Asus Eee Pad Slider review
An inventive tablet in a world of me-too devices, but a touch too bulky and expensive for our tastes
When it comes to Honeycomb tablets, Asus is the king of innovation. Its Transformer tablet married 10.1in tablet and physical keyboard with remarkable success. Now the Eee Pad Slider aims to carry off a similar feat.
Instead of offering a modular system, with separate keyboard and tablet modules, the Slider comes with the keyboard permanently built in. When stowed away, it sits unnoticed beneath the screen, but it glides out smoothly on a wide hinge when you prise the top of the screen and the base apart.
At the end of a graceful swoop, the display comes to rest at an angle of around 40 degrees, locking onto the keyboard base via a pair of small metal hooks.
It’s an elegant system that deploys with satisfying precision, and it reveals a surprisingly usable keyboard. There are five rows of keys, with dedicated buttons for back, home and the context menu, and although there isn’t much travel, the action is clicky, light and responsive.
It does feel a little cramped, so we wouldn’t recommend it for heavy word processing, but as a more productive alternative to the onscreen keyboard it’s just perfect.
The lack of touchpad isn’t a problem either. With the screen so close to the keyboard – and set at an angle that makes touch operation comfortable – poking and prodding at it soon became second nature. Asus has clearly thought carefully about the design.
And it hasn’t neglected the basics. The display resolution is a standard 1,280 x 800, and there’s good connectivity. Aside from a full-sized USB socket, you get a microSD slot for supplementing the tablet’s 16GB internal storage, a mini-HDMI output and a proprietary 40-pin connector used to charge the device and connect it to your PC.
We can’t complain about the core specification, either: the tablet has a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor with 1GB of RAM, accompanied by Bluetooth, GPS and a gyroscopic sensor for motion detection.
|Price ex VAT||£358|
|Price inc VAT||£430|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||3|
|Dimensions||272 x 18.5 x 180mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,280|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|CPU frequency, MHz||1,000MHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||5.0mp|
|Upstream USB ports||0|
|Mobile operating system||Android 3.2|