Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ASUS Transformer - Inital Thoughts

So a couple weeks ago I took the plunge and ordered an ASUS Transformer tablet as well as getting a (slightly used) keyboard accessory designed for it.

What I wanted was something I could use at home for:
- couch browsing/gaming while watching TV
- games and movies and possible web browsing for traveling
- possibly try my hand at tablet software development
- some minor gaming for the carebears (3 year olds)

And at work for:
- taking notes during meetings
- giving presentations

The Transformer seemed to cover the bases and had decent reviews for its price point. I finally got it around mid last week and have been putting it through its paces. Here are my thoughts.

- the construction is solid, it doesn't feel cheap
- performance is very nice
- I'm pleased with Android as an OS, decent control of the device and programs
- the Android Market has a decent selection of software so far, but I've gone 99% with free offerings so time will tell if the supply of good apps meets my demands
- the keyboard addition just simply works; plug it in and you have a notebook with USB slots and another SD slot
- Flash works fine in browser

- Google Browser seems to get hiccups every so often
- Android market searching is not ideal for easily finding apps optimized for a large tablet surface, and this is especially painful for apps designed for phone that don't adapt readily (i.e. force screen in portrait and use a quarter of it)
- Took a couple tries to find a video app that would play my movies and even then I still have sound issues with Clear Skies 3 for example (a WMV format). Still experimenting and researching
- The keyboard accessory didn't come with a separate power cable and the cable looks to be ASUS proprietary and hard to find online.
- default virtual keyboard is slow and has a poorly positioned space bar. I've seen other owners of a Transformer talk about apps they use to get around this so more investigation required

- So far... no ugly

Overall I'm pleased and if I can get workarounds or fixes for my few problems, I'll be a very happy camper. One thing I keep thinking while owning this is "man, this would have been so handy for Warhammer 40K".

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