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Asus Eee Pad Slider review

Verdict

An inventive tablet in a world of me-too devices, but a touch too bulky and expensive for our tastes

Review Date: 14 Oct 2011

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: £358 (£430 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

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.

Asus Eee Pad Slider - side view

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.

Asus Eee Pad Slider - keyboard view

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.

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User comments

So its just a laptop

ok ok come on now it is just a laptop The Muppets

By knightgremlin on 14 Oct 2011

I think Asus may have hit on something with this design and for the price quoted. It fills a very sparse ultra-portable, yet affordable market, especially useful for business use where sometimes you need a tablet, but then during meetings you really need a keyboard at times.

By skarlock on 14 Oct 2011

Would we see Nokia claiming Asus "slavishly" copying their smartphone designs.

By Duggie on 14 Oct 2011

"a touch too bulky and expensive for our tastes"

Well it does have a built in keyboard, but bulk is subjective, so I'll let that one pass.

Too expensive? well it's better specced than your beloved A-list tablet, and slightly cheaper, despite the fact that it has a built-in keyboard, which your precious A-list tablet does not.

So how can you complain about the price. Surely your cherished A-list tablet is also overpriced, yet your review says "even the price is sensible".

So which is it?

Honestly, I think PC Pro says these things to deliberately wind me up.

By Lacrobat on 14 Oct 2011

Well...

...not really.

"The keyboard adds a whole new dimension"

HP TC1100
HP TM2
Dell XT
Dell XT
A whole ruck of Fujitsu machines
Acer W500


I do, however, see what the review is saying and it is a fantastic device. I'm actually tempted but Android puts me off.

By rhythm on 15 Oct 2011

Front on with the keyboard out it reminds me a bit of Psion's netbook.

The extra bulk is probably worth it for the extra functionality.

By JamesD29 on 15 Oct 2011

Competition to win one!

I have found this fun competition on facebook, ASUS are giving a slider out every week, if money is a problem! http://www.facebook.com/ASUS?sk=app_28506846483694
0

You get to find out what your 'dream destination' is in the process, what's not to like?

By maevebanks on 17 Oct 2011

@lacrobat

Which A list tablet are you talking about? ;-)

Seriously, though, is this the single reason I've stopped myself from getting a tablet, now removed?

Which is that you can't touch type on a tablet.

Santa... oh santa.... Tried to mail him, but he's got a blackberry....

By CraigieDD on 17 Oct 2011

??

Stop comparing this to other tablets It's not designed to be simply a tablet, it's designed for those who need to do serious typing on the move - emailing or blogging etc. Perfect for travellers.

ASUS are giving some away on their FB page: http://www.facebook.com/ASUS?sk=app_28506846483694
0

By arthur3000 on 17 Oct 2011

@Lacrobat

Well said.

The vast majority of people I know with tablets all have some sort of external keyboard that either plugs in or connects to their tablet for when they seriously need to do some typing. Anyone who doesn't have a keyboard doesn't need it as they only would use it to surf with - the touch keyboard is fine, but two handed typing is inconvenient when you have to sit the tablet down on a surface and type - it make's sense to have a keyboard.
So tablets with keyboards are all that matter in reality to professionals - having one built in that slides out is perfect. Bulk is not an issue if you work, especially in the case of this tablet as it's really no thicker than ultabooks - thought those might be more powerful they probably need a charger to be carried around too - though I hear Samsung's latest ultrabooks as well as Asus's have pretty good batteries and perform quite well - at the end of the day its just a matter of what you are doing on them and why you need them.
Personally - I want the latest transformer - even though I don't need the power - I just love the design and the dockable keyboard is wonderful.

By nicomo on 24 Nov 2011

A tablet

Good tablet I like its design. http://www.batteries4.us

By luxl85 on 23 Dec 2011

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