The Bottom Line
Nov 21 2011 - The ASUS Eee Pad Slider is a novel approach to a tablet for those that really hate the virtual keyboards. It does work better but still has limited use because of the overall size of the keyboard. Frankly, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer with dock may cost a little more but offers a better typing experience. In addition, there are plenty of cases and wireless keyboards that can be carried and used with just about any tablet. The result is a tablet that is one of the bulkiest on the market that will appeal to a very limited set of people.
- Built-In Keyboard Useful For Extended Typing
- Full Size USB Port
- Very Heavy And Thick
- Keyboard Is Cramped Compared To Bluetooth or Transformer Keyboard
- Included Office Software Needs To Be Upgraded For Editing Capability
- 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 (Cortex-A9) Dual Core Processor
- 1GB Memory
- 16GB Storage
- 10.1-inch WXGA (1280x800) Multitouch Display
- NVIDIA Tegra 2 Graphics
- 1.2 Megapixel Front Camera, 5 Megapixel Rear Camera
- 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- USB 2.0, mini-HDMI, microSD, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- 10.7" x 7.1" x .68" @ 2.1 lbs.
- Android 3.2
Review - ASUS Eee Pad Slider
Nov 21 2011 - The ASUS Eee Pad Slider is the first tablet that features a dedicated keyboard with the tablet providing a bridge between a full tablet experience and that of a netbook. The Eee Pad Transformer did allow this with its battery and keyboard dock that did give it a feel of a netbook with the corresponding bulk and weight added. The Eee Pad Slider is certainly lighter than that combination but still extremely large and heavy for tablet thanks to its .7 inch thickness and 2.1 pound weight.
The tablet itself is a mix of materials that provides a two tone color appearance between the screen and slider portion. The keyboard is activated by lifting out the top screen portion and angling it up. The keyboard itself takes up the whole slide out layer that gets exposed and provides a full set of keys with numeric key row and even buttons for the home and back functions. The keys themselves are a bit smaller than a netbook keyboard which made it difficult for me to type on with my larger fingers. Still, it does provide a much better typing accuracy and speed than the virtual keyboard of the screen. This can be extremely crucial for anyone that intends to use their tablet for extended periods of typing. Of course, the Eee Pad Transformers dock keyboard is larger and better suited for that type of task.
The display for the Eee Pad Slider is pretty much identical to that found in the Eee Pad Transformer. It uses the same IPS technology that gives it some nice color and brightness along with very wide viewing angles. With the sliding capability angling the display, it made it very nice for watching video on a desktop or table without the need to hold it, which is very nice considering its weight. It would have been nice to see ASUS use a larger screen as the dimension of the tablet versus the screen means that there is lots of bezel space around the display. One nice aspect is that the gap between the screen and glass that was present in the Eee Pad Transformer is not present here.
The Android software has changed slightly with the Eee Pad Slider thanks to the Android 3.2 version. For the most part, it still offers the some overall experience with a few stability changes. One difference with the Eee Pad Slider though is the default background screen. This is a set of ice cubes floating in water. As the tablet is moved, the ice cubes drift around in the water. In addition, the level of the water is relative to the remaining battery. This makes it quick and easy to judge how much battery you have left but is a bit distracting if you happen to be moving while navigating between the applications. Also added is Polaris Office that allows for viewing of word processor and spreadsheets but you have to upgrade it for the ability to edit them.
The ports remain pretty much the same for the Eee Pad Slider as the Transformer. It features a full sized USB slot that likely won't be used for a keyboard but can be used with a mouse or with external storage. There is a mini-HDMI port for connecting it to HDTV or external monitor which is useful for watching video. There is also the proprietary ASUS dock connector and your standard audio jack.
The battery pack for the ASUS Eee Pad Slider is slightly higher in capacity than the Transformer. It is rated at 25WHr compared to 24.4WHr. This is the same capacity that is seen in the class leading Apple iPad 2. In video playback testing, the overall running time was almost indistinguishable from the Transformer with it lasting just over nine and a half hours. This is decent for the size of the tablet but still an hours less than the iPad 2 or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Finally, we come to price. At roughly $479, it is slightly less expensive than comparably equipped iPad 2 and Galaxy 10.1 tablets. It is certainly much more expensive than a similarly equipped Trasnformer. Now, if you take the Transformer plus the battery/keyboard dock, the Slider ends up being around $50 less. If it would be used primarily as a tablet, it isn't a very solid value as you can either get a less expensive or more portable tablet for the same price. If it is going to be used heavily for typing, it is a decent option but you can also get a keyboard case for just about any tablet or use a wireless bluetooth keyboard to achieve the same effect.