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Asus Eee Pad Slider Review by 3G.co.uk

By Simon Thomas on 21st November 2011


3G Total Score

Pros

Sharp, colour-rich display; inputting and editing text works wonderfully; great combination of work and play

 

Cons

Pricey; touch display can be unreliable; heavier and thicker than its rivals

 

Verdict:

The Asus EEE Slider is a super tablet that combines netbook functionality and a fantastic keyboard with the fun of a touch display

Full Review and Specification for the Asus EEE Slider

Tablets are a really cool device to have, but essentially you’ll rarely find anyone who says they would actually replace a laptop or netbook with one. No, they’re a very desirable extra, and will generally only be bought by those who have plenty of disposable income and want to add one to their already existing smartphone and laptop combo.

 

Most of us are loath to pay out 300 quid or more on something that will let us check our email from the couch, but won’t offer us the same sort of experience our desktop or laptop offers, with a keyboard that lets us input text directly.

 

So, how about if someone came along and offered you a tablet that not only had the touchscreen that makes using a device such fun, but also had a ‘proper’ keyboard to allow you to tap tap tap your messages and emails in the ‘correct’ manner? Interested? Then allow us to introduce you to the Asus Eee Pad Slider.

 

Yes, it is a tablet, and yes it has a touchscreen. And while some of us have persevered and managed to type out whole documents and lengthy emails using a touchscreen, it’s not the best of processes, so behold the tablet that has a slide-out keyboard. We promise you, once you’ve used this 10-inch tablet, which is beautifully made, and features a crisp multitouch screen AND a very comfortable-to-use slide-out keyboard, you may believe you’ve discovered the Holy Grail of the tablet world.

 

 

Hey, good looking

 

Asus has managed to smoothly combine the two together – the tablet itself is curvy, with a black frame around the screen and an edging of silver. On the back, silver and metallic black combine for a classy finish. There is a payoff for the slide-out keyboard – when you consider the Galaxy Tab 10.1 weighs 565g and measures 8.6mm thick and the iPad 2 measures 8.8mm and weighs 607g. In comparison, the Asus Eee Pad Slider is a heavyweight 960g and is almost twice as thick at 17.3mm.

 

You’ll find all the buttons on the keyboard base (there are none on the touchscreen part of the tablet). On top there are charger and mini HDMI ports, while on the left side sit a reset button, volume rocker, microSD port and power/sleep key. The USB and 3.5mm audio jack are on the right side.

 

Set the tablet in landscape mode and you’ll be able to slide out the keyboard, after carefully pulling the top open. Keys are well spaced and it is amazingly responsive.

 

 

Sweet system

 

The operating system is Android Honeycomb 3.2 (which you will be able to update to Ice Cream Sandwich in the future), so you know it is going to be user-friendly.

 

Asus has added some of its own touches to the tablet – for instance MyCloud, a cloud storage service; the My Library app, which brings together newspapers, magazines and books; plus MyNet, a media streaming programme. If you want to work on documents, Polaris Office 3.0 allows you to do so and format them as you would on your usual Mac or PC.

 

The OS works well thanks to the NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core chip under the hood. This ensures that multitasking is smooth. You’ll see five home screens that sit in a 3D carousel – each of them is customisable – and you can access them with a single touch using the Apps option on the top-right.

 

There are two snappers onboard – a five-megapixel model as well as a front-facing 1.2-megapixel snapper for making video calls.

 

Key points

 

We’re amazed at how well the keyboard works – speedy typists may find themselves making quite a few corrections at first, as you have to alter your movements to suit the scaled-down keyboard. But even that is easy – one touch moves your cursor to the character you need to change and off you go again. After a while, you start to wonder how you ever managed without having a touch screen and keyboard combination.

 

What we love about this tablet is how it combines your work and play together to easily. You could be typing a document when up will pop a Twitter, Facebook or important business email alert – you can instantly access them if you wish. It feels like even if you’re busy working, you’re not missing out on anything.

 

 

Screen test

 

The LED display measures 10.1 inches and is backlit. It offers a beautifully colourful and sharp image, which is great for playing games, watching films or just checking your social networks. We found Flash videos played fine, although we did see the odd flash of black when we streamed content from iPlayer.

 

Not that the screen is perfect – occasionally it proved unresponsive, and when web browsing we experienced some glitches and slowing down if we tried to zoom in or were watching video. Be aware that while you’ll get plenty of battery life when typing, watching video or playing games can drain the juice quickly.

 

While our impressions of this tablet are really good overall, we suspect that the £450 pricetag will be a deal-breaker for a lot of people. It also has no 3G, and may prove too thick and weighty for some. It’s not as thin as an iPad, for instance, and it’s far heavier than most of its 10-inch counterparts.

 

Despite all that, it is the keyboard that really sets this tablet apart from its peers – and if that makes it a bit thicker and heavier, then so be it. We loved the fact that we could ‘type and swipe’ and found it added enormously to the whole Android experience.

 

 

Our conclusion

 

At the moment, while touchscreens seem to be the way of the future, many users just aren’t ready to give up their keyboards as yet, which is why this ‘best of both worlds’ option from Asus seems like such a winner.

 

Often, hybrid devices end up doing both jobs badly, but in this case Asus has managed to really bring us the best of both worlds. It is the pricetag that may well put off many, but if you have been debating about getting a tablet and wondered if you should have a laptop instead because it has a keyboard, this could be the ideal choice for you.

 

You get the benefits of Android’s customisability, preloaded apps and a great keyboard. We reckon if there is one tablet that might finally be able to replace the ‘traditional’ computer, the Asus Eee Pad Slider is it.

 

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Asus EEE Slider Review Scoring

  • Style and Handling
  • User Friendliness
  • Feature set
  • Performance
  • Battery
  • Overall Score

Asus EEE Slider Phone Specification

Type of phone:

N/A

Style:

N/A

Size:

273x180.3x17.3mm

Weight:

960g

Display:

N/A colours

Resolution:

N/A

Camera:

5 megapixels, 1.2-megapixel front-facing

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

Yes

Video streaming:

Yes

Music formats played:

WAV, WMA, MP3

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

GPS:

GPS

Handsfree speakerphone:

No

Voice Control:

No

Voice Dialling:

No

Call records:

N/A

Phonebook:

N/A

Ringtones customization:

N/A

Display description:

N/A

Website:

www.asus.com

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

Black

Launch Status:

Available

Ringtones:

N/A

Radio:

No

Connectivity:

Wi-Fi, miniUSB

Announced date:

October 2011

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

1024MB RAM

International launch date:

November 2011

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor

FM Radio Description:

N/A

Internal memory:

1024MB RAM

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

Messaging:

Email

Internet Browser:

XHTML, HTML

E-mail client:

Attachments, Push email

Java:

Yes

Games:

Yes, and downloadable

Data speed:

HSDPA

Frequency:

N/A

Talktime:

N/A

Standby:

8 hours

Display size:

10.1 inches

Keypad:

QWERTY

Audio recording:

Yes


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