2, it's pretty powerful.

But again, when it comes to the look-n-feel ipad2... oh it looks better, the TF101 looks a bit like came from back in the 70s!. Oh and that dock as I said has to be purchased separately (I think it costs around an extra $130 something). If interested, you can purchase the Asus Transformer TF101 A1 from Amazon :D.

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