In 2010, Apple released the iPad and effectively reshaped our perception of how you could interact with your computer. Out went the mouse and touchpad and in came a smart and intuitive way to play with your pictures and files.
This left the netbook, the predecessor of the slate pc, looking a bit passé, a fuddy-duddy uncle to its hip, new touchscreen cousin. It was either adapt or die.
So it falls to ASUS, the company who gave birth to the netbook, to dust off the mini laptop, rework it and come up with something to suit all customers from casual web user to hardened document writer.
The ASUS Eee Transformer is a hybrid of the best parts of a slate and the netbook. ASUS’s Transformer can be augmented with a keyboard and literally transforms from a small laptop to a fully functional slate with ease.
But how does it compare to the current market leader, the iPad 2?
- Screen: 24.6cm multi-touch display with a very sharp 1024×768 resolution.
- Build: 241mm height, 186mm width, and 8.64mm thick. 612 g body, the build quality is superb and sturdy feeling.
- Processor: A dualcore 1GHz A5 chip which plays all your apps and games with ease.
- Storage: 16, 32 or 64 GB available.
- Software/ Interface: The very slick and intuitive iOS 4 which will be updated to iOS 5 later this month.
- Connectivity: 3G models are available, AirPlay media streaming capable and video out via adaptor
- Battery life: Up to 9 hours.
- Camera: VGA webcam placed above the screen and a 0.7 megapixel camera on the back.
- Accessories: The constantly updating App Store and a whole raft of covers, screen protectors and cases.
- Screen: 25.7cm and a gorgeous 1280×800 resolution screen.
- Build: 271mm height, 177 width, and 13mm thick. 680g body, the build is not quite as high quality as the iPad 2, but it’s still very good.
- Processor: A meaty dualcore 1GHz Tegra 2 chip capable of running demanding games and apps.
- Storage: 16GB.
- Software/Interface: Android Honeycomb which is good but not as fluid as iOs 4.
- Connectivity: No 3G but HDMI and DLNA allows for screen connection.
- Battery life: Up to 9. 50 hours.
- Camera: A 5 Megapixel camera with a poor 720p video camera.
- Accessories: Keyboard docking station.
While the Asus Eee Transformer boasts an excellent processor and a stunning LCD touchscreen, the iPad 2 just edges past the competition because of its high quality build and design.
For those who can’t get on with the touchscreen keyboard then the Transformer is a worthy purchase as once you slot it into the docking station it transforms into a smart netbook making it easier to blog, email and surf while you’re on the move. So if you’re looking for a fun, lightweight web browsing tool there is no beating the iPad 2, but if you need just a bit more oomph in your electronic companion then Asus’s hybrid netbook in disguise is the one for you.
Images courtesy of Apple and ASUStek