Asus Eee Pad Slider review

14 Oct 2011

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

Price when reviewed: 
430(£429 inc VAT)
4

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.

Detail

Price ex VAT £358
Price inc VAT £430
Warranty 1 yr return to base
Overall rating 4
Performance 5
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 3

Physical

Dimensions 272 x 18.5 x 180mm (WDH)
Weight 964g

Display

Primary keyboard On-screen
Screen size 10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,280
Resolution screen vertical 800
Display type TFT
Panel technology TFT

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz 1,000MHz
Integrated memory 32.0GB
RAM capacity 1,000MB

Camera

Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Focus type Autofocus
Built-in flash? no
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Other

WiFi standard 802.11n
Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes
Upstream USB ports 0
HDMI output? yes
Video/TV output? no

Software

Mobile operating system Android 3.2