Is an ASUS TF101 Tablet a computer?
Are Tablets Computers or Just Big "smart phones"?
When my youngest Son told his Mother he wanted a
tablet for his Christmas present last year she asked me
to find the best one for under $700. This was to be
his last expensive Christmas present and seeing as his
big Brother got a new laptop the year before (He is in
the USAF and was stationed in Korea so Mom bought him
a new Laptop when the old IBM T-23 I gave him eight
years ago died).
I looked at quite a few tablets manufactured by
different companies. I decided for the price the ASUS
TF101 Transformer was the best of them for just over
Specifications for the ASUS TF101
table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....
Display: 10.1" LED Backlight WXGA (1280x800)
10 finger multi-touch support
Scratch resistant glass
Unlimited One Year ASUS Webstorage Space *2
Wireless Data Network: WLAN 802.11
Camera: 1.2 MP
Rear Camera: 5
Audio Stereo Speakers
SRS Premium Sound
High Quality Mic
Interface: 1 x Mini HDMI
2 x Audio Jack (Headphone/Mic-In)
1 x Card Reader: Micro SD
Now this year the game has changed my youngest
Son's wife has her own business (I know how it is with
a startup business so understand this reasoning) and
would like to have an iPad to sync with her iPhone and
apps. And Mom is tired of the ASUS Netbook so she has
decided she needs an iPad also.
For the first time since 1988 an a - a - aful has
came in to our house! Sheesh.
Any way I got the ASUS TF101 Tablet from my son and have
been playing with it, better than the aful by about
300% once you figure out what to do.
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But it begs the question: Is it a computer or is it
a big 'smart phone'?
The ASUS TF101 Tablet is a computer, not as good as a netbook but
definitely better than any cell phone no matter who's
brand it is.
The Operating System for the ASUS TF101 Tablet
is Linux, the official
distribution on the tablet is IceCream (ICE 4.0.3).
The desktop or display is called Transformer. (I am
not a fan of Linux) It seems to be pretty stable, it
is over a year old so if it was going to have any
problems they would have surfaced by now.
Once I figured out a few things it was time to get
down to business and see what this thing can do...
The display is ok but for an someone that has problems
with their eye sight it gets tiring very fast if you a
are reading a document.
I opened this web site and
downloaded two sample PDF's for a couple of the
e-books I sell and loaded up Adobe reader. If you use
the Portrait mode (the screen is 1280x800, portrait is
the 1280 pixel wide where as the Landscape mode is the
800 pixel wide) then the white back ground and black
letters is pretty easy to see. When you flip the table
to Landscape mode the 800 pixel screen is narrower but
the lettering starts to blur after a few minutes of
reading for me. The draw back with the portrait mode
is all the scrolling. I have the same problem with the
netbook, the screen is 800x640 and it does not flip to
The other problem is the screen cover is
glossy and any light will reflect, in my office I have
a ceiling light that is pretty bright and if I lay the
tablet on my lap it is unreadable where as my Kendal
has the matt screen and when I read I lay it in my lap
instead of holding it like a normal book and is still
readable with out the glare.
The battery life is
pretty good, it will last almost seven hours (ASUS advertises it at 8
hours but it is a year old with pretty constant use, I haven't found
an app that will blank the screen or power it down when there isn't
any activity, that would be nice if you were traveling and it was a
few hours between places to charge the battery.
When I finish a few things I want to
check out on the tablet I may have a new section for
tablets because there are some interesting things you
can do to them...
I would rate the ASUS
TF101 Tablet a 8 of
10, the tablet itself is now out of warranty, it was
never used. As a computer it does what it was made
for, a small handheld computer that has a touch screen
for navigation and does support a lot of functional
programs. The storage is somewhat constrained and the
SD card slot is for the micro SD but if you are
careful with what you download the 32 GB storage
should be sufficient, I will be checking to see if
there is an upgrade for the storage from ASUS, they
have a 2 GB memory upgrade available on the ASUS web
I give ASUS tech support and
driver support a 8. I needed to download the ASUS
Android USB drivers for Windows package from the ASUS
site then install it on a Windows 7 OS to get a few
other things done. ASUS must have read my rant because
the web site is a lot faster, navigation has been
cleaned up and now things are easier to find. :)
10/26/13 - I have had this tablet for over a year
now and have managed to not make it non-functional
(that is in geek parlance: brick it) but I have had to
reset the Operating System back to default, it does
seem to not like some things I want to do to it.
Overall not bad considering my DIL has had her iPad in
to Best Buy three times since she got it...
- The fad is over, most people that need a computer
have opted for a notebook over the tablet. I can
understand the reasoning behind this. A touch screen
for typing is not conducive to good typing habits. If
you need to type a document with over 200 characters
your hands get cramped holding them off the screen
enough to not touch unwanted characters. I tested my
typing skills with the tablet, after 100 words my left
hand was cramping and typing with one finger at a time
will take forever to type a large document. The little
ASUS TF101 Tablet is on the shelf and has been for
over six months...
Update 02/09/20 - Well the
ASUS TF101 Tablet is history, not because of material failure but the
technology has passed it by. I went to update the OS so I could
connect to our new robot vacuum and the Ring door bell. The latest OS
for this tablet is on it and the apps require a newer operating
system, so no more updates for this tablet.
ASUS TF101 Tablet is not a netbook...