The Asus Eee Pad has been a strong rival to the top Android tablets since its release in 2011. Thanks to a low price point, without compromise to processing power or features, it’s a very attractive option for anyone looking for an Android alternative to the king of the tablets, the iPad 2. With it’s glossy 12-inch screen and revolutionary Transformer accessory, is this the tablet you should buy?
Key Specs For The Asus Eee Pad
* Costs $450 – $500
* Released in 2011
* Runs on Android 3.0
* 10.7 x 7 x 0.5 inches in size
* Weighs 1.5 lb. / 0.68 kg
* 12-inch screen
* 1280 x 800 resolution
* Storage options: 16GB and 32GB
* NVidia Tegra 2 1 GHz processor
* Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Connectivity
* 5 MP & 1.3 MP cameras
* 9 hours battery life
What’s Great About The Asus Eee Pad…
Price: When compared to similar tablets on the market, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Eee Pad comes in slightly cheaper, which may give it an edge for some users. It uses the same processor, so it’s just as powerful as its rival high-end Android tabs with a lower price tag!
Screen: The screen is very large compared to its rivals, which gives great potential for viewing movies, sheet music, presentations or simply typing on a larger keyboard. It also has a high HD resolution. The Gorilla Glass means that the glass is sturdy and scratch-resistant.
Cameras: The Eee Pad comes with two cameras. The 1.3-megapixel camera on the front is enough for video chats over the internet. And, at 5 megapixels, the rear-facing camera is one of the highest quality options available on a tablet today. The camera has the ability to record HD videos, and the HDMI output port lets you watch these on big screen HDTVs.
Flash: The Asus Eee Pad supports Flash, unlike the iPad. This means that you’ll be able to view Flash content around the web, whether that means a Flash-based website, Flash games or Flash videos. Although there are other technologies to play most videos on devices that don’t support Flash, it’s good to know you can watch it if you regularly browse websites using Flash.
Micro-SD Card Slot: The card slot on the device means that you can add extra memory should you need it. Although the 16GB and 32GB storage options will be more than enough for the average user, it’s always a good idea to have the ability to use as much memory as possible, as your needs are only going to grow with time. This is a big advantage over rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the iPad.
Keyboard Dock Accessory – The Eee Pad Transformer: Asus have created the Eee Pad Transformer not just as a keyboard dock for this tablet, but also as a way to greatly extend its functionality. This will cost you extra, but when you plug it in you’ll benefit from the following:
* Specific Android function keys for convenience,
* 2x USB 2.0 ports (for connecting external storage or other devices),
* A 4-in-one card reader that means you can read memory cards from cameras or other devices, and even save data from the tablet to your cards.
The Transformer really is an excellent accessory that helps to bridge the gap between your tablet and desktop computer (effectively “transforming” it into a netbook). It makes multitasking and typing a breeze: perfect for anyone who uses it for work or college. When connected to the keyboard dock, the Asus Transformer looks just like a stylish netbook computer.
Battery Life: The 9-hour battery life makes the Asus Eee Pad a serious contender when it comes to true portability without the need to charge it up. Even better, if you use your Eee Pad along with the keyboard dock, you can extend the battery life up to 16 hours in total. This is better than any other tablet on the market, and could be a huge factor for you if you like to work away from a power source but know you’ll still have the space to connect the dock.
What’s Not So Great About The Asus Eee Pad…
Charger: With the addition of the Transformer accessory, many users will want to use this at home, keeping it plugged in to save battery. Unfortunately the cord on the included charger is very short. If you’re not right next to an outlet, you won’t be able to keep this plugged in while you’re using this.
No 3G Model Available: Unlike the iPad or Motorola Xoom, the Asus Eee Pad doesn’t come with the option of choosing a 3G/ 4G mobile broadband model. What this means is that you’ll need to be near a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to connect to the internet on this tab. Although this makes it cheaper, some people may prefer to have the option of an additional mobile broadband contract if they prefer.
Weight: Although the Asus Eee Pad is still more than light enough to carry around with ease, it’s noticeably heavier than other tablets on the market. It’s over a pound heavier than the Apple iPad 2, for example. In the world of tablet computers, where devices are primarily held in the hands, this weight does matter and may affect usability.
My Final Thoughts on the Asus Eee Pad
This really is the only tablet on the market with an accessory that truly has the ability to transform it into a stylish and high performing computer. This is something you’ll be able to work on as if you were sitting at your desk with your standard computer, yet still portable and with a long enough battery life to stay away from a power source for the best part of a day. If that’s something that appeals to you then you may just forgive the Asus Eee Pad its weight!
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