For a moment there I believed that this new Tegra 2 ASUS Tablet was better than the Transformer model I’ve previously reviewed. However, when realizing that this is almost a kilo of machinery in my two palms, it’s hard to call this a very portable device. What’s more, it’s possible that the sliding keyboard is not to everyone’s liking.
However, I really, really liked this device and appreciate what ASUS is doing for the tablet segment, that is innovating its every aspect. They’ve delivered the Transformer, with its detachable keyboard and huge battery life, now the Slider and soon the PadFone, a combo between smartphone and tablet. Moving back to the Slider (unboxed here), this device comes with a 10.1 inch display, a dual core Tegra 2 processor and a 5 megapixel camera at the back.
You also get a full USB port, that I used to connect a wireless mouse to the tablet and an USB drive, that allowed me to see the media on it. There’s also a camera upfront and this model measures a pretty big 17.7mm in thickness. The full QWERTY keyboard is a breeze to use, but its drawback is that when closed, the speakers hidden at the back are covered and the volume goes down a notch.
As far as the display is concerned, we get a 10.1 inch LCD with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and the other specs include the usual microSD card slot, 32GB of internal memory, 1GB of RAM and Android 3.0. WiFi and Bluetooth handle the connectivity, while a HDMI port is also present for duty. ASUS customized the experience on this device, especially in the web browser, where you can view the entire screen without that address bar. It only appears as you’re typing the name of the website you’re searching.
Also, ASUS implemented an unique menu that appears on the side of the web browser when you keep it pressed. It’s a semicircular blue area with all the usual options of a browser: new tab, refresh, back, bookmarks and other such feats. Another customization is in the virtual keyboard on the Eee Pad Slider, that received a numeric row about the alphabetic one. Plus, you get a cool MyZine widget to have fun with. Other than that, it’s pure Honeycomb experience.
The movie playback is shown in HD on the device, but no .mkv support for now, in case you’re wondering. The physical keyboard is comfortable to type on and you’ll get used to it really fast, in spite of the strange angle that the screen has next to the keypad. A thing I didn’t quite like was the seemingly fragile sliding mechanism from the back of the slate. If you want, you can compare the idea of the slide part with the Nokia E7, which is good thing honestly.
The 5MP camera does its duty, but don’t expect the most beautiful shot on Earth from it. However, for a vacation, it’ll have to do. In the end, this tablet is excellent and if you don’t mind carrying a kilo of tablet with you, it’s the perfect choice. I wouldn’t even trade it for an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer.