ASUS TF101 Tablet Review

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ASUS TF101 Tablet Product Review

Is an ASUS TF101 Tablet a computer?

Are Tablets Computers or Just Big "smart phones"?

Default back ground for this tablet.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 600 USD.

Specifications for the ASUS TF101 Tablet

The image, table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....
AndroidTM 3.2  
Display: 10.1" LED Backlight WXGA (1280x800) Screen*1
10 finger multi-touch support
Scratch resistant glass 
CPU: NVIDIA? Tegra2? 
Memory: 1GB 
Storage: 16GB/32GB 
Unlimited One Year ASUS Webstorage Space *2 
Wireless Data Network: WLAN 802.11 b/g/n@2.4GHz
Bluetooth: V2.1+EDR 
Front Camera: 1.2 MP
 Rear Camera: 5 MP
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 
Sensor G-Sensor
Light Sensor
Gyroscope
E-Compass
GPS 

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.

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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.

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 landscape!

Thin and light although I really don't like the touch screen.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...

Rating:

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 site.

Other notes:

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...

04/07/14 - 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.

A ASUS TF101 Tablet is not a netbook...



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