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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 Review

Touchscreen Keyboard

I felt it would be inappropriate to not mention the touchscreen keyboards for those people that will forget about the keyboard dock as soon as the retail packaging gets ripped open. By default Asus has included their own keyboard as well as Android 4.0’s default.

Most of the time I used the default Android keyboard, this was mainly because the Asus keyboard is extremely squashed in landscape orientation due to the additional row of numbers.

The Asus keyboard is best for use in portrait orientation however, as it takes up noticeably more space on the screen. While the stock keyboard in the same orientation is better for thumb typing, it really depends on your tablet typing technique.

Overall I would have to give the nod to Android’s default keyboard as it has a better predictive and auto correct system. For picture referencing, the Android keyboard is in grey while the Asus keyboard is mostly white.

As a last piece of information, I gave the word per minute test I mentioned in the keyboard section another go, this time with the default Android keyboard and got a score of 30 WPM, with a much higher ratio of wrongly spelt words compared to the physical keyboards.

Other Applications

Asus has bundled in quite a few of their own and their partners applications, most of which are pretty much useless, at least to me personally. Such bloat includes two magazine applications.

There are some useful ones though, including Polaris Office. It has the ability to create Word, Excel and PowerPoint circa 2003 files. Plus I was able to create the above PowerPoint slide in just a few minutes. I actually used the word processor in combination with Dropbox to write a fair chunk of this review but later reverted to Google Docs as for some reason I often lost a few lines after making modifications soon after saving.

Moving on there is SuperNote, an extensive note taking application that can handle drawings, annotations and all that good stuff. Personally I would still use Evernote or handy dandy Dropbox however.

Then comes Asus’ suite of applications which includes an e-book reader, a DLNA media player, Asus WebStorage, @vibe music streamer and a file manager.

Also included are applications to backup and lock applications. Amazon Kindle and Nvidia’s TegraZone are present to get your tablet experience off to a good start.

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  • Davy

    Wow thats a hell of a review. so much information my brain hurts 🙂

  • Davis

    Its impressive, but the Ipad 3 has put a real dampner on these due to the low resolution and the catch up they all need to play now against Apple.

  • Rt23ds

    I think its a little expensive for what you get if I was being blunt about it, but its a nicely designed product and it seems powerful for even casual gaming. Retina display has pushed everything forward really which has made this look already a little out of date.

  • Guil

    Two weeks with this tablet were more than enough for me to experience all the issues already pointed out by other reviewers plus a brand new one: the shockingly poor build quality.

    Yes, the WiFi is faulty. I use both the TF201 and a Galaxy Nexus in bed and, although the signal is quite weak on the smartphone, it never disconnects and the browsing/downloading speed is very good. The same can’t be said about the tablet, which often disconnects and sometimes requires a reboot so I can use the internet again (and what’s a tablet with dodgy WiFi? A paper weight?).

    Yes, the GPS is useless. Asus dropped the ball twice here, first by not testing the unit properly and then by removing the function from the specs list. Shameful, to say the least.

    Now to the build quality: although the TF201 is a stunning device and both its screen and its metallic body look fantastic, my unit proved to be cheaply manufactured when the glass started detaching from the main body a few days ago. It’s a month old tablet and I’m extremely careful with my electronics.

    Right now all I can do is regret as I purchased this tablet in the US and brought it back to Ireland, so sending it back will be a costly pain in the neck both for me and for my wife’s friend who would have to drop it at UPS.

    I’m really disappointed with Asus and the current selection of Android tablets in the market. No wonder the iPad is flying off the shelves, all that Apple has to do is release products that don’t suck.

  • Cheers Davy!

    I have to agree Davis, perhaps the reason it is taking so long for other Tegra 3 tablets to come out is because everyone is running around trying to find a decent supply of FHD display to create a tablet that can go head to head with the new iPad’s

    It’s decent value to me Rt23ds, 20 quid more than the new 32GB iPad. It really depends if you’d prefer a higher resolution screen or the ability to type anything of length

    Guil, I encountered no Wi-Fi problems that I could attribute to my review unit (the dodgy router is to blame). Completly agree on the GPS points. The review unit I had could have been cherry picked but it has definitely been around the place and all it had to show for it was a few collections of scratches on the back. Have you tried getting in contact directly with Asus? Either way it’s really bad to hear you’re having issues with your Prime

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  • Its impressive, but the Ipad 3 has put a real dampner on these due to the low resolution

  • I’d have to agree Ieeko, it’s not majorly noticeable by itself by switching between a decent phone and the Prime the extra pixel density is noticeable. Shouldn’t be too long until we start seeing Full HD tablets though