Tablets are getting all of the attention in the tech industry right now and they somehow manage to keep getting better as time goes on. There are a plethora of tablets on the market right now and most of them are Android Honeycomb-based. That makes shopping for one difficult as the average consumer is going to find most tablets are running Android 3.2, feature a 10.1-inch screen and are powered by the mighty NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor. What can a company do to make their tablet stand out from the crowd? ASUS asked themselves that and the companies answer was the Wi-Fi only ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101. ASUS wanted to bring something to market that would not only revolutionize the tablet market, but also be affordable for the average consumer. Doing that without losing key features is very tough, so we’ll be taking at look at the ASUS Transformer TF101 to see what features this tablet has and how it performs.
The ASUS Transformer TF101 is available in two versions with the only difference between the two being internal storage capacity since it is only offered with Wi-Fi internet access. The lowest cost option is the 16GB version with an MSRP of $399.99 and for those that want more storage capacity a 32GB version for $469.99. The ASUS Transformer TF101 does come with a functional Micro SDHC card slot on it, so you can add an additional 32GB of storage for around $50 if you wanted to expand your storage space that way. Just this week we noticed that Target just had the ASUS Transformer TF101 16GB for $299.99 online this very week, so you can find this tablet at very reasonable prices. The Apple iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi can be had for $499.00, so the ASUS Transformer TF101 comes in much more budget friendly than the iPad 2.
Hands down, one of the best features of the ASUS Transformer is the optional keyboard dock accessory. This full chiclet-style QWERTY keyboard dock turns the Transformer tablet PC into a netbook in a matter of seconds. The touchpad and mouse buttons are a life saver for those that want a tablet, but also want the ability to type long e-mails or write papers on it. The keyboard docking station also doubles the battery life since it includes a battery under the keyboard. If those aren’t enough to persuade you, then you’ll also be happy to know that the dock also adds two USB ports and a SD card slot! Our favorite feature though is the print screen button, which might sound silly for some, but we hated the fact that we could capture print screens when we used the Motorola Xoom.
To use the keyboard dock you just line up the center of the table into the hinge and push it down with a little force until it clicks into place. To remove the dock you just slide the lever that is located above the number 4 key on the hinge to the right and you once again have the tablet.
This is why ASUS called this tablet the Transformer as you can basically convert it from a tablet to a notebook in a matter of seconds. When you want a tablet you have a highly portable 10.1-inch tablet to use and then when you want to be able to type, use the trackpad or double the battery life you can click it into the keyboard dock. For $149.99 this keyboard dock is more of a must have add-on rather than an optional accessory. This is what makes the transformer unique and for many it will be the reason to buy it. This does add to the cost though as the best price we could find on PriceGrabber was $385.95 for the tablet and Newegg has the dock for $149.99. This brings the price up to $535.94, which puts it up to the price of an Apple iPad 2, but clearly you are getting more bang for your buck and more ease of use here. Let’s take a closer look at the external features of the ASUS Transformer TF101-A1.